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How To Turn Your Home Business Start-Up Into An Instant Cash Cow

Thousands of new home businesses start in North America every day, many of which never see their fifth anniversary.

With a 90 percent failure rate in the first five years, most hopeful entrepreneurs wind up feeling discouraged and beaten, thinking they don’t have what it takes to make their dream of home business come true.

One of the biggest reasons home businesses fail is because the new entrepreneur not only lacks the required marketing and sales skills, but chooses a business with a tremendous learning curve.

The energy, time and financial commitment required is significant because everything is new and undeveloped. Overwhelm and confusion set in, mistakes accumulate, frustration grows and finances dwindle as you work your way through the steep learning process.

If you are new to or considering a home business, you can flatten the learning curve and start generating income immediately by beginning with something you are already good to great at.

For example, let’s say your dream business is a nursery.

You love gardening and have significant knowledge on plants, their ideal growing conditions and landscape design. You have acreage and want to build two domes to grow plants to sell.

Let’s also assume that you work full-time as a teacher and have little to no business experience. You would need to learn about sales, marketing, financial statements, horticulture, hydroponics systems, taxation, legalities, and a host of other things.

The faulty mindset many new entrepreneurs have is the “build it and they will come” mentality and this is where the trouble begins. Money is first invested in the physical creation of the business, and then the business owner starts to work on developing her skills and building the business.

By this time, significant time and money has already been spent while no cash flow or client base has been created. The business owner is pressed to start bringing in business to cover her monthly operating expenses and start-up investment.

Although the impulse is to build a professional looking business up front then trying to fill it with customers, the simplest and most successful approach to building your business is to start with the basic strategy of putting to use the skills you already have.

What are you already good to great at that you can start with today?

Let’s say your existing skill sets are:

- teaching
- gardening and designing friends and neighbors yards
- knowledge of the plants specific to your area and their best growing conditions
- knowing what plants complement each other and those that repel each other

With these skill sets, you can start your business immediately without any significant investment. Here’s how:

- approach a local nursery and ask them if you can volunteer several hours a week or work-part time for them (either way, you have to invest time learning about the business of running a nursery, so why not get paid for it or at the very least, volunteer and get yourself known as a plant expert)

- ask the nursery if you could offer classes to their customers and split the profits

- place posters around town announcing your landscape design service and get your friends to refer you to others

- have a local newspaper reporter feature you and your beautiful backyard in the “Society/People” or “Home and Decoration” section of your paper

- suggest a joint venture relationship with one of your local nurseries. You will refer your landscape design clients to them to purchase plants if they promote your design service. (I paid such a person $75 an hour to visit my home and help me design my yard. I also purchased my plants from the nursery she recommended because I received special pricing for using her services.)

- join your local gardening club or horticultural society

- buy plants from your gardening club colleagues and sell them at a profit

Can you see how this approach would give you a much stronger foundation to build from and increased start-up capital? Your amount of risk and overwhelm would be greatly reduced and your business education would begin immediately.

When you’re ready to pursue your ultimate dream of starting your own nursery, you will have revenue already coming in, an established client base, recognition as an expert in your field, and some business skills and experience under your belt.

Now, let’s apply this to YOUR home business dream.

As you contemplate your new business endeavor, list the skills you currently possess and begin with what you have. Start bringing in cash immediately and let it finance your ultimate dream and education.

Real Estate Investing For Mid-Term Profits

Just as short-term and long-term real estate profit goals tend to lend themselves to specific types of opportunities, so do mid-term investments. Fort most real estate entrepreneurs, “mid-term” investments generally last between 2 to 5 years. This period provides adequate time to for appropriate property investments to fully mature. The ability to take the requisite time is necessary to fully reap the profit potential of certain properties and investment types. The most common investments for this time range include:

