Help, My Home Based Business is not Making Money

21 03 2010

If you have a home based business, what do you do when your core products or service does not produce the income you used to recognize?   The first thing you would probably do is to check and see if you are doing anything differently from when you first started your home based business.

If you have been growing your home based business over years, with luck you will find that you have changed what you used to do in reply to market pressures.  But, if now you find that all the things you had done no longer work and you are not making money, it is time to go back to the drawing board to determine what needs to change.  You should not change your business plan for change sake.  If you do not know why your business is falling off, you should not just make changes willy-nilly.  You need to sit down and determine what is not selling and try to identify the why the sales are falling off.

Are your products or services a one-time purchase, or are they a consumable item?  If they are a one-time purchase item, have you saturated your market?  Does everyone in your area already have your product?  If so, take a look at what you are willing to do to expand your market area to obtain new customers.   One way to do this may be to offer existing customers a rebate or gift card.  You may want to ask your existing customer base to refer your products to their friends and acquaintances.  In doing that, keep in mind, customers will not usually offer referrals unless there is something in it for them.  Before you start offering rebates or gift cards, find out from your customers what they want.

You need to understand what your customers want from your and your products before you can even begin to meet their needs.  Just because you think that you have an awesome product, does not mean the majority of people out there agree with you.  You might want to have a little survey card for your customers to complete so that you can be sure you are meeting their needs.  There may be times where you think you know what your customers want, but after collecting survey data, you may be shocked by what your customer base wants.  You won’t know unless you have the courage to ask. 

Most customers will appreciate offering suggestions to improve your services.   You need to be honest in asking them for information.  If you ask questions and then don’t implement any of the suggestions, your customers will stop providing useful information.  Instead of providing a survey, you may want to talk with your customers to determine what is going on in their life.   You don’t want to be nosey, but you want to know what their concerns and issues are.  Not only may you find out what is going on with your particular product, but you may discover an untapped market that you could add to your business arsenal.  Is there an opportunity that you may have the tools to solve for your customers?  Again, keep in mind that your products and services need to benefit the customer, not just you. 

If your products are consumable, how often do customers come back to purchase from you?  Are your sales falling off because a competitor has come into your area?  Was your product a “Fad” type item (like pet rocks…)?  Has the fad run it’s course?  Has some report or study come out that places your product in a negative light?  You will have to look around to determine why your sales are decreasing.  Again, if possible, ask your customers if they have found a similar item somewhere else.  This can be a touchy way to find out, but sometimes your customers may have wanted to tell you but weren’t sure how to approach you… 

We have found that if you have developed a relationship with your customers, even if they find a similar and less expensive product elsewhere, they will tell you because they trust you and like you.  They may even provide a lead for you to purchase those products at a lesser cost to you.  You won’t know if you don’t ask.

If you would like to discuss this issue more with us, please contact us via e-mail at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.  If you are interested in other income opportunities, please visit our website

Next week we will continue this discussion to include changing or modifying your product line to suit your customers changing needs.

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