Ever dream of transforming your small, part-time home business into a full-fledged income-generating enterprise? I am sure you must have.
Many home business owners, who start a business to augment their resources, wish that their little “part-time job” could grow big enough to become their main source of income. If the business grows, they could then abandon their daytime work to concentrate full-time on their home business. Who wouldn’t want to reap the rewards of being your own boss while working close to your family?
The question remains, though: how do you increase the revenues of your home business?
Experts suggest that the best strategy in growing your business is to first concentrate on one venture at a time, then from that same business, create a variety of income streams. This way, you are able to build a strong foothold in your business before you branch out to other endeavors, whether similar or not.
However, some business owners fear that their present business will not work, or they simply find a better opportunity elsewhere. In their desire to make as much money as possible, they take everything that comes their way. As a result, they spread their efforts and focus too thinly.
The rule about doing just one business at a time particularly makes sense for a home-business entrepreneur who oftentimes works solo during the start-up phase. Like any new experience, there is a learning curve - the time you spend to learn how to do new things. Even well-manned multinationals have learning curves when they enter a new market or start a new product.
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A start-up business should spend considerable time defining its product or service focus in a way that attracts customers the most. For a home business entrepreneur, you will need to learn and understand your business, know how your market functions, determine what your customer wants, and learn how to operate and administer a business. Some businesses are only mastered after years of experience. And success will only come if you really know how to make your business work and be good at it. Remember, it is difficult enough to master one business, let alone two or three simultaneous operations. It is wise to stay focused on one endeavor.
Within your business, you need to determine how you will earn your income. The best strategy is to create a variety of income streams. This entails either one of these three things:
- Having one or more client or customer;
- Having clients or customers that offer diverse sources of income; and
- Protecting against income fluctuations.
For example, you decided to start a web design business. After deciding on the business, your next question should be:
- Were will my income come from?
- How stable will my income be?
- Can I do extras to widen my income stream?
Market, Market and Market the Business
Finding the first customer is always a tremendous challenge for any start-up. When the entrepreneur lands it first major account, many fall into the trap of focusing too much on the new client. They forget the business development aspect of their enterprise and forego active recruiting of new clients. This a major no-no for a small business, much less for a one-person home business. It is dangerous for any business to receive too large a proportion of its income from one source.
Take Amber Huntley of Washington, D.C. She started a web design business focusing on providing a seamless interface between the back-end database and the Web site. She started her business upon the prodding of one client. She left her job and focused on developing the site, spending nearly six months on the project. By the time she finished the project, she had no other clients. So she left her business and became a Web producer for one of Washington D.C.’s conservative think tanks.
As she now recalls,
“It was wrong of me to think that customers will just fall into my lap after I finished the project. While I was working on the project, I should have started my search for new clients, instead of waiting for the project to end. Three months have passed and I still had no new client, and my savings were dwindling fast. Much as I love my business, I have to give it up at the moment.”
Grow Your Revenue Stream
As your expertise in the field develops, you should consider taking on some extras that will add to your revenue stream. Widening your revenue stream within the focused definition of your business can offer protection against fluctuations in income. If you are a web designer, you can add services like search engine submission, or logo design for the Web, or syndicating articles on web design. Within your field of business, find every opportunity that can increase your bottom line.
Strive to Develop a Broad Client Base
Having a wide variety of clients is your best protection against income fluctuations. This strategy is also your best strategy to have a smoother cash flow. To achieve this, you need to focus your marketing and sales strategy to customer acquisition, while constantly reviewing your pricing policies and customer service quality. The income of your home business will depend on how well you manage your customer base.
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