Failure to Plan

31 08 2010

As the economy continues to decline and more people find themselves out of a regular job, many people look to alternative methods for earning an income.  Many great business opportunities are born in hard economic times, but on the flip side, there are many people out there who would take advantage of desperate people looking to earn a living.  If you have the drive and ambition, now is a great time to get into your own home based business, but one of the largest problems many of these new entrepreneurs face is a failure to plan.

Just because you find this fantastic business opportunity and someone tells you that you can earn millions at it does not mean you do not plan your new business venture.  Do not allow anyone to tell you that planning is not necessary, that all you have to do is to follow their example.  Someone, at some point in time made a plan for that particular business opportunity and you should make a plan for yours also.  In prior posts we talked at length about developing and implementing your business plan, and that is absolutely critical, even if you are entering a business opportunity that others have succeeded in.  If you did create a business plan, in order to be truly successful, you must follow that plan. Why did you go through the exercise of creating a business plan, doing all that strategic planning, if you had no intention of following what you developed?

There are several reasons why some business opportunities may never come to fruition, one, which seems to be a favorite of many who start a home-based business, is taking a dart-board approach to generating sales.  Many people who start home based business opportunities will not have a specific plan on how to generate the sales in order to obtain the income they desire.  They will try one approach, try another, and continue trying without any specific rhyme or reason to why they tried and discarded the plans.  This will not only kill any enthusiasm you may have, but it will also undermine your belief that the business opportunity you entered into was a sound idea.  Heck, they may not even have identified a specific sales amount to achieve.   If you begin one sales approach, make sure it was one that you have outlined in your business plan, and then, if it is not productive, review why it did not produce the results you desired and identify possible adjustments to the plan before discarding it and starting on another plan.

When you built your business plan, you should have identified several programs for generating sales.  Those programs you identified should have had specific and measurable goals so that once implemented, you could identify where the failures occurred.  Jumping from one plan to another in a willy-nilly fashion will not allow you to build sales momentum, nor will it be repeatable for any other people you would want involved in the sales process.  If you quickly start and discard sales plans without any specific road-map, you are doing both yourself and your customer a major disservice.

By not planning your sales process, you will have no idea why certain ideas did or didn’t work.  Without measurable and strategic goals, you will never know if the sales process was successful.  For example, I had worked for a company that believed their customers were dissatisfied with a particular segment of the sales process.  There was no real basis for this belief other than a few stray comments and a “gut feeling”.  Before we changed the sales process, we implemented some strategic measurements and sent out a set of standardized questions to our existing customer base.  What we discovered is that the initial process was not broken, but another step along the sales plan was definitely not working properly.

If we had immediately changed what we believed to be wrong, just based on a gut instinct, we would have further alienated our customer base and not corrected the true sales problem.  The key is to plan your process, make the process measurable, identify benchmarks, and most importantly follow and review the plan regularly.  A failure to plan on your part could very easily put your whole business in jeopardy.

Next week we will continue this discussion and review some other pitfalls in strategic planning.

If you are looking for a business opportunity to provide you a second or additional income, please feel free to check out our website.  We may have an opportunity that meets your needs.  If you have questions regarding building your business plan, please feel free to contact me, I am more than willing to assist and provide some alternate solutions.

Until next week…

Capitalizing on the Stem Cell Media Frenzy

18 08 2010

Everyone is aware of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells – those from unborn fetuses.  But not everyone is aware that adult stem cells – those that are naturally present in the body from the moment you are born – can become virtually any cell in the body. In essence they are the body’s natural renewal system; in fact recent scientific data shows that more circulating adult stem cells equate to greater health and wellness.

In a major development in the area of natural adult stem cell renewal, a peer-reviewed clinical study showed that consuming 2 capsules of a patented concentrate of the aqua-botanical Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) gave rise to an average 25% increase in the number of circulating adult stem cells.

How Stem Cells Work

This study has enormous implications because through the body’s natural mechanisms, stem cells circulate to areas where they are needed to support the natural renewal process. By giving rise to an increase in circulating stem cells, the AFA concentrate therefore supports the body’s natural ability to rebuild, renew and rejuvenate.  The implications are significant – when used as a daily supplement, the circulation of millions of additional stem cells in the bloodstream could be one of the most important ways for maintaining optimal health that science has yet discovered!

Everyone could potentially benefit from this patented AFA concentrate … everyone from young to older and especially those who engage in sports, whether serious athletes or occasional weekend warriors. The significance of stem cell support to athletes is that by supporting our body’s natural renewal system, we are able to support the natural process of recovery from exercise to build strength and stamina.