  1. Subdividing land. This is the process of purchasing raw land and facilitating the process to legally create a number of smaller parcels from one larger tract. In addition, this process includes the appropriate change of zoning to allow for a higher demand for the parcels and consequently the profit generated from the sales of the land.
  2. Developing land. Development requires the engineering, infrastructure placement and construction of certain elements. By stubbing utilities to individual lots and building in sewer, runoff and typically roads, curbs and gutters, etc. a developer is able to add value to the subdivided land once again increasing its demand, functionality and marketability. Typically, but not always, subdivision and development are done simultaneously.
  3. Re-developing existing properties. Redevelopment is the process of purchasing property currently used for one purpose and then facilitating its use for another purpose, thus achieving highest and best use. For example the purchase of a single family home on a lot large enough to hold multiple units. In a case like this the existing property would be razed and higher density units built. This is often done when adjoining properties are purchased, combined and used for the build out. It is necessary to have proper zoning available to the land in question.
  4. Conversion. Conversion is the process of changing the ownership makeup of a property from one type of ownership to another and then selling the parts/units of the property. You will recognize this as condominium conversion. Don’t forget that this type of conversion can be done with residential, commercial, retail, light industrial, warehouse property etc. Don’t limit your search for appropriate properties just to apartments.
  5. Build outs. The opportunity to purchase a large foot print property, then partition it, or build it out, for multi-tenant use provides an outlet for large properties that have outlived their usefulness in the original form, but have utility for individuals or businesses who need smaller space. This is often done with warehouses, big box structures, large commercial and retail spaces.
  6. Purchase, revenue development and sale. As you know, if you can buy a property that is under rented, increase the ordinary operating income without increasing the traditional operating expenses, you will increase your NOI. With an increased NOI, the value of the property will be increased. It is important that you assess this potential carefully and include the costs of lending and holding time.

That’s a boat load of information and opportunity in one short space. Still, I hope it generates some thought and research on your part that will in turn produce opportunities to meet your goals with real estate. While there other investments that might also fit into this time frame, those mentioned are the most common and traditionally the most profitable. Good luck in your career.

Insurance Agents and Financial Advisors – Are You Feeling Frustrated Even Violated?

When you spoke with the recruiter and then the sales manager you were told you’d get all the training you needed to succeed. Now that you’ve been in the business nearing two years do you look back and realize that you aren’t even close to knowing how to do what you need to do to succeed? You’re pay structure is coming to an end, it would take a miracle to meet the demands you have for expected sales, and you have no idea what to do. You aren’t alone and this is exactly why fewer than 5% of the people who enter the insurance and investments industries are still around after 5 years.

You have every reason to feel frustrated, violated even angry as heck. You’ve been mislead and cheated. You did everything they told you to do that they “said” would work, and all those things you tried blew up in your face more often than not. You’ve cashed in on every personal connection you have, and you have no where else to turn. What do you do? What can you do? The only thing you can do is take complete responsibility for your own success.

Start succeeding by placing your focus on the right end of the business. You think you’re in the insurance and investments business. You’re really in the marketing business. You have to learn how to market yourself so you can fill your appointment calendar with people who want to meet you. You have to fill your appointment calendar with people that mutually understand the purpose of the appointment is determining if you can do business together. Your instinct is to focus on more product knowledge and the production side of your business, but there is no production until you’re able to generate leads entering your sales funnel through your marketing.

So, you have an appointment now what? You know the way you were shown how to hold an appointment feels awkward and pushy, and doesn’t result in a high percentage of the people you set appointments with doing business with you. So learn how to sell a service. Seek first to understand so you can help your prospects discover why they want to buy. And by being a good listener you’ll help them to discover why they want to buy now. The sales process you have now isn’t working, so learn one that does.

No referrals or no good referrals? Here again the high-pressure tactics you’ve been told to use to get referrals just don’t work. You can’t expect to get a bunch of referrals from a client when the ink isn’t even dry on the paper. You earn referrals through the quality of service you provide, by really connecting with your clients and expanding on the relationship, and by providing them with examples of how you’ve helped people that will trigger their memory. Only you can help yourself succeed, and to do so you’re going to need to look outside your industry for real help that will get you real results.