What if I could almost guarantee your success as a home-based business owner? No gimmicks or crap to buy, just some key things you can do to ensure success.
I’m always asked what it takes to succeed as a home-based business owner. Though there aren’t any real guarantees in life, there are proven steps you can take, to make sure you get as close to a hit as possible. When fishing, if you use the right bait, are in a relatively good spot, and you keep casting, you will catch a fish. In golf, if a coach shows you how to improve your swing, and you continually do the work, you will improve your game. This is what I mean by guaranteed success.
The Four Key Ingredients
I’ve work with, talked to, and helped a lot of home-based business owners over the years. Every one that was successful had these core ingredients. Some would include others, but these four where common to all of them. On the other hand, almost all of the folks who came to me after having a bad go of it with a business were missing one or more of them. If you’ve heard it before, that’s great – and not surprising. A common theme among coaches, personal development gurus, motivational speakers, success writers, and entrepreneurs is not reinventing the wheel. Take the same steps others have to reach success, throw in your own special views and skills, and you end up with your own success – on your own terms.
The First Ingredient – Your Passion
If you don’t care about something, then there’s no point in doing it. It’s just a chore, like scrubbing the toilet or cleaning the gutters. Starting and running a business of any kind is hard work. It’s the passion about your chosen field or niche that will help you get through the tough stuff. The excitement and enthusiasm that comes from following your passion, helps drive success.
As a bonus, it also makes sales and marketing, much easier. John Jantsch’s from Duct Tape Marketing says “Marketing is the voice of your passion:”
The most successful small business owners I have encountered have two things in common – they are passionate about what they do and they effectively use marketing to spread this passion.
You may have more than one passion. That’s fine. Just make sure whatever business you focus on is based on at least one of them.
The Second Ingredient – Your Gifts
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are currently (as of this writing) about 6.5 billion people in the world. And what’s astounding to me, is each has their own unique gifts – talents, skills, genius, and view of the world. The key is to use those gifts unique to you to build your business. If you don’t know what you’re good at, ask someone close to you. Chances are they know it very well. Also look at what other people are constantly asking you for help with. If you weren’t good at it, then they wouldn’t ask. Another way is sit down with some quiet time and a sheet of paper and list all the things you do better than anyone you know. Now’s not the time to be modest or self-editing. Write everything, even if it seems insignificant.
One misconception I see a lot is that if you’re good at something, then you should only do that. That’s why it’s so important to make sure the passion element is paired with your gifts. It’s the sum total of your talent, skills, and way of looking at and interacting with the world that make up your gifts. Passion is the “why” and your gifts are the “how.”
The Third Ingredient – Your Value
Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” – Brian Tracy
If what you’re offering doesn’t benefit someone in some way, you won’t have a business for very long. Passion and gifts aren’t enough to build a business on. You have to provide value to others.
There’s something liberating about taking the focus off of you, and putting on to the “world out there.” By looking at your venture as a way to be of service to others and provide people with something beneficial, your perspective changes. You are here to contribute, and by doing so, you ensure that your business will thrive.
I think most people know in their gut if what they’re providing is of any real value. But if you aren’t sure, ask around. Call up some friends and acquaintances, take them to lunch or for coffee, and talk to them about what you intend to do. Maybe even offer them a free sample to get some feedback (and possibly a testimonial). You’ll know pretty quickly if you have a winner.
The Fourth Ingredient – Your Plan
The final ingredient, and the one that ties them all together, is planning. You won’t know where you’re going, or if you’ve gotten there, without a map. I’m not talking about a formal business plan, unless that’s something you feel you need. Just some basic written goals and plans – who you are, what you’ll be doing, who your customers are, how much you plan to make, how much you need to make.
Take all the things you’ve accumulated while researching your business, and wrap them into a cohesive plan. Start with some simple basic strategies, and then if necessary, flesh out any larger plans. Be sure to get input and feedback from the rest of your household. As a home-based business, your family are your investors and stakeholders, and need to be treated as such.
Building a successful home-based business takes time and work. In order to ensure you’re not just wasting your time, evaluate what it is you are doing. Look at what inspires you, what you do well, what you can offer, and how you can do it, and build your venture around that. Follow the map of those who are already succeeding, and you can (almost) guarantee your own success.