Home Business Opportunity Seeker – 5 Factors For Success

Are you one home business opportunity seeker among all those who seek a means to start a profitable business? If you answered “Yes” then you’re in luck! In these modern times you can begin a business on a shoestring, while just 10 years ago even $10,000 would have been too little.

However, it’s reasonable to ask “Sure, if it’s really that simple, why aren’t more people doing it?”

There’s no one answer to this question, but the most common is that not everyone knows how to go about it. The “how-to” is the factor that makes the difference between the “wish” and the “success.”

For that reason, not every home business opportunity seeker is able to start a business that earns enough income that they can comfortably quit their job. There are some critical ingredients that need to be mixed into your small business “recipe”, before you can expect to earn high enough returns to meet your goals.

1. Wha type of business

A critical factor is that you have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses prior to deciding what type of business you would prefer to go into, in order to make that extra money. To start with, make two lists: those things that you’re good at, and those that do love doing.

Make your choice based on an evaluation of these two lists.

Let’s suppose that teaching is your talent. You could start a tuition center. But there’s no reason you can’t also use your talents on the Internet. You could offer tutoring services online as well!

2. Investment capital needed

As a novice home business opportunity seeker you should look for a business that requires the lowest investment of capital. In the modern world, it’s much easier to find a business opportunity that suits you, and yet can be started with very little money. Launch a business on the Internet, and check out the Internet for sales leads.

This initial Internet business doesn’t necessarily have to be the same one as your top choice, but it could be the ”gateway” to achieving your ultimate goal. You can use this secondary online business to fund whatever your business of choice is. You can start most Internet businesses for under $100. Some good examples include affiliate businesses, selling e-books, freelance writing, freelancing of any kind, and so on.

3. Amount of effort needed

As a home business opportunity seeker you may experience time limitations that render you unable to give full attention to running your business. You might have a full-time job, or be busy working as a consultant in order to earn some extra money. Therefore, plan your business realistically – so you will avoid disappointment if your business doesn’t take off a soon as you had hoped. Reserve the necessary energy you’ll need to invest in the launching of your business.

4. The break-even point

No matter what your business, the idea – obviously – is to earn income. Be sure to account for how much time, work, and investment you must put into your business before reaching the point where your earnings are meeting your expectations.

5. Part-time or full-time?

Here’s another factor in whether or not you will be successful as a home business opportunity seeker. Will your business be full or part time? The time, effort and funds you spend on the business will very much depend upon this factor.

Top 7 Tips For Business Owners and Managers

None of us have all the answers when it comes to running our own business. It can often be a lonely place, particularly when business is not so good. However, you do not need to go it alone as there are plenty of options for help and advice. It is worth considering one or more of the following tips to help you gain perspective on your business and maybe get a little bit of external help through difficult times.

1. Join a small business network
2. Visit online small business forums
3. Consider getting a management consultant or business coach on your team
4. Invite retired business professionals to sit on your Board
5. Seek a mentor in a larger company to oversee your progress
6. Talk to your small business banking specialist
7. Go it alone but harvest best business practices from article publishing web sites

There are loads of different small business networks out there that are formed to provide a platform for other small business owners, like you, to help each other. The reality is that many businesses will be experiencing the same challenges as you and some of them will have already addressed your particular problems in relation to their own business. Conversely, you will have solved some of the problems that other business owners are experiencing. This sharing of experiences, information and support is hugely beneficial and membership costs are minimal.

Some of us are not joiners by nature and would prefer to avoid breakfast meetings in the early hours of the morning. Therefore, a more suitable option may be to join one or more online small business forums. This can be done on a semi-anonymous basis and you may choose to use the forum as much or as little as you desire. It provides the same type of support as small business networks and can be a bridge to interacting with other business owners with similar challenges to yours.

Hiring a management consultant or business coach does not have to be a hugely expensive endeavour for your business. You can start with a short term contract to have him/her visit with you once per month to act as a sounding board and to help chart your ship through rough waters. If he/she has done work in your industry segment before there is a huge value added component that can be brought to the table.

