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.

100 Mental Training Success Tips Home Business Entrepreneurs Should Know and Do

A collection of success tips that I have gathered over many years of working with independent online business entrepreneurs. I have created a list of my 100 favourites that I personally follow to drive forward my online home business. I organised the tips into areas covering attitude and discipline, focus and visualisation, time and task management, income and lifestyle, knowledge and skills, personal growth and lifestyle, evaluating your activity, and giving and adding value.

ATTITUDE & DISCIPLINE

1. Be persistent and give yourself time for momentum to kick in.

2. Make up in numbers what you lack in skills.

3. Celebrate success at every step.

4. Learn to manage the opinions – everyone has a right to have one – never make it personal.

5. You are not the message, you are the messenger.

6. Your family and friends may not understand the journey you are on.

7. Everything works when we work.

8. If you get overwhelmed and confused, go back to doing the basics.

9. Pass the three-part test – loyalty, work habits, consistency.

10. Have a warrior spirit. Set objectives and take action every day.

11. Make a commitment to any new activity. Succeeding at something is about taking not making a decision.

12. Being successful is the ability to continue with your plan long after the emotion and circumstances surrounding your original decision has passed.

13. Your confidence is what makes you attractive in the market place. People buy people they know, like and trust.

14. Avoid negative thinking and negative people that bring you down and steal your dreams.

15. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Growth comes from stepping outside your comfort zone.

16. Run to your fears. The place where your greatest fears live is also the place where your greatest growth lies. (Robin Sharma)

17. An ounce of action is worth a ton of ebooks.

18. All excuses are equal and none of them count.

FOCUS & VISUALISATION

19. Know what you want, why you want it, and when you want it by. Write it down, read it twice a day. Know the price and pay the price.

20. Visualise your destiny – ‘see it’ and plan it – be very specific about what success looks like and feels like, and do this for each and every milestone or goal you set.

21. If you think you can or think you can’t, you will always be right. (Henry Ford)

22. Try to be solution focused.

23. Understand the true power of dreams and goals, they act like magnets pulling us forward and need to be strong enough to break away from the past pulling your back.

24. Only an idea has the power to spread.

25. The only thing you need to believe in is your own work ethic and how badly you want to succeed.

26. Keep your inner flame going with personal development and being active in the community.

27. Use positive language. Words, thoughts, actions, results. Pursue all your challenges and obstacles with a positive mental attitude.

28. Mental visualisation is all important to your longer term success. How you want to see yourself, how you hold yourself, your expectations – create a detailed set of images of who you want to be.

TIME & TASK MANAGEMENT

29. Get organised.

30. Consistency is far better than the occasional blitz.

31. Create a daily method of operation, discipline yourself and be accountable to yourself.

32. Everything works -but find a daily method of operation that works for you, around your personal situation and commitments.

33. Fill your time only with productive activities.

34. Set out your targets and work backwards so you know what needs to get done.

35. Develop a sense of urgency and get into massive action.

36. Remember that you, of all people, deserve your undivided attention.

37. Anyone or anything that tries to distract you from your mission and goals should not be tolerated.

38. Being busy is not the same as being productive. Don’t be busy being poor, be busy adding value to your life.

39. Develop good time management. It’s not the hours you put into your business, it’s the business you put into your hours.

40. Lead flow is the source of your momentum and income growth. Don’t over-worry on conversions until you have good lead flow into your business.

41. Support and encourage your team members, but don’t be responsible for someone else’s business. Balance motivating and guiding with encouraging independence.

INCOME & LIFESTYLE

42. Run your business, don’t let it run you. Build a business on the vision of the life you want to live and start living it.

43. Get going fast, massive action equals massive results.

44. Remember that selling a 6 figure income opportunity isn’t about the money, it’s about a dream lifestyle free from debt free to work when you want, where you want, how you want

45. Only market products that earn you significant return on your investment of time and budget.

46. “Top Tier” Opportunities Attract “Top Tier” People That Are Smarter (And More Fun To Work With)

47. Identify the top five things you do in your business that generate 80% of the results.

48. Know your business numbers – your running costs and your bottom line.

49. Reinvest your earnings back into your marketing.

50. Promote, promote, promote – call to action, make offers, create demand.

51. Focus on the long-term residual income potential not the short-term earnings of your business.

52..Avoid discounting. People don’t buy on price, they buy on value.