An eye-opening example is that of an athlete in the male 65-year-old category at the United States Track and Field Masters games who ran the mile in 5.12 seconds and shattered a 35 year old age group record. He credits the AFA concentrate as the reason he was able to achieve this feat, in addition to winning several gold metals in other events. Another example is that of a college student athlete who has been able to break through plateaus in strength training after incorporating the AFA concentrate into his regimen. In fact many athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors credit the AFA concentrate with their success.

There is no question about the value of tapping into the power of our own adult stem cells, and the AFA concentrate is supported by scientific evidence so it’s definitely worth a try. Entrepreneurial types should also consider the marketing opportunities provided by this unique, first-to-market stem cell support product.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and any products mentioned, while supported by science, are not intended to diagnose, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.

Now is the time to get involved in Stem Cell Nutrition.  You will be capitalizing on the Stem Cell Media Frenzy.  Because of all the news, you get essentially free advertising.  Stem Cell Nutrition is a new field, with scientific studies backing what we have seen.  This will be the next wave of health nutrition.  If you are interested in obtaining more information on this incredible business opportunity, please review this video.  If you are interested in our Stem Cell Nutritional products, please check out our website.   We are also always available for questions if you wish to e-mail us.

Balancing time with home based business

9 08 2010

Time is something that once wasted can never be recovered.  It is a fact of life.  No matter how hard you wish, there will not be more than 24 hours (and a few minutes) in a day.  Therefore, when you start your own home based business, time is a huge factor in what you do and when you do it.  Your passion for your new business venture will help you build and grow your new home based business, but if you do not take time out for other issues, you will probably not be completely successful.

Most people will start a home based business while working a current job (did you know that J.O.B also means Just Over Broke?).  This way there is no sudden drop in income flow, and you have the financial backing (the bank of YOU) to get the home based business up and running.  The problem is, your personal life can suffer, especially if you are already working long hours at the regular J.O.B..  Then you ask yourself, when do you carve out the time to get your personal business going?  Then, when do you personally get some version of rest?  As you are probably aware, when you are working for someone else, you are trading your valuable time for their money.  Not always a good trade, but it does usually get the bills paid.   More people are looking to ways of earning a second income stream now.  With multiple streams of income, you will stand a better chance of success, especially if your main J.O.B. is terminated.

The key is to find ways to balance your time so that you do not seriously neglect your family and personal life while starting up your home based business.  You also do not want to impact your current job and have that terminate too early.   It is very difficult to balance your already precious time, but if you want to be financially free, you have to make some sacrifices.  This article will hopefully provide some suggestions on how to mitigate those sacrifices so they don’t hurt those around you too much.

Many of us, when we start-up our own home based businesses will have a tendency to want to work 7 days a week, all hours of the day and night.  This will not do you, your family or your current job any good at all.  One helpful idea can be to include your whole family in your new business venture. It is a home-based business, right?, so include everyone if it is feasible.  If your family is also somewhat invested in what they are doing, your business can really sprout wings and fly.  If you have young children, having them help in some aspect of the business process can help them to learn good work ethics and the value of money.

Be sure to also take at least one day off for yourself.  No matter how much your new business idea may be burning a hole in your mind, you need to give both your mind and your body a rest.  Get away from your home based business venture for at least a day.  By getting away from it, you will return to it with a clearer perspective and possibly discover on opportunity or solution to a problem you had not seen before.   Taking that day off is like taking a mental health day.  Every human body needs to take a break.  Do something fun with the family, or just go out and do something that you really, really enjoy.

When you are balancing your regular J.O.B. with your new business, set a schedule for yourself.  You have a schedule set for your job, so why not do the same thing for your home business?  This way, when you are clear about what needs to be done, you will reduce the tendency to do too much in one day, and you will reduce the chance of burn-out.  As you set the schedule, be sure your priorities are well-defined.  Remember there will always be another crisis to solve.

If you are looking for second income opportunities, please check out our website.  We may have something that will work well with your current lifestyle.   We will always encourage questions and suggestions.

Until next week…

Turning Business Plans into Action Plans-Part 2

28 06 2010

Last week we continued talking about moving from a Business Plan to an Action Plan.  We talked about how I went from researching the Waterless Technology business opportunity to working the opportunity for income and profit.  This was one of the most exciting and frightening times of my life.  Here I was planning on quitting my job, one I had been working at for over 12 years and going into a business for myself, but not by myself.  I was scared beyond belief, but also looking forward to the challenge of turning all the business theories into action. 

We did not just have one plan of attack on working the Waterless Business once I quit my job.  We had identified several options on where the business would go once I started working it full-time.  Our primary plan was to travel the country, following the motorcycle rally circuit most of the year in order to demonstrate the product, detail motorcycles and promote the business. 

