50 Tips for Work At Home Business
© 2001 Kay Green
50 Tips for Starting and Succeeding at a Work a home Business
1. Choose a company or product that matches your interests.
2. Look for a company or product that you can be behind 100%. Make sure you agree with their values and policies and their products. You can not sell products that you do not like yourself.
3. Come up with a product made from your own need or passion. My homeschool book came from sharing my resources with many homeschool families. It started as a notebook. My ID cards came from my homeschool kids needing school IDís.
4. Choose a name with meaning for you. Register your domain name (only $8.50 a http://www.godaddy.com )
5. Get a web site with e-store capabilities. I like http://www.wahmshoppes.com for $6 a month and he registers your domain name for free for you.
6. Get set up to take credit cards. http://www.Propay.com is free but only allows $1000 a month in transactions. Your local bank may be able to help you. US Bank does them for $25 a month. Join http://www.paypal.com too.
7. Get a DBA business license through your state. It is you "Doing Business As" business name registration. I got my form at the bank. It was $18 a year. Register your business name and your domain name if different.
8. Open a separate checking account just for your business. Make sure every order/income and every expense go thru it. Get a separate business credit card for online/phone orders of supplies. I write next to every deposit what it was for and which client.
9. Get free business cards http://www.qksrv.net/click-707232-5355905 with your new name for FREE. Give them out everywhere. Put them in when you pay bills. Put them down at doctorís offices, stores, and bulletin boards.
10. Get a PO Box for all your business mail. This is especially true if you are online. It protects your family. I never post my home address online.
11. Get a toll free 800 number for business calls. You can get one for $2 a month at http://www.123phonerates.com
12. Send an email out to all your friends and family telling them about your new business and offering them a discount to help you get started.
13. Join several WAHM groups at http://www.yahoogroups.com to get support from other WAHMís too. I really like 1ChristianWAHMfirstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org There are MANY!
14. Check with an accountant and a lawyer to see if you need to do anything special in your state.
15. Come up with a flier, brochure, and postcard to have printed and send out to others. Mail Box Etc offers 1000 black copies for $35. You can take your own paper if you want color or card stock.
16. Swap fliers/coupons with others in like businesses. Join www.mompack.com or www.mommymailers.com to find others to swap with.
17. Make or have made a banner, button, and logo for your web page and all printing. There are many other WAHMís that offer this service for inexpensively. You can find them on your yahoogroups.
18. Put up a banner page on your site so you can swap banner links with others. This is a great way to increase your search engine ratings.
19. Submit your web page to all the search engines. http://www.Google.com has done well for me. Here are my search engine helps. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/searchengines.html
20.When you get a request for information on your product or company be sure to respond immediately. That will bring customers back. I print the request and wrote on it the date I mailed the info and file it in a SENT folder so I can look back at it if needed.
21. Give more than expected. Pack a little surprise in each order. Go the extra mile.
22. Support other Work at Home businesses. It helps your reputation.
23. Barter your products with other work at home businesses. It gets your product out there to be seen.
24. Offer your products for contest prizes. It gives you added exposure. See our contest http://www.mypreciouskid.com/contest.html
25. Figure out a budget of how much you can afford to spend on advertising, barters, free products, printing, etc. Stay with in that.
26. If you make you own product be sure to find out exactly how much it costs you make that product. Rule of thumb is cost times 2 is wholesale price you would charge others. Wholesale times 2 is retail. Some do cost times 3 for retail.
27. Be sure to realize you will need to set aside a portion of your profits for taxes.
28. Keep a log of every mile you drive to do anything with your business. Many of us can write off that mileage on our taxes. Last year was 34 cents a mile. This adds up fast.
29. Get receipts for every expense you pay for.
30. Do a search on http://www.google.com for your supplies wholesale. I found several good sources for mine, and the companies had very low minimums. With a business license you can usually buy wholesale.
31. Have a contest on your site. It brings visitors. Be sure to submit your contest to ezines, contest boards, and search engine.
32. Have a mailing list or yahoogroups list. It can be announcement only for your ads and specials. Or it can be an email loop where others can chat with each other. Or it can be an ezine format daily or weekly or monthly. It brings others to your site over and over again. Have a sign up form on your site.
33. If you have a product you can wholesale to others, search the search engines for those kinds of businesses. Then email them and ask them if they want to have a FREE sample/wholesale pack. I have had good results from this.
34. Offer a FREE product on your site to increase visitors. It can be a printable that others can print right from your site. It can be a freebie thru an affiliate program that you can earn money on.
35. Join one of the many affiliate programs.
36. Offer your product through an affiliate program to other sites. You can do it for free through http://www.mals-e.com They also have a free shopping cart program. Swap affiliate links with other WAHM businesses.
37. Find your niche. A type of customer or business that can use your product. Do a google search or a local yellow pages search and offer your services/products. Do contacts for one type of customer at a time until you have exhausted it.
38. Get "What Others are saying about" statements from others who have bought or gotten your product through barter. Add those to your site.
39. Decide what your typical customer is like. Income, location, needs??? Then work at getting your product into those locations. I know my typical customer is a working mom with kids in daycare or preschool. So I am contacting them offering them a fundraiser program with my products. The school/organization gets a portion of the sales.
40. Become an expert in your field. Write articles with your web address and email in the byline. Offer to speak on your subject for seminars both online and off. I am offering to do child safety talks at preschools along with offering my ID cards and giving the school a portion of the profits.
41. Schedule regular working hours for your business.
42. Write a business plan. http://home3.americanexpress.com/smallbusiness/ has a free outline.
43. Check out the free getting started in business seminars at http://www.herevents.com/business/rooms/speakers/
44. Use your domain name email for all email. It puts your domain name in front of people. Kay@mypreciouskid.com tells everyone I email where my web site is :)
45. Make sure you have an email link on every page of your web site. Make it easy for clients to get a hold of you.
46. Use the first page of your site to tell customers why to order from you, the benefits, and features, and guide them to ordering. Do not have too many other links there to distract them. Make it easy for them to order from you. Tell them how and give them a reason too.
47. Give every customer you get a reason or need to order from you again. Offer a discount coupon or incentive to bring them back and tell their friends.
48. Put your web site description and URL under your name in your signature line of all emails.
49. Price check the competition to be sure you are in the market range. Know what they are offering. Never talk down the competition. Talk up your benefits/features.
50. Drop off coupons for your product to local doctor office staff, resale stores, preschools, day care centers, and other places you do business with.
Thanks to the many WAHMís (Work at Home Momís) who helped add to this list!
Author Kay Green email@example.com and her husband Russell and their 4 children live in rural Oregon. Kay owns 4 websites.
Precious Kids- Christian Adoption & Homeschool Resources
My Precious Kid- Laminated Safety Personalized ID cards for kids
123 Phone Rates- Home of 4 cent long distance
Creative Christians- Christian Gift Mall
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