Boomer Entrepreneurs: The Single Most Critical Ingredient to Start a Successful Home-Based Business

Baby boomers starting a home-based business for the first time need to make sure they’re doing it for the right reasons. Just being fed up with your current situation is probably not enough to keep you motivated. Many boomers start a home business because they hate their job, and end up failing because there’s a single most critical ingredient missing that keeps them inspired.

That essential missing ingredient is passion. Your enthusiasm, zeal and excitement for your business are what will keep you on the right track, on the good days and, most importantly, on the not so good days.

It’s tough, and almost impossible to keep your own home-based business going if you’re not committed to working hard, and wanting to make your new venture a success. Believe it or not, you’re a far tougher taskmaster on yourself. You work harder, and longer hours than you would ever agree to in a traditional job. It’s your love, and complete dedication for whatever you decide to do, that forms a coat of armor around you to protect, and keep you going through thick and thin.

For this reason, you need to spend time researching the ideal home business that inspires you. There are a myriad moneymaking opportunities on the Internet for exciting online marketing businesses. Nevertheless, before you take the plunge to become a boomer entrepreneur you want to find a home business opportunity that fits your needs, your interest, and your passion.

Be careful not to be sucked into tantalizing promises to make a six-figure income overnight. These ‘get rich’ schemes are much like the lottery, which means that your chances of winning are one in several million. Being on a losing streak before you even get started, will not get on your way to a successful new home business. True moneymaking business opportunities take time to build.

There are three further ingredients that you need to thrive in your new endeavor.

1. Embrace your wares

You need to fully understand and embrace the products or services you are selling. You need to understand the features and benefits so that you can easily explain them to your prospects.

2. Find a niche

You need to research and decide on a niche market to focus your efforts. Your products or services may well appeal to a vast majority of people, however, it’s far easier to target a specific group to get started. Realize that you can’t sell to the world at one time, even on the Internet.

3. Uncover concerns

Once you’ve established a niche market to target, you need to do your research to uncover their concerns and challenges. Armed with this information, you can design the best marketing tools to use to connect to this group. Perhaps the new marketing tools, namely, social media platforms, are the best way to go. Alternatively, you may decide that more traditional marketing is best. Whatever you decide based on your research, be creative.

Consistency is key to your success. You must continually take planned actions to improve your business. Like baking a cake, you need the right ingredients and a certain method to make sure that it comes out the way it should every time.

In your home-based business, when you follow the right recipe, you have a greater chance of success.

It all starts with your passion. This is the single most critical ingredient. Without it, you are likely to burn out and fail. However, a deep love for what you do will guide you. And like magic, your business will flourish, and that six-figure income is well be within your reach.

Kick Start Your Small Business – Chapter One

Building a small static, premises based business is elementary, no big budget blowing criteria are required, and a common sense approach and application by you, the entrepreneur, will earn handsome rewards and guarantee success.

Whether your business is a pizza outlet or a second-hand bookstore, the principles remain the same. In order to succeed please erase all misconceptions and pre-conceptions you have before reading further, almost all novice entrepreneurs come from a corporate background that have an enormous base or platform to operate from, the infrastructure is unshakable and steady. Get rid of this notion if you intend staying in your small or start-up business.

Think Big- Act Small

There is no shame or disgrace in dreaming big, Dr. Abraham Maslow confirmed it with his self-actualization theory.

Acting big, costs a bag of loot, there is little hope of return on your investment in the near future.

The BIG factors one should avoid.

o Web – Site – unless your business is web-based.
o Above-The-Line Marketing. This channel is expensive and capital-intensive.
o All the social media, “Twitter”, “LinkedIn”, and “Quora” are a few examples.
o Lavish marketing that drains resources.
o A natural yet repeated tendency toward over-expenditure, on initial shop-fittings.

Acting Small

Acting small is humbling and gets you real close to your consumers/customers in your primary market. The learning process is cathartic and educational; you gain an understanding of your primary market that is invaluable and everlasting in its effect on your business.

Small Behavior

Behaving small is fun, educational, and enriching for your business and character as an entrepreneur, develop a mind-blowing tag line or Unique Sales Proposition (U.S.P) Print a couple thousand, budget business cards with your motto or U.S.P. e-mail address and personal telephone number clearly visible. Place cards in your pocket and hit the road on foot. Wear comfortable shoes!

How do you behave small?

- “Walk the Walk” – Introduce yourself in person to all the businesses within a three to five-mile radius of your business premises.

- Introduce yourself to all the schools, colleges, and educational centers within your primary market.

- Visit the centers for the aged, frail care and all benevolent organizations. Compassionate people staff all of these institutions. These people will gladly give you an audience, and assist in improving your personal confidence.

- Banking institutions have a tremendous influence on their customers; get them on your side and save a fortune on marketing costs.

- Join the local chapter of your chamber of commerce or traders’ organization.

