Business Entrepreneur Development Strategy

In today’s Business Entrepreneur Development Strategy, we’ll be comparing and contrasting the differences of both online and offline businesses.

In the days of old, one had very limited option when it comes to starting a business. There was usually one route to go and that was your traditional old brick and mortar type of business or what is known as an offline business in today’s term. With technological advances, times have changed. One can now have a virtual business or what is better known as an online business.

Having had the privilege to experience both side of the coin of owning both an offline and online business, I can easily provide you with both the pros and cons of each one.

Let me just say that you can find success in both arenas of your choice. However, there are certain factors to take into consideration when choosing a business model to work with. Whether you chose offline or online the most important factor is deciding on what product or service you are to provide for your customers. I know it sounds obvious but you be surprised. Often times people pick things that they think will sell instead of what they are passionate about. It’s always a good idea to believe in what you are selling.

So before you go to strike it rich as an entrepreneur and start your own business, lets take a look at some of the differences of choosing between an offline business and an online business.

Offline businesses – they usually requires you to have a much higher start-up cost. Depending on what kind of budget you have, you will have to consider your overhead such as insurance, utilities, and rent. Location is also another major factor that needs attention to. A good high traffic location will usually cost more in rent since it involves real estate. After all, you want to have your business easily accessible to the public.

Having an offline business usually means having a commute for both owners and customers. You simply can not bring the store to your customer. If it’s a physical product you are offering and not a service, there’s also inventory to be considered as well. You will most likely need to staff your business unless you plan to do everything yourself, which in a lot of cases is not feasible.

So far having an offline business seems like a lot of money and work involved; and it is but there are rewards as well. There’s real human interaction with having a brick and mortar business. You simply can’t download a cheeseburger or a haircut. As you create a loyal customer base, your business becomes more profitable. You and your business become a pillar to the community in which it serves and that can be priceless.

Online businesses – they usually have a relatively low start-up costs. The usual high overhead of rent, utilities, and insurance that is associated with an offline business is replaced with a domain name, internet connection, and web design. In some cases you don’t even need your own website if you are an affiliate marketer.

We talked about having a high traffic location in an offline business; the same principle will apply in your online business only you don’t have a physical address to drive traffic to. Your domain name will be the new home of where you’ll want to drive traffic to. No business will sustain itself without having visitors or better yet customers, so traffic is very important. Both you and your customers no longer have a commute to get to your place of business. It’s as close as where your computer is located.

Depending on the products and services you are offering in your online business, inventory can be a thing of the past. I personally don’t want to deal with physical products and having to hassle with shipping but if you decide that is something for you than drop shippers can help you in that department so you don’t have to worry about keeping inventory. I much prefer informational products that can be instantly downloaded once it is purchased.

Since you don’t have a physical store to maintain, inventory being optional, you can pretty much run the show by yourself. However if you are not knowledgeable in building websites or being a little tech savvy you can easily outsource the work for little cost if you shop around.

Wow! So far there seems to be so much more advantages to operating a business online versus offline, why would anyone chose the latter? Good question! Have you ever heard of the saying “mind your business”? All businesses needs looking after, you simply can’t run a business on auto pilot. So depending on what personality type you may be, you may find it difficult to be on the computer all day long improving your website, checking emails, researching, fixing technical glitches and driving traffic to your business. There’s no real face to face human interaction involvement in an online business unless you chose to incorporate some of the offline aspects of doing business into it as well.

There’s no right or wrong choice in one’s preference of doing business. My goal is to show you the differences between both offline and online businesses so that you can weigh your options and make a more informed decision. You may even consider incorporating the two so you can have the best of both worlds as many successful business entrepreneur have developed in their strategy.

The Four Types of Education You Require to Become a Successful Business Entrepreneur

As an aspiring successful business entrepreneur, you dare to tread a different path to 97% of society. You seek to become rich so you can design your own life independent of your paycheck. Instead of a J.O.B. you prefer to work for yourself and be your own boss, maybe work from home or anywhere you like, and to become financially free to live out your dream lifestyle.

Whether you start a traditional business, a home based business or an internet business, Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Business School) talks about three different types of education that are required for the successful business entrepreneur. If you want to achieve this financial freedom to live your own life, you need scholastic education, professional education and financial education.

Let’s unpack those three first.

Scholastic education basically is what you get at school. In the main part, it’s about basic literacy. You are taught how to read, write and do maths, very important for survival in today’s information age. Throughout our childhood we are taught the importance of getting a good education. As adults, we are encouraged to become lifelong learners and invest in our personal development. It is pretty much indoctrinated in us that getting good grades at school, even going to university, is the best way to get a high paying job.