Many successful retired business people in your area may be chomping at the bit to get involved in something new. After all, there is only so much golf they can play. The value they can bring to your business is enormous and their business connections could transform your business. Talk to some of the retired executives in your locality and invite them to get involved.

Some of the larger businesses in your area may have a strong community spirit and want to give something back to the community. You will know the good ones from local newspapers and magazines. Contact some of them and invite one of their senior executives to work with you as a mentor to your business.

Bankers have a bad name in the current economic climate but there are many specialists dealing with small businesses that have tremendous experience in advising companies like yours on a whole range of business issues. Chances are that they have seen your type of business issues before and can offer advice. This service is usually free.

If your personality type dictates that you still want to go it alone, that is okay. You can simply visit many of the online Ezine websites that offer a diverse range of free articles by business professionals. You can learn many new tricks and perhaps find answers to whatever business issues are facing you.

Positive Cash Flow is the King of Business Success

The number of businesses that fail or never come close to their profit potential is shamefully high and almost always avoidable. Frankly, many business problems are caused by personal problems. If the business owner does a poor job of managing his or her money and time, then they will most likely make similar mistakes in their businesses. However, also contributing to the failures of most businesses is the fact that the vast majority of people, even highly educated ones, are uneducated concerning the foundational principles of business management.

When I say most people are uneducated about business principles, I don’t mean they haven’t heard of some of the principles — I mean they don’t really know how they work. More importantly, they don’t know how to apply them to their own businesses.

It is a lot like our knowledge of open-heart surgery. We have all heard of it, and we may have even seen it performed on TV; but that is about the extent of what we know. That doesn’t make us a heart surgeon any more than being able to throw around some business expressions makes us a business professional.

When a doctor performs open-heart surgery on a patient, there are fundamental principles he understands that must be used if he wants the procedure to be successful. Things like the critical rules of administering the anesthesia, principles of sterilization, pre-operation minimum health standards the patient must have met, just to name a few. The surgeon knows that breaking those basic laws of good surgical practice can literally kill his patient.

Similarly, if you break the laws of business, then the laws of business will break you. However, the opposite is also true. If you obey the laws of business, then small business ownership can also produce tremendous financial rewards.

A surgeon doesn’t get the luxury of insisting that every patient be the perfect candidate for surgery, or that the surgeon be totally rested before every surgery or always having his or her number one choice of anesthesiologist. In a like manner, it is not essential that all of the following principles of good business be used in every type of business in order for that business to succeed.

Fortunately, we have much more control over designing the ideal working environment for our business than a surgeon has over all the laws of good surgical practice. For example, the surgeon has virtually zero control over the general health of his surgical patient.

In business, we have a lot of control over the general health of our own business. The more of the key business principles we can engineer into our businesses, the higher the probability for success, and possibly even exceptional success.

There are six key principles of good business that I would like to focus on. My plan is to cover all six in this and future articles. However, this article is focused on the most important of those principles:

Principle #1: Positive Cash Flow

The lack of Positive Cash Flow is the #1 cause of business failure. Almost everyone knows that, but very few people know what it really means. Let me make sure you understand precisely what I mean by the term “Positive Cash Flow”. It doesn’t mean making a profit. It means that the income that comes in this month will be more than your expenses that you pay out this month.

Well… that sounds like profit, but it isn’t. This is an absolutely essential concept for any business owner to understand. Please read this one section several times if you find it necessary to grasp this concept. You could stay in business for years and make a good living without ever earning one dime of profit, but you must have positive cash flow.

In contrast, you could make good profits, but fail in business in less than a year because of negative cash flow. Let me demonstrate positive cash flow and profit so you can better understand how they impact business success and failure. Let’s suppose you spent $5,000 just to get started in a new business. Let’s further assume you borrowed all of the money from a “Visa” credit card.

If your required minimum payment to “Visa” is $200 each month, then you have a “Positive Cash Flow” just as soon as your business generates $201 each month. In this simple example, I am pretending that your only expense was the $200 payment to Visa for the $5,000 you borrowed, and that you don’t have other common expenses, like phone expense, etc.

Even though you have a positive cash flow of $1 for the month, you wouldn’t actually be profitable until you paid off the $5,000 credit card loan. Some of you might be thinking, “what if someone takes the $5,000 out of savings instead of borrowing”. The concept is the same, but the numbers would be different. You still won’t be profitable until you have paid yourself back the original $5,000 YOU loaned your business.

