Saturday, September 11, 2010

Part-time home business: 3 keys to high performance

You may be the classic 'serial entrepreneur' with several irons in the fire, hard-wired to look for new opportunities that leverage your creativity, work ethic, and people skills.

Or, you may be a cautious career professional looking for additional income streams to improve your bottom line or provide a hedge for the future.

In any case, the attractive qualities of any successful home-based business:
  • low entry costs
  • low overhead
  • time flexibility
are also what make these opportunities a good fit when they are only one of several priorities to be managed. Choosing a home business that truly performs well with a part-time focus is the challenge.

Here are 3 keys for choosing a home-based business that will realistically and consistently deliver the results that meet your goals for a part-time endeavor.
  1. Does the business generate passive residual income? Passive income is not directly dependent on your efforts, in contrast to most hourly and professional jobs where, if you don't work, you don't get paid. Residual income continues to pay you over time in connection with an initial, up-front effort. In reputable network marketing businesses, for example, your income is derived from both yours and your team's efforts. Stock market and real estate investments are other examples of passive residual income. Choosing a home-based business that generates reliable passive residual income, especially one that offers increased leverage as you grow it, will help ensure the 'part-time-ness' of your commitment.
  2. What is the minimum weekly time commitment, what activities are involved, is the time scheduled or flexible? Based on credible examples, or your own analysis of what is required, determine if the business performs well at 5, 10, 20 hours per week. If the successful examples are all working the business 30 to 50 hours per week, you should adjust your expectations if you can only commit to 10 hours per week. Also, are the activities ones with which you are effective? What is the mix of marketing, order and inventory management, customer education and support, and recruiting? Is there a long or short up-to-speed process? Are you in control of when you commit your time each week? Are you expected to attend meetings or trainings at particular times, or is the business largely a matter of completing tasks on your own schedule?
  3. What is the amount and quality of the help available to build the business? If an opportunity is presented as a do-it-yourself business-in-a-box, evaluate closely whether that has worked for others, and if the up-to-speed time investment is what you can live with. Will that type of business scale up to the size you envision through just your efforts, and those you recruit, or will you also benefit from the activities of the larger team?

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