Professional education is what teaches you how to work for money. This type of education you can get from apprenticeship and training as well as through to your work experience. This type of education can range from apprenticeships in a trade or service to higher level training to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, pilot, and so forth.

Financial education is rarely taught at school or at home or anywhere else for that matter! This is where you learn how to make money work for you (as distinct to you working for money as above). Most people don’t even realise that scholastic and professional education will only get you so far.

Without financial or wealth education, you may not appreciate the ‘different path’ available to you and will end up always working for the rich, not becoming rich. This is how Robert Kiyosaki’s distinguishes the two with his Rich Dad, Poor Dad concept.

However, these days if you are doing business mostly on the internet, there is, in my opinion, a really crucial fourth type of education and that is social education. So I’ll add this one into the mix.

Social education is important in any business where you are making sales and dealing with customers. But online, it’s even more important since you cannot ‘meet’ in person and much of our social behaviour relies on body language and visual and auditory cues.

Social education is about developing “emotional intelligence” towards others. It is learning to communicate effectively with people with regard to their situation, needs and feelings. It’s about active listening and empathy. It’s about connecting with a person’s highest hopes and worst fears.

Some would say that you develop the ‘sales’ skills to manipulate people. I advocate you develop social skills to match what you can offer to what people are looking for! (In that scenario, there is no need for a hard sell.)

On the internet, social education is critical to every part of your marketing, sales and support. This is because buying decisions depend so much more heavily on people’s sense of trust. Being seen as an authority and a leader builds your online credibility.

This is evident in the growing trend towards social networking and personal branding – what is termed “attraction marketing”, which is nowadays the business model of all successful internet marketers. People need to know you, like you and trust you before they will do business with you, become a customer or partner with you.

Social education is therefore one of the cornerstones of effective marketing. It teaches you aspects the psychology behind different personality types, how people make decisions, how to attract others to you, how to reach win-win outcomes, and so on.

If you spend time learning how to translate that knowledge and understanding into your personal branding, your copy writing, your presentations and your conversations, it will skyrocket your business success.

How To Develop The Winner Home Business Entrepreneur’s Profile

When you want to be a winner and operate a successful home business, there are several things that you need. You don’t need millions of dollars to invest or a large home office. No, the things that really matter are things that you can control, for free. These things are characteristics that you can develop in order to fulfill your dreams and make a real difference in your life.

Passion

The first thing any home business entrepreneur needs is passion about their business. If you don’t have passion for what you are doing, you can bet it won’t be as successful as you want it to be. People with passion work harder and are more focused on goals than those who could care less about what they are doing. Passion is something that costs nothing and can be mustered up with the right attitude.

Action

The second thing you need to do to be a winner is to take action. You can sit at home and think about fantastic ideas all day. But if you never take action and motivate yourself to make things happen, nothing will ever happen for you and your home business. Successful home business entrepreneurs make things happen by their actions.

Attitude

Did you ever hear that attitude is everything? Growing up you likely heard that from your parents, teachers, and coaches. As an adult, the same principle is true. Your attitude can make or break you in the world of business. There are many examples. If you have a bad attitude, you will not be a success because no one will want to work with you and no one will buy from you. If you have a good attitude, on the other hand, then people will love working with you and will buy from you!

Faith

The last thing you need to develop a winning home business entrepreneur’s profile is to have faith. Many people can create ideas and winning marketing plans. However, they lack the faith and determination to actually believe their ideas are successful ideas. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either. So, you have to keep the faith in your ideas, yourself, and your business. When you can have that faith that things will work out, then they usually will!

If you can find a way to develop these traits, you will be a success in your home business. Sure, these traits can be more difficult to find than money, for some people. But, they can be the difference between your home business being a success and it being a failure. So take the time to find out how to gain these characteristics. However, if you look inside yourself, you will likely find that you already possess them!

Doing Business in the 21st Century – A Guide For Home Based Business Entrepreneurs

Doing Business in the 21st Century

So, you’ve decided to be an entrepreneur, which probably means it wasn’t a decision at all. You either ARE an entrepreneur or you are NOT.

Entrepreneurs guide their own destiny and build their own businesses using systems to facilitate intentional forward movement.

What entrepreneurs recognize is that they must focus on is continual self improvement and personal development. Just because someone possesses vision and desire does not necessarily mean they know how to manage their time, promote their business or balance their personal and professional lives.

A crucial part of being in business is having the ability to design and implement systems to regulate your business and make it easier to manage.

