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                               A Home-Based Business Online
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                              Issue 168 : January 20

                            Sent to 15,199 Opt-In Subscribers

                                   Editor: Elena Fawkner
                             Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
                                   http://www.ahbbo.com
                                 

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                                        IN THIS ISSUE
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1. Welcome and Update from Elena
2. Home Business Idea of the Week
3. Feature Article - Are You Stunting the Growth of Your
    Home Business?
4. Surveys and Trends
5. Success Quote of the Week
7. Subscription Management
9. Contact Information

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1. Welcome from Elena
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Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us since the last issue.

If you've left the corporate world to strike out on your own in
your own home-based business, you'll be acutely aware that
your financial success is up to you and you alone, perhaps
for the first time in your life. For obvious reasons, therefore,
your home-based business is probably run on a shoestring.

This week's article looks at the growth stages of a typical
one-person home-based business and how to gradually grow
your business without being run over in the process.   "Are
You Stunting the Growth of Your Home Business?" is at
segment 3.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this
week's issue.

Remember, AHBBO is for YOU! If you have comments or
suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, or
would just like to share your experiences with other
subscribers, I want to hear from you. Please send
comments, questions and stories to .


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2. Home Business Idea of the Week - Errand Service
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People are busier than ever and the world around them hasn't
changed. Groceries still need to be bought, deliveries still need
to be made, gifts still need to be bought, etc. You can take
advantage of the needs of these hyper-busy people by running
an ERRAND SERVICE.

In essence, what you do is run errands for people and get paid
for it. Think it sounds like a kid's business? Well, you won't make
kid money! If you are in a good sized metropolitan area with
steady clients, you can make $15 to $20 an hour.

You won't need much to start off with. You'll, of course, need
a reliable car or, better yet, a van. The only real expenses at
the start are: business cards and business stationery; a pager;
and postage. Make a list of large businesses in your area, ones
with large numbers of well-paid executives, such as banks,
headquarters of large manufacturers, etc.

You should then compose a letter detailing your services. List
as many timesaving services as you can think of: grocery pickup,
dry-cleaning delivery and pickup, post office errands, gift-
shopping services, food pickup and delivery, etc.

Note: Don't transport people or children unless you have the
proper licenses. Also, if you deliver messages, there may be
state utility regulations you'll need to check into. Emphasize to
these people how they will BENEFIT from your service: more time,
less worries, less stress.

Be competitive with your pricing. Call other delivery services in
the area and find out what they charge, whether hourly or by
the job. Make your prices competitive and your services personal,
and you'll get the edge.

Four other good ideas for publicizing your services: advertise in
charity event publications that are read by executives; get
permission to post your business card at dry cleaners, grocery
stores, bakeries, upscale food stores and delis, etc.; produce
press releases about your services showcasing a unique aspect
of your business, i.e. you specialize in delivering wedding cakes,
for example, and get them to all the newspapers and local
magazines in the area; and notify senior citizen organizations
about the services you offer.

Hints: Know your way around your area extremely well so you
can plan the quickest route to efficiently accomplish all your
errands. Be assertive, both with potential clients and with places
you are visiting for a client. Be friendly, and you'll get more
return business. Also, be confidential out of respect for your
clients.

If you're willing to hustle, you can make it in the errand business.
Once you get that first steady client, if you're good, you can
count on word-of- mouth business. Then you'll really be rolling!

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This is just one of over 130 ideas from the new "Practical Home
Business Ideas From AHBBO" e-book. Find out more at
Unique Home Business Ideas .


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3. Feature Article: Are You Stunting the Growth of Your Home
    Business?
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© 2013 Elena Fawkner

If you've left the corporate world to strike out on your own in
your own home-based business, you'll be acutely aware that
your financial success is up to you and you alone, perhaps
for the first time in your life. For obvious reasons, therefore,
your home-based business is probably run on a shoestring.

This means, of course, that you do everything. Although you
are now CEO, you are also secretary, marketing director,
receptionist and gopher. But hey, that's the way you like it,
right?! And when you're just starting out, let's face it, you
don't have much of a choice anyway.