Booth at Arkansas HOG Rally

This basic Business Plan had worked for Steve for several years, and our plan was to develop the rally schedule and include larger rallies along with larger booth space in order to gain a bigger foot-print and better profits.  We created a basic budget for maximum amounts to spend on booth space at a rally and also factored in the costs of getting to and from the rallies.  As we were growing, we identified how many individual units of product we must sell before we cleared our booth and travel expenses.  We also started looking at numbers of attendees and started some statistical tracking of the various events to determine if they were a reasonable risk.

We made sure to identify in both the Business and Action Plans that all rallies are risky.  You can predict several items, like attendance, but you cannot predict weather, or local economic conditions.  You can guesstimate rally attendance based on past rally performances; you can talk to other vendors to determine if they have participated in this particular event in the past and if it was profitable for them.  Not all, actually, many will not give you a straight answer so the next best question if you are unsure if this particular rally will be good for you is to find out how many vendors there will be and how many are there for the first time.  We get nervous if we found a rally where the majority of vendors were there for the first time.  Unless it is the first year for a particular rally, you should not have more than 25% new vendors.  If you have more than that number of new vendors, you need to start asking serious questions about why there are so few returning vendors or why there are so many new vendors.  There may be legitimate reasons for both, but these are questions that need to be asked of the promoter or any vendors if you can contact them.  Another very important question to ask is how many vendors will be at the event and if any of them are offer the same type of products and services you have to offer. 

There is no greater disappointment and frustration as arriving at a rally to discover that there are several other vendors who also offer similar or identical products or services as you.  Unless the rally or event pulls in hundreds of thousands of participants, there is a high likelihood that your profits will suffer as duplication of products and services increases.   Luckily, not many people are involved in promoting Waterless Technology Cleaning products at many motorcycle rallies

Until next week…

Turning your Business Plan into an ACTION Plan

21 06 2010

Beginning Booth Display

In the last few weeks we have had an ongoing discussion on why I wanted to start a business and what I have been doing to prepare to start a business.  As you are all  most likely aware, you can research to your heart’s content, you can ask millions of questions, but eventually you are going to have to actually decide turn your Business Plan into an Action Plan.  All the research and learning in the world is not going to make you a dime until you finally decide to put action behind your business opportunity. 

I finally applied action to the business plan.  Even though I was actively helping work the business, it was time for me to spread my wings and to get actively involved in the business opportunity.  My first business, and my strongest business to date is in the Waterless Cleaning Technology field.  So, I finally put my money where my mouth is and started my own Waterless Technology business.  Actually, to say I started my own business is not entirely accurate.  As I had been working with Steve over the last 6 months, we decided to pool our resources and really focus on building the Waterless Technology business into new heights. 

What we initially did after I got financially involved was to develop our basic business plan.  That was interesting because Steve had been doing this business for many years before I arrived on the scene, and he didn’t have anything written down.  Everything was in his head.  We had quite a number of discussions and plans that I wanted documented and he saw as a waste of time.  Our differences in conducting and developing a business plan may have hurt other partnerships, but for us, the differences made our business plan and action plan stronger and better.  Steve is basically the idea man, I became the person behind the scenes that made sure all the “i’s” were dotted and “t’s” crossed and took the step back to make sure the Business Plan and subsequent Action Plan really made sense.  I also started looking critically at how we were presenting ourselves to the public and worked on creating our corporate identity. 

Early Booth Display

I continued to work full-time while working the Waterless business in the evenings and on weekends.  I talked to all my co-workers at the job and got several of them interested in the waterless products.  A few were interested in the opportunity too, but were too uncertain to take that extra step.  They wanted to watch me succeed before they were willing to go out on a limb.  Can’t say that I blamed them, still don’t blame them because if you think about it, I didn’t just jump into a business opportunity cold, I had Steve to work with and teach me the ropes.  The difference was that once we created a business plan and implemented the plan, our Waterless Technology business began to flourish even more.  We were then able to start focusing on when I would quit my regular “job” and focus on building our Waterless Wash  business full-time.

Until next week…

How do I Start a Business?

14 06 2010

Last week we briefly talked about what in the world I was thinking when I wanted to start a business?  Starting a business can be a frightening, exciting, terrifying, fun experience.  I would like to think that starting a business is like riding a roller coaster.  You want to do it, then when you get to the front of the line, just about stepping into the actual roller coaster car, you begin to wonder what in the world you were thinking.  Are you crazy to start a business?  What is wrong with your current job, really?  Why do you want to experience all the stress in starting a business? 