There are many areas that need to be managed in order to grow a successful business, however, without breaking them down and going into the more specific areas of parties, customer service, bookings, hostess coaching, organization, recruiting and so on, we can very easily break down our business into 3 Major Categories:

1. Managing Your Customers

2. Managing Your Team

3. Managing Management (That would be you!)

In order to be able to continually build and manage your business, you must not only be able to keep up with its growth but also be constantly introducing tools with which to propel it continually forward.

To lay it out in black and white, if you are going to do business in the 21st century, you must have a 21st century business and use 21st century systems and tools. If you do not, you will reach a point where you will fall far behind the more modern, efficient entrepreneurs who truly know how to maximize and capitalize on all resources available to them.

21st Century Toolbox

Now, as far as I am concerned and I think as far as the business world is concerned, the days of recipe card record keeping, birthday and phone directory books and hearing a knock at the door followed by “AVON calling” are gone – and they are not coming back!

If you are living in the stone ages, you will not have a business that thrives or even survives in the 21st century.

So, lets fast forward to where we need to be and get settled right in there.

Managing Your Customers

There are just a ton of different programs that you can use for contact management, time management and maintaining communication. Have a look at programs like Outlook, Oprius, I-Contact, Skype and Maximizer and see if they might work for you.

The advantages of using an electronic system are:

• Breaking down your contacts into endless categories and sub categories such as:

– Previous Hostesses
– Previous Direct Sales
– Catalog Requests
– Team Members
– Head Office Contacts
– Other Consultants
– Exhibit Contacts
– And so on.

• You are able to store a vast amount of information on each of your contacts including both personal information and information on their previous business interactions with you

• You can use the Calendar function to manage your time, schedule appointments and set reminders for yourself for things like:

– Home Parties
– Phone Calls to be made
– Customer Service Calls
– Re-Book a Previous Customer
– Etc.

• You can use the Task List as an ongoing to do list and eliminate all of those post it notes!

• You will be able to do focused marketing directed at specific customers based on who they are and what they are looking for or are interested in.

Find out when your cell phone contract expires and make a Blackberry or similar device your next “Must Have” item.

When you have a Blackberry, you can synchronize your Blackberry to your computer daily to keep on track. This way, you can record information and book appointments from anywhere, any time.

You will never double book and never have to tell ANYONE that you will have to get back to them after you check your calendar.

A key piece of information in the home party business is the directions to your hostess’s house which you can record in your contact file in your Outlook program. Unless they move, you will never have to ask your hostess to repeat the complete directions to their house for you again.

Having your own business website is a given today. If you don’t have a website in today’s society, you will miss a huge, essential piece of the pie.

Another 21st century tool you might find useful is the Tom-Tom, or a similar device. Never again will you be late for an appointment because you’ve gotten lost on the way. When you have one of these in your vehicle, you need only to put in your destination address and your are guided right to where you want to go. A lifesaver for anyone who routinely gets lost or who can’t follow directions – you know who you are!

Managing Your Team

The members of your downline are the most important people you will ever do business with. Recruiting must always be our prime focus in the business.

Training your new recruits and helping them to succeed is the key to succeeding yourself. Once you have developed and implemented systems that work and help build your business, it is essential that you pass these on to your team.

Staying in touch with your team is vital to the success of your business. Following initial training, it is still important to be in contact with the members of your team on an ongoing basis.

Online team meetings are becoming even more important as we build our businesses across the country. Doing individual or group conference audio and video calls can keep you even more in touch than ever before.

A Web Cam is another 21st century tool that should be on your “must have” list. Having the ability to do training, meetings, and even parties via Web Cam has brought our business to a whole new level and you should certainly be taking advantage of this.

Your Business Website is also important in maintaining good communication with your team, just as it is with your customers.

Managing Management

• One of the most commonly asked questions of home based business entrepreneurs, is, how do I get organized. Yikes.

• You absolutely MUST have some form of designated area in which to work your business. Without this, I think it would be next to impossible to function with any degree of efficiency.

• Having an office space is simply not enough, you must organize it.

• What you need to do is think ahead and plan ahead. Figure out when it is you can work on your business and when that time comes – work on your business. Refer to your task list and calendar to tell you what you are supposed to be doing. Do not make excuses to yourself as to why you can not get these things done, when the time comes, JUST DO THEM!

• Jillian Middleton speaks about setting Store Hours and this is one of the best systems you could possibly implement. You set the hours in advance that you will work in any given week, (they can change each week) and then, You Stick To Them.

• Learning to work with children around is unavoidable.