But sooner or later, if you keep doing everything yourself you'll
necessarily curtail the growth of your business. It will grow to
a certain point but no further because you're only one person
and there are, after all, only 24 hours in a day. Now, if you're
satisfied with making a little money on the side, that's fine.
But if your business is your only source of income, you must
move beyond start-up if you are to become financially
successful and avoid stunting the growth of your business.

This article looks at the growth stages of a typical one-person
home-based business and how to gradually grow your business
without being run over in the process.

INITIAL GROWTH

=> One-(Wo)Man Band

As already stated, when you first start out, you do everything
yourself. you're both chief cook and bottle-washer. And you
can continue like this for quite some time because, initially,
you are unlikely to be fully stretched. This is exactly what
you should be doing.

This is NOT the time to go out and spend money with
advertising agencies and hiring employees. For so long as
you CAN do everything yourself and everything that needs to
be done is getting done, this is the most efficient use of your
current resources.

=> don't Overcommit Yourself

During this stage, however, it is important to be careful not
to overcommit yourself. You are a fledgling. You must learn
to fly like a sparrow before you can soar like an eagle. So,
when you first start out, underpromise and overdeliver.

Also, don't embark on an aggressive marketing campaign
until you have the business resources to satisfy the demand
you will create. Let your advertising grow in line with the
growth of your business, the addition of employees and
increased financial capacity.

=> Pay Yourself

Be extremely careful of your pricing during this stage also.
Make sure you include a wage for yourself in your overhead
costs and add a realistic profit margin (say 15-20%).
Remember, price equals costs plus profit margin. Costs
include direct, indirect and overhead costs. For a more
detailed treatment on pricing, read "Pricing Yourself to Get,
and Stay In, Business" (http://www.ahbbo.com/pricing.html).

=> Profits Belong to Your Business

Plough your profit back into your business. This is most
important. This is where your funds for expansion during
the next growth phase of your business come from. NEVER
use your business's profits to pay personal expenses. This
is what you pay yourself a wage for. Your business's profit
does not belong to you. It belongs to your business. There
IS a difference!

=> Avoid Premature Expenditure

During your shoestring days, look for lower-cost substitutes
before incurring substantial expenditure. For example, don't
go out and buy a new fax machine, a new answering machine,
a new photocopier. Get one of those three in one jobs that
sits on your desktop and only costs a few hundred dollars.

Use a good accounting software program rather than hiring
an accountant and hire from your family first if you need
temporary help. Another good idea is to negotiate with family
members to take over some household chores you would
normally do yourself to free your time to work on your business.
This works especially well with pocket-money age children
and teenagers.

During times of temporary overload, hire temporary staff from
a staffing agency if no family members or members of your
social circle can do the job.

=> The Glass Ceiling

After a while, somewhere between the one year and three
year mark, you will notice that your business is beginning to
stagnate. At this point, you have stretched yourself and your
resources as far as they can go. You have hit the glass
ceiling.

At this point, if you want your business to grow further, you
will have to grow it. It will not happen as part of an evolutionary
process beyond this point.

BEYOND THE GLASS CEILING

=> Hire Permanent Employees

The time to hire permanent employees is when you reach the
point where you can't complete all tasks alone (or with the help
of family members) and/or your time is worth more than it would
cost to hire someone to complete your less complicated tasks.

Before adding employees, carry out an inventory of the
necessary tasks required to operate your business. Once
you've identified all necessary tasks, assign primary
responsibility for each task to one person. Although one
person will be assigned more than one task, make sure no two
people are assigned the same tasks.

Also, make sure at least one other person knows how to do
each task to cover yourself during times of staff shortages,
whether due to temporary absence due to illness, or when an
employee resigns and it takes you a while to find a replacement.

Finally, and most importantly, when assigning tasks, assign
yourself the tasks you do best.

=> Capital

To grow beyond the start-up and initial growth phases, you will
need capital to inject into your business. Now this,
unfortunately, is easier said than done. Banks can be leery of
entrepreneurial ventures and venture capital is not easy to
obtain. But, although obtaining borrowed capital is difficult, it
is by no means impossible. Here are the main sources of funds:

* Banks

Cultivate a good relationship with your banker. The more he or
she understands your business and knows you, the more
likely it is that your application will be approved. And this means
more than just fronting up when you need money. Keep your
banker informed of all significant developments in your business
and routinely provide copies of your annual business plans.