53. 80% of the world does what everyone else does and lead an ordinary, average life. Only 3% live extraordinary lives because they make extraordinary choices and do extraordinary things.

54. You are the person that sets the pace of your business. Make a decision on exactly what your goals are and develop the daily discipline to achieve them.

KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS

55. Know your craft and be knowledgeable, committed, loyal and enthusiastic about the products you choose to market and the company.

56. Keep it simple, don’t reinvent a proven formula.

57. If you get stuck, find ways to get out of the glue quickly to avoid negative impact.

58. Don’t think about what you know, be curious about things you don’t yet know.

59. If you have doubts, learn more about your company, your products, your business, your craft.

60. Better to personally act upon the information contained in two good books than to be able to quote from a hundred.

61. Build your business like you build a water pump. It takes some time to set up and you have to crank the handle, but then the water comes with just a light touch.

62. Marketing is not an exact science. It takes trial & error.

PERSONAL GROWTH & LEADERSHIP

63. Compete with yourself. Finish each month stronger than the one before so you feel and see you are growing.

64. Build trust and confidence in your community and with your audience.

65. Be a leader. Step up to the mark – get up, dress up and show up and give back.

66. Don’t miss out on opportunities to experience extraordinary things. Go the ‘extra’ mile.

67. Leadership is a choice not a title. Take 100% responsibility. Blaim is drain, never complain. You have complete control over your future.

68. Teach only what you do. People do what you do not what you say.

69. Gather testimonials for your product, your team, you. A testimonial is a true story packaged in a powerful way so as to impact and influence others.

70. Get out from behind your PC sometimes. Shoot videos outside or go do some offline advertising

71. Develop a positive ‘can-do’ ‘will-do’ attitude fuelled by your desire to succeed.

72. Affirm your belief in yourself, every single day celebrate your achievements and breakthroughs.

73. Learn and adopt what successful people do. Master the fundamentals that are working before you modify, adapt and innovate.

74. Do the uncomfortable or difficult stuff first – (“Eat That Frog”, Brian Tracy). It soon becomes comfortable and second nature.

75. Set a goal to become a millionaire, not for the money but for the person you will become (Jim Rohn)

76. Make the best of what you have but always be hungry for more.

EVALUATING YOUR ACTIVITY

77. Learn from what’s not working and become a problem solver.

78. Leave your ego at the door.

79. Check your positioning – are your leads targeted, do they convert well.

80. Plan, Do, Review. Don’t procrastinate, just get stuck in and take action. Ready, fire, aim.

81. Don’t look to the magic bullet – multi-task, look for new opportunities, test and refine.

82. Monitor your results against your plan. Did you do the activity?

83. Qualify your prospects. Don’t try to sell them, let them sell you. Questions are the answer.

84. Your results are your feedback. Blame no-one but yourself. You are where you are and how you are because of the decisions you have made over time.

85. If you’re doing the activity, getting the numbers, you’re energy and attitude is right, the it’s usually something missing from your skill set. Communication.

86. If you fail to meet your expectations on any one day, don’t drop the ball but work twice as hard the next. Don’t get used to accepting dropping the ball. Get up tomorrow a little bit better.

87. It’s easier to do the work than deal with the disappointment in yourself of not meeting your targets.

GIVING & ADDING VALUE

88. Create uniqueness & value in what you put out on the internet.

89. The market doesn’t pay you on what you need, it pays on value. Those that help the most people make the most money.

90. If you want to double your income, you must double your value in the market place.

91. Stop making it about you, your business, and what you need to happen. Instead identify what others need most and how you can help others get more of what they want.

92. Focus on taking people to the next step in your sales & marketing funnel, not all the way in one leap.

93. Authenticity dramatically increases your results.

94. Pick up the phone to connect with your leads, new members and customers.

95. Form groups and communities to target interest and build relationships (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace,LinkedIn)

96. Learn how to flick the switch with people. Develop emotional intelligence. Find their pain points and show them the solution and get them thinking in a new direction.

97. Find people, sponsor them, work with them to keep them.

98. Be clear about your business processes, what to do at each step so you can take others through that process, lead by example.

99. Teach, validate, recognise and refresh your team.

100. Seek inspiration, but every day also be someone else’ inspiration, it will feel amazing!

Small Business Entrepreneurs Bring Incredible Value!

