The fields of mail order selling, multi-level marketing, and
in-home party sales have never been more popular. If any of
these kinds of extra income producing ideas appeal to you, then
you owe it to yourself to check them out. But these aren't the
only fields of endeavor you can start and operate from home,
with little or no investment, and learn as you go.
If you type, you can start a home-based typing service; if you
have a truck or have access to a trailer, you can start a
clean-up/hauling service. Simply collecting old newspapers from
your neighbors can get you started in the paper recycling
business. More than a few enterprising housewifes have found
success and fortune by starting home and/or apartment cleaning
services. If you have a yard full of flowers, you can make good
extra money by supplying fresh cut flowers to restaurants and
offices in your area on a regular basis. You might turn a
ceramics hobby into a lucrative personalized coffee mug
business. What I'm saying is that in reality, there's literally
no end to the ways you can start and operate a profitable extra
income business from your home.
The first thing you must do, however, is some basic market
research. Find out for yourself, first-hand, just how many
people there are in your area who are interested in your
proposed product or service, and would be "willing to stand in
line and pay money for it". This is known as defining your
market and pinpointing your customers. If after checking
around, talking about your idea with a whole lot of people over
a period of one to three months, you get the idea that these
people would be paying customers, your next effort should be
directed toward the "detailing" of your business plan. The more
precise and detailed your plan - covering all the bases relating
to how you'll do everything that needs to be done - the easier
it's going to be for you to attain success. Such a plan should
show you start-up investment needs, your advertising plan, your
production costs and procedure, your sales program, and how your
time will be allocated. Too often, enthusiastic and ambitious
entrepreneur jump in on an extra income project and suddenly
find that the costs are beyond their abilities, and the time
requirements more than they can meet. It pays to lay it all out
on paper before you get involved, and the clearer you can "see"
everything before you start, the better your chances for success.
Now, assuming you've got your market targeted, you know who your
customers are going to be and how you're going to reach them
with your product or service. And you have all your costs as
well as time requirements itemized. The next step is to set
your plan in motion and start making money.
Here is the most important "secret" of all, relating to starting
and building a profitable home-based business, so read very
carefully. Regardless of what kind of business you start, you
must have the capital and the available time to sustain your
business through the first six months of operation.
Specifically, you must not count on receiving or spending any
money coming in from your business on yourself or for your bills
during those first six months. All the income from your
business during those first six months should be reinvested in
your business in order for it to grow and reach your planned
first year potential.
Once you've passed that first six months milestone, you can set
up a small monthly salary for yourself, and begin enjoying the
fruits of your labor. But the first six months of operation for
any business are critical, so do not plan to use any of the
money you business generates for yourself during that period.
If you've got your business plan properly organized, and have
implemented the plan, you should at the end of your first year
be able to begin thinking about hiring other people to alleviate
some of your workload. Remember this: Starting a successful
business is not a means towards either a job for yourself or a
way to keep busy. It should be regarded as the beginning of an
enterprise that will grow and prosper, with you as the top dog.
Eventually, you'll have other people doing all the work for you,
even running the entire operation, while you vacation in the
Bahamas or Hawaii and collect or receive regular income from
your initial efforts.
For more details on market research, business planning,
advertising, selling, order fulfillment, and other aspects of
home-based businesses, check with the distributor from whom you