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For many would-be home based entrepreneurs, it’s the start-up that stops them from achieving success. While many can work through the process of deciding the business to start and even creating a plan, the actual launch or initial stages of the start-up create challenges so great, that many quit before they’re barely out the gate. The problem is that at some point something will go wrong and budding entrepreneurs need to plan for and be ready to meet the challenges instead of retreating from them. Here are four strategies for surviving your home business start-up.
1. Have realistic expectations. Bill Gates didn’t start Microsoft one day and have his empire the next. Success in a business takes time. Too many people come to the end of their first month with little results and determine that having a home business is impossible. In reality a successful home business takes at least six months to two years to reach a steady, regular positive cash flow. Further, the journey to home business success is often a bumpy one, and home-based entrepreneurs should expect to encounter obstacles and frustrations along the way.
2. Keep on keepin’ on. As already mentioned, stuff happens when building a business. Customers return products and complain. Marketing campaigns fail. Not everything will run smoothly or lead to desired outcomes. This is where the true entrepreneur is born. Success isn’t from the achievement, it’s from surviving and continuing the journey when everything is falling apart. You need to adopt the attitude that quitting isn’t an option and when you run into problems, you need to keep working on your business.
3. Remember why. Most people don’t start a home business because it was their dream to do so. Most start a business to achieve some other goal such as to stay home with children, leave a stressful job or pay off debt. Your reason for starting a home business is crucial to your success. When the going gets tough, the tough remember why they started the journey in the first place. If your reason for starting a home business is big enough, it should motivate you and propel you forward when times get hard.
4. Evaluate and adjust. One of the biggest challenges to working at home is determining if and when to change tactics. Because many tasks take time to show results, it can be difficult to know if they’ve failed or just haven’t kicked in yet. But if you find that things aren’t working, you need to evaluate what’s happening. Are you focused on money-generating tactics? Many would-be entrepreneurs are busy, but aren’t doing the things that make money. Sometimes money-making actions don’t work and you need to figure out why. One way to do this is to test different tactics. For example, if an ad didn’t generate leads, run the ad somewhere else or change the headline. The trick is to change only one element of the tactic to determine what aspect isn’t working. As you evaluate what’s working and what’s not, make adjustments to your tactics. Building a business is a process that is always in flux. You need to continually monitor your actions and their results to maximize your success.
Starting a home business is the perfect way to design a career you love and control the amount of money you make. But despite what many work-at-home gurus might have you believe, it’s not something you can decide to do today and achieve riches by tomorrow. Even with the best advice, the journey to home business success will be a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs and sometimes loopty-loos that make you feel a little nauseas. But if you stay the course, focus on your goal, and do the work that needs to be done, success can be yours.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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