However, it would take less revenue or income from your business to produce a “Positive Cash Flow” if you didn’t have to borrow at high interest. If you could pull the money out of savings, you only have to make up for the interest you lost on your savings. This would usually be much less interest than you would have to cover by borrowing from a credit card.

In short, if you borrow money from your “Visa” card to invest in your business and the money produces even one penny over and above what you must pay to “visa” each month, then that is a positive cash flow. In contrast, if you invest the $5,000 in your business and it doesn’t bring in but $25 a month, then when you pay “Visa” $200 each month, you have to find the $175 shortfall from somewhere.

That shortfall is called “Negative Cash Flow” and it is the single largest destroyer of businesses, both new and old. Having a negative cash flow doesn’t mean you are “Losing” money. You can actually be making money and have a negative cash flow.

Let me demonstrate by comparing two new business owners who open identical businesses on the same day. Owner #1, we’ll call her Sally, borrows $5,000 from a bank for three years at very reasonable rates of interest. Sally’s business produces $175 revenue in her first month, so she is able to pay the bank the $160 payment on her loan and she has a positive cash flow of $15 for the month.

Note: Keep in mind that each month she pays the bank, she is actually reducing the $5,000 loan. At the end of 36 months, if everything remained exactly the same, she would have $175 a month positive cash flow. If she had no other expenses, having paid off the $5,000 loan, then she would also have $175 a month profit.

Let’s now consider Owner #2. Bob borrowed his money from a loan shark who charged 35% interest, instead of the 10% the bank charged Sally. Let’s assume that Bob actually produces more revenue than Sally. He has $200 revenue his first month. However, he has a negative cash flow of about $30 because he has to pay the loan shark $230 for the month.

Well, if Bob was in such bad shape financially that he had to borrow money from a loan shark just to start his business, then where is Bob going to get the $30 additional money to pay the loan shark? Obviously that is a simple and exaggerated example of the difference between positive and negative cash flow, but I hope you get the point. Positive Cash Flow is King. Without it, we will all fail in business.

Even though Bob’s business actually produced more revenue than Sally’s, he will actually fail while she succeeds. He won’t fail because he didn’t have a good business. He will fail because he paid such high interest that he didn’t gain the leverage that Sally got from her bank loan.

When people invest a few thousand or a few hundred dollars to start a new business, most of them realize it will take some time to pay that money back to themselves or to whoever they borrowed it from. However, the thing that many folks don’t anticipate is having to go for months with a negative cash flow.

The tragedy is that many people quit before they even had a chance to succeed, simply because they weren’t financially prepared and/or emotionally prepared to pay more money out than they were taking in, for several months or longer.

A Side Note: Many destroy their businesses because their PERSONAL finances are in such terrible shape that their business is forced to quickly produce more positive cash flow than it is capable of.

Unless a new business owner really understands how businesses develop, it will be very hard for them to spend more money than they take in month after month without assuming their business is a bad business. Frequently new business owners begin a business without enough money or emotional commitment to hang in there for a minimum of a year, or more, with negative cash flow.

A very common mistake, especially among people who get involved in network, affiliate or multilevel marketing is they expect to make money very quickly. They look at their new business more like a part time job, than a part time business. Starting a new business does not work that way. Starting a new business is not a job with payment for time worked. It is an investment with delayed benefits.

You may have to develop your business for months before producing your first dime of revenue and even more months before your incoming revenue actually exceeds your outgoing monthly expenses. However, the potential rewards can far outweigh the costs. Whatever you do, Do NOT start a business unless you have the emotional and financial resources to give it a fair chance to succeed.

This doesn’t mean you have to have the money in the bank, but it does mean you either have the money or the ability to borrow the money in order to keep you in business long enough to succeed, Your ability to “stick it out” is what will protect your initial investment of time and money.

If you aren’t prepared to backup your decision to start a business with reasonable time and money in order to give yourself adequate time to succeed, then you will probably join the countless others who failed because they never gave themselves or their businesses a fair chance.