Be prepared to demonstrate that your business is capable of
generating cashflow and think about what collateral you have
available to put up if necessary.

* Venture Capital

In addition to a solid business plan and track record, venture
capital providers want to see that you understand your
customers and how your business is a good fit with their
needs. So arm yourself with competitive intelligence and
satisified customers as references. Also, be prepared to
show you have access to experienced management staff.
These individuals need not be on your payroll but you should
expect to show that you have a depth of experience and
talent available to you at least in an advisory capacity.

* Revenue Stream

Instead of selling equity to raise capital, consider selling part
of the revenue of the business. In other words, investors
advance loan capital and get repaid by way of a percentage
of the sales of the business. This preserves your equity in
the business and is attractive to investors because they
receive an immediate cash return.

This method has the considerable advantage of avoiding
securities laws (it is a loan rather than a sale of securities)
but it is only viable for businesses with high margins and
strong sales.

* Angel Capital Electronic Network

ACE-Net brings companies looking for capital together
with angel investors. You can find links to ACE-Net at
http://www.sba.gov/ADVO .

* Direct Public Offering

If your business has a strong relationship with its constituents
(employees, customers, vendors and community), consider
selling stock via a direct public offering.   Note that with this
option you will run into serious securities laws issues which
will require an attorney.  This is an *expensive* alternative.

Other miscellaneous sources of funding include 401(k) plans
and provision of loan guarantees by family members or friends.

=> Work On the Business, Not In the Business

The third and final point to note about breaking through the
glass ceiling is that you must make the mental transition from
working IN the business, to working ON the business.

Until your business hit the glass ceiling, you were effectively
working in the business, much as an employee would. In this
sense, the business was your job, a place to go to work. But
beyond the glass ceiling, your business becomes an entity
unto itself. It is no longer your "job" to work at the tasks that
make up the business's operation. Instead, your role is to
work "on" the business as a separate entity, leaving the tasks
to your paid employees.

Hopefully you can see that shifting your perspective in this
way is the key to the long-term growth of your business and
the difference between true autonomy and indentured servitude.

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** Reprinting of this article is welcome! **
This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
include the following resource box; and (2) you only mail to
a 100% opt-in list.

Here's the resource box to use if reprinting this article:

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Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ...
practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the
work-from-home entrepreneur.
http://www.ahbbo.com


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4. Surveys and Trends
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© 2013 Ryanna's Hope

The following is an extract from newly-retired FBI special agent
Larry Wack's (congratulations Larry!) excellent ezine, "Surveys
and Trends".  Subscribe using the link below.

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THIS "MAN THING"
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Male vanity or "manity" is going mass. Men from every demographic
group are realizing they won't lose their machismo by caring
about or improving how they look. Since 1992 there has been an
80% increase in the number of plastic procedures done on men.

Over the next few years we will see enormous marketplace growth
in this industry as men's desire to achieve and maintain beauty
and youth becomes mainstream. The phenomenon is driven, in part,
by aging baby boomers who reject gravity as much as they rejected
the establishment in the 1960s. If it's not mass now, it will be
soon. Watch for the growth of numerous male institutions once
reserved for women, such as Men's Day Spas and Salons (Malons),
offering an extensive selection of relaxation and grooming
treatments and services specifically for men, these business may
eventually become the networking hubs of the future.

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WE WONDER WHAT "BEHAVIORS" ARE REFERRED TO?
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The word extreme will be removed from our vocabulary, as sports
and behaviors that were once considered extreme are becoming the
norm. Individuals will continue to push the boundaries of reality
in search of excitement and a chance to make an individual
statement.

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5. Success Quote of the Week
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Private victories precede public victories. You can't invert that
process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant
it.
--  Stephen Covey


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7. Subscription Management
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9. Contact Information
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Elena Fawkner, Editor
A Home-Based Business Online

 

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