Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What are you selling with your at-home business?

You know what your prospects buy when they become your customers. But is that what you are selling with your at-home business?

Successful small business owners agree that you -- and the value you bring as a solution-provider -- get as much scrutiny as your product details or pricing in your prospect's evaluation of your offer. This is especially true with direct selling businesses such as network marketing opportunities.

An old adage from the network marketing industry goes: "features tell, benefits sell." The new at home business owner has to overcome the temptation to major on the feature details and potentially gloss over the prospects real interest -- the benefits or value they will receive for doing business with you.

Expanding on this principle, you could say, "products tell, people sell". You are the most-valuable asset of your at-home business. Here are some examples of why:
  • Your prospect is wired toward valuing the person-to-person aspects of your transaction. Artists know this principle. Even the most exquisitely-depicted city scene or landscape, has an instantly deeper (if unconscious) appeal to the viewer if there is even a small representation of a human figure in the scene.
  • How your prospect assesses you is strongly connected with how likely they are to have ongoing relationship with you, and thus do future business with you. More so than the features of your product in many cases.
  • A large-population, long-term study of employees by the Gallup organization identified that relationship factors, such as manager-employee relationships, were more significant in affecting job satisfaction than salary. Again, your prospect has a built-in value around relating with you in a positive way that impacts their satisfaction with your business.
Your at-home business will have no revenue if you have no products, of course. But the successful entrepreneur knows that without leveraging your relationship with customers as a solution provider, you have no future.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Review: 4 Hot Ideas for Starting a Small Business

Genesis: (n) "coming into being."

The mighty oak tree needs many things to grow to its full potential. But none of the growth takes place without a viable, healthy seed -- the acorn.

The seed of your small business determines a lot about how well, and how quickly, your business will grow. And how well it achieves your goals for the business.

This short article on ideas for starting your small business, "Starting a Small Business - 4 Hot Small Business Ideas", focuses entirely on this critical starting point stage.

Part of a series on small business topics, the author uses a conversation-starter style to get the reader to think about how wide the range can be of potentially successful small business concepts. While the four ideas discussed are pretty unrelated to each other, they all involve low-startup, flexible operation qualities that are well-suited to the small business entrepreneur who needs to start as a home-based enterprise.

The article is a quick read and useful thought-starter for the entrepreneur who is just beginning the 'homework' phase of starting a small business, or exploring new ideas for additional business opportunities.