Then you get into the roller coaster and it starts the initial climb up that first, really big hill.  That is when your heart starts racing with anticipation, excitement and fear.  That is exactly what it feels like when you find an opportunity that you want to build into a personal business.  You are thrilled about finding the business opportunity that fits your passion, it looks good on paper, and there is a potential to making some really good money.  Now the million dollar question is, what do I do to start a business?  How do I start a business?

What I did was to find someone who was willing to allow me to work with them before I invested any money into the opportunity.  By finding someone who was willing to do that, in my eyes, means that the opportunity has to be pretty good… and more importantly, legitimate.  Remember, I was still working my regular job, working about 60+ hours a week.  My frustration with my current situation was that I had minimal upward mobility, I was limited by my bosses, and it was difficult to earn more money even if I put in the extra hours of work.  Salaried workers can work 30 hours or 60 hours and earn the exact same amount at the end of the week.  I was already working insane hours and not getting the additional compensation, despite the prior promises of increases.  Frankly, I was tired of empty promises and wanted to change those extra hours of work into something that would benefit me financially.  So, time to start looking into starting a business.

I started working with someone who had what appeared (again, looks can be deceiving, so I wasn’t about to believe everything I was told) to be a thriving Waterless Wash business.  He would attend various motorcycle shows over the weekends and detail cars, trucks, boats, RV’s and motorcycles during the week.  Since I worked during the week, I had little opportunity to observe his detailing operation, but I did make it a point to attend the various rallies and shows he attended over the weekends.  At the shows, I had the opportunity to find out how much it cost him to get a booth space, observe the other costs involved in operating the booth, and then observe how he sold products and services to the people attending the events.

I attended as many rallies as was possible in 6 months while working my regular job.  You can bet I was getting very tired because I had very little time to rest between the regular work and my attending the weekend events.  The good news is that weekend events do not occur every weekend, so I did have a few weeks off.  The next question about this particular opportunity was, can you make a living doing this.  I could see that the shows were generally profitable, on several occasions, very profitable, but could I make the money I was currently earning by selling Waterless Cleaning Technology

Lets see what happens next week…

What was I thinking starting a business?

9 06 2010

What was I thinking starting a business?

What was I thinking when I wanted to start a small business and quit my regular job?  I look back now and sometimes that same question still runs through my head.   As you may be working a regular job and getting insanely frustrated with the quantity of work, lack of upward mobility and lack of money, you start thinking about how good it could be to start your own small business.  Starting a business is not a bad idea, and a lot of work and preparation needs to be done before you actually “pull the plug” on your current paying job.

What I did over 5 years ago, was start looking into what type of home-based business I wanted to engage in.  As you are well aware, there are hundreds upon hundreds of business opportunities out there.  Many of them are essentially one-night stands, but there are many legitimate business opportunities to be found.  The key is to locate the opportunity that not only will bring in money to supplement and/or replace what you are currently making, but to also find an opportunity that you are passionate about.  Easier said than done.

Passion about what you have to offer will go a long way to helping you grow your business.  If you are not passionate about what you are offering, it will be hard for you to put in the extra hours to start your business and get it up and running.  Honestly, I was very sceptical of all the opportunities that were out there.  How could any of these business opportunities make me millions?  The hype sounds great, the numbers look great, then you have to look at who and how many people are truly successful in that particular industry. 

It is so hard to separate the hype from the reality of the particular business opportunity.  If you talk to people in the opportunity you are interested in, they will most likely tell you that they are doing fine and business is great.  It is extremely rare that you would find someone who would even hint that the business was not all that it was cracked up to be.  So, the research and work falls on your shoulders.  The problem is of course, if you are trying to get ahead, you probably don’t have a lot of time to do all that legwork and research needed before you leap into that business opportunity.  I heard so many horror stories about people getting into businesses only to either not get product or not get paid, that I really was worried about starting a business.  The biggest problem was I had little capital to invest and even less time.  My rules for finding an appropriate business was:  the cost of entry had to be low, the product cost had to be reasonable yet the products had to be high quality and I had to be able to make money even if I didn’t sign up tons of people to work under me.

What I did, which may sound crazy to some, is to decide to work with one of the people actually in the opportunity.  I did not sign up for the opportunity initially, refused to actually.  I wanted to get some real-hands-on experience with the products and services before I would even put a dollar towards that particular opportunity.  It took some effort to find someone willing to allow me to work with them (actually assist them) but it was well worth the effort.  By actually going with them to the events, watching them work the business, watching them interact with people and watching the money come in or not, well, that was worth millions in my book.  One of my passions is saving the environment, so when I found a business that did help the environment and could also theoretically help me to replace my current income, I then looked for someone I could work with to verify that this was a good idea both financially and in product.  The product line I fell in love with was a Waterless Car Wash

Next week we will continue talking about what I was thinking to see if this was the right business to get into