The entrepreneurs who get the most profile are those who create significant companies, or disrupt industries. The Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musks and Jeff Bezos type of entrepreneur are featured as role models and rightly so. We make movies about them, write books about them and teach courses in our universities that reference their achievements.

It is an amazing feat to build companies like these people have done.

Sometimes, however some of the messages suggest that all entrepreneurs need to emulate these people, which is of course just not true. We can’t all create multi-billion dollar, global companies.

There are literally thousands of small business entrepreneurs developing, running and growing smaller successful enterprises all around the world. These entrepreneurs are actually creating more jobs than the big mega companies, and are often referred to as the engine of their economy.

The challenges of starting any business are significant and these small business entrepreneurs bring incredible value to their economies through their efforts. Therefore it is important that we never undermine the value of what they do, or discourage the average entrepreneur (who is already an extraordinary person) from starting their dream… no matter how small!

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napoleon Hill

Here are a few thoughts I would share with budding entrepreneurs:

1. Your enterprise needs to bring value to enough people that is a sustainable idea.

2. Your business does not need to be game changing, huge, global or high tech.

3. Your idea could be servicing an underserved niche.

4. Your idea could be bringing a level of service that is valued by just enough people to make it viable.

5. It could be low tech or high tech.

6. It needs to be something you can be passionate about.

7. Very often small enterprises will grow… and that is OK too, but it does not NEED to be the initial goal.

8. The energy, drive, commitment and attitude needed to be an entrepreneur is significant… so do not be deterred by the people who say your idea is not big enough, different enough or game changing enough.

9. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, BUT there are a lot of people who have been successful at creating their business… believe in yourself and make it happen.

10. Entrepreneurs make things happen, bring value to their community (big or small) and are needed!

Have you got what it takes?

“When I am old and dying I plan to look back on my life and say, Wow that was an adventure, not, Wow that sure felt safe” Tom Preston-Werner

Work At Home Based Business Entrepreneur – How To Be One

As a prospective home based business entrepreneur, you along with many others budding entrepreneurs are looking for simple to get started businesses that have the potential for huge incomes, and which of course are legitimate. Most of us are aware that there are many businesses presented out there in cyberspace that aren’t legitimate, so doing your homework is important.

Your interest in becoming a work at home based business entrepreneur will have you considering things you may never have before. That’s been the case with me. I’ve really had my eyes opened in recent times and what an education I’ve had! Checking out business ideas that have worked and failed and learning from the mistakes and successes of others who came before you is a really good idea. If you do this and utilize that knowledge, it can save you a lot of time, money, effort and heartache. Many people are all too aware that your first year in a new business is usually the hardest so capitalising on this information can serve you well.

There are work at home based business entrepreneurs out there who have programs readily available for others to tap into. You can pursue any number of them. Something to consider is whether you want to work alone, for yourself or with someone else. A big advantage of working with someone else is that they can contribute to the start up and running costs of your new business, depending on the type of business you want. You also need to know that the business options and the online offerings you are considering getting involved with are real. You may or may not know that there are a fair number of schemes, scams and fraudulent types on the lookout for the new kids on the block.

Below are some legitimate examples of work at home based business entrepreneur programs which can include:

o Distribution

o Importing/exporting

o Internet affiliate programs

o MLM

o Network marketing

o Online auctions

o Online dollar stores

o Paid survey opportunities

o Work at home data entry jobs

…..and many others

As you can see, there are many work at home based business entrepreneur opportunities available. I suggest you do a search on the internet where you will find any number of ideas that might inspire you to go it alone with your own work at home based business! There are even professional associations and forums where you can engage in chats with others, just like yourself. Get those burning questions off your chest and help you decide what you want to do. People are using the internet to communicate with potential clients, customers or prospects rather than the traditional face to face interactions. You’ll learn how to get a website up and running, have an online campaign, use blogs for promotion and who knows, you may find that one day soon you have a reputation as a work at home based business entrepreneur! Does this sound like you?

Whatever you decide to do, don’t get caught up in get rich quick schemes or those that tell you there is no work involved in getting your own successful business. So many people are fooled into believing that these businesses don’t require any effort on your part. You need to know that there is work and dedication required for any work at home based business opportunities, but on the flipside, there are few opportunities in the world of traditional jobs where you can earn more than you ever thought possible. If you’re excited and want to get going, you might want to start with systems that have already been developed that can move you towards success with the right resources and tools.