Long distance communications – making the connection

Let’s face it. There is just absolutely no reason in the world why any of us can not effectively communicate with anyone long distance. We can run our businesses entirely from our computers if we have to using tools already available to us.

So, the only thing to think about is improving our skills in delivering our message, training or any other form of communication so that it gets across to the person on the other end. This is important.

How often has someone left a message on your answering machine and rattled off their phone number so fast, you had to play back the message 4 or 5 times to get the number down? Now this is crazy. How long have we had voice mail? You would think people would clue in that they have to think about the person listening to the message and give the number slowly so the person can write it down.

This is key. Focus on what the person on the other end has to do to receive your message, whether by phone, email or online video conference. Without considering this, communication will break down.

Social Networking

Social Networking Sites:

• Direct Matches – Business

Direct Matches is my most recent discovery. You probably thought the same thing I did, that it was simply a dating site. I have recently discovered that there is an entirely separate division for business that has been used for years and has a HUGE following. I recently registered and was flooded with contacts of all kinds with resources to follow up on.

• Facebook

For anyone who hasn’t figured this out yet, Facebook is a great way to connect and stay connected with people both personally and professionally. Using the photo album functions, video links, and business pages etc. You can effectively market your business. Being that Facebook now gets more traffic than Google, you will probably find that you will start getting people contacting you and even finding you through searches within Facebook on a regular basis.

• MySpace

MySpace seems to be used more and more for music related type profiles and connections, however, it is still another place to plunk yourself online to be found! Facebook, LinkedIn and Direct Matches probably offer more to us now.

• Twitter

Today, Twitter, is the hottest social networking site on the internet. You can expand your reach to potential clients by following people with common interests; in turn, they will often follow your posts on Twitter. In this instance, more is better-more contact equals more business!

• Orkut

Orkut is Google’s version of Facebook. Use it!

• Ning.com

Ning let’s anybody set up their own social networking site for free. Many of the Ning sites appeal to narrow niches, but others are more general. Within Ning you have the ability to share content with all Ning friends across all networks simultaneously. You can write a blog post and share it easily with thousands of friends.

• YouTube

YouTube offers us the opportunity to broadcast ourselves or our products live, or, create a nice slide show presentation to be posted. Visual presentations are great, give it a whirl!

• Blogspot.com

Blogging is a very powerful tool available to us. Blog posts are picked up very well online and by running your own blog, or simply posting in the blogs of others and leaving your website address, you will generate targeted traffic to your site and business.

• Linked In

LinkedIn is a great business-only social networking site. LinkedIn’s potential lies in it’s many diverse and successful groups and their ongoing discussions. What better way to network than to participate in the discussions of groups that attract the types of people you want to meet? You can also build up a very large network on LinkedIn which will enable you to communicate directly with the people you want without having to get past the usual gatekeepers. Members will also be able to search for and find you.

Online Advertising & Promotion

• Submit Your Site to Search Engines
• Submit Your Site to Directories
• Priority Business Listings With Product Stores
• Online FREE Classifieds
• Social Networking
• Backlinks
• Blogging

Avoiding Online Time Wasters

Let’s face it, surfing the net can eat up more precious time than you can spare. Focusing on what you need to do and working through your days task list without wandering off in other directions can be very difficult. It will take some practice and determination to tell yourself to finish the things you NEED to get done before “playing”.

Secondly, and I think we have all seen this, using sites that can be good resources for us can also tempt us to fiddle more than we should. This is particularly evident on sites like Facebook. I hear way to often how people honestly think they are “So Busy”, however, they are not using their time wisely a good portion of the time. If someone has time to update their Facebook status hourly, they have time to get some work done! Seriously, if anyone has the time and the desire to get hourly updates on what you are doing, wearing or thinking about, they have too much time on their hands, sign them up!

Technology Etiquette

Common sense. That’s all it takes. Each site has rules and regulations for what you can and can’t do on that particular site.

The point that I really want to get across is this. The phone is still the most personal way to connect with someone so don’t fall back on technology entirely or try to hide behind it to avoid personal contact.

Know when it is the right and wrong time to use technology. Again, avoid hiding behind your computer to avoid confronting something you do not want to face or deal with. This will be recognized.

And, what may be the most obvious point when it comes to technology is this, know when to put it away!

We are not brain surgeons, therefore, life will go on if we don’t immediately returns calls and texts.

As leaders, investigating and introducing new technology to our teams is part of our responsibility. By leading our teams using modern technology, we will encourage all of the members of our downlines to do the same, thus setting them up to be successful with managing their business in the 21st century.