- Use community notice boards, this form of advertising mediums are normally free.

- Collect as many business cards and stationery as possible, they all have an e-mail address, very handy for low-cost, direct mass communication.

- Sports clubs, gymnasiums, and little-league venues will provide you with an avenue to advertise your fledgling business.

- Focus groups like homemakers league, Weigh-Less and craft guilds have members that are actively involved in their community.

- Multiple community based organizations, even Churches and funeral parlors, these institutions are important members of your community.

The idea or mission is to sell yourself to the community, the identity of your business will grow proportionately, and consumers still prefer to see and get to know the face behind the new venture.

Business Has Nothing To Do With You – It’s All About The Client

As a business owner you must quickly establish that business, truly, has nothing to do with you. I often refer to this whole concept as the ‘Missing Link’ simply because I often see businesses put out marketing messages and collateral which essentially does not speak directly with their audience. There is often something missing: a true understanding of their market and what it wants. You see, now more than ever, as customers we all have so many more choices and options. Or let’s put it another: your prospect has so many more options.

Therefore if the marketing message you use, doesn’t talk to them directly – doesn’t address, or recognise their problem in a compelling and persuasive manner – they will go elsewhere. Similarly, every time you run an advert, send out a piece of direct mail or put up a web page; so is your competition. Someone, somewhere, is competing for your prospect’s time and/or money. Now this isn’t meant to be all ‘doom and gloom’, I simply want you to recognise what you’re up against, and especially if you continue to market your business from your point of view.

The key is to see your business, and in particular what you’re offering, from your client’s point of view. Ultimately, your client carries one question, and only one question around with them when they consider your product or service, “What’s in it for me?”, or “How does this product or service solve my problems..?”.

Yes, it’s commonsense, but not always commonplace.

Your prospect only cares about one thing: his or herself. It’s human nature; it’s how we ‘work’. However, whenever I review a client’s marketing materials, or review their approach to generating and converting leads, it’s amazing how many business owners still adopt the approach of what I call ‘ME-ME-ME marketing’. The content of their message is essentially all about them, and all about how great they are. Let me give you a very practical and pertinent example…

Recently I was invited to run a seminar for a local business networking organisation. At the end of the presentation, one of the audience members came up to me to introduce himself. After telling me how much he liked the presentation, I went to ask him about himself, what business he was in etc:

“Well I’ve been in sales for over 20 years now, working mainly in the finance sector. In fact, before I decided to start my own business, I was the top salesman in my company. I was setting records all over the place! In fact, to date, nobody has ever beaten my targets in the last 7 years. I think the company was really sorry to see me go”.

So on and so forth. However after he left, I really only had one thought: I wouldn’t want you working for me! Why? His credentials were enviable. However, not once, did he talk about why his background, abilities, skills etc were important to me! You might be the very best in your field, but it means nothing… Unless, it means something to your prospect.

You must imbue all of your marketing with a sense of truly understanding and knowing your client. As Peter Drucker once said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” If you only remember one thing after reading this article, remember this critical business building principle: business is all about the client.

So how does this relate to position yourself as an authority in your field? It’s fundamental; fundamental to how you conduct yourself, and how you conduct business with your market.

Think about this; ‘experts’ truly understand their market. Experts ‘get’ their clients, and at a very deep level; they truly appreciate and know their market. So ultimately by knowing that business is all about the client, you position yourself as a credible and trustworthy choice in your field. You see once you understand this, know this and most importantly of all, apply this, then the strategies and tactics needed to ensure you better position yourself as authority in your industry, follow suit.

Remember, your potential client comes to you with their own set of prejudices, experiences (both good and bad) and assumptions. For example, as a ‘prospect’ these are just some of the concerns and doubts going through my mind, as I’m deciding whether to use your company:

  • First, I feel that I’m taking a personal risk: will your product or service actually work? I’m actually giving up some degree of control.
  • I’m sceptical. Okay, you tell me your product or service is perfect for my needs, but then you would say that. Will it really work? Will it really do the job?
  • I’m feeling insecure. Since I’m not great at distinguishing the geniuses from the also-rans, I’m concerned I might make the wrong decision!
  • Potentially I might feel a little threatened, as you may be working on something that I should really be able to do myself, but for whatever reason I’m unable to do so.

The thing is, I’m almost certain these are exactly the kinds of thoughts running through your head, whenever you decide to engage the services of a company. For example, you’re house needs rewiring, so you start to source a local electrician. Suddenly you have all kinds of concerns — and the company that already pre-empts these, or say, addresses these directly in their copy; ethically, substantively… and most of all persuasively, will win your business.

As mentioned previously, commonsense but not always commonplace.

So what is the solution, and how can you both, imbue all of your marketing with a sense of truly understanding and knowing your client, whilst positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, niche or sector.

Firstly, as a marketing consultant I would recommend you gather together all of your current marketing materials. Look over these as objectively as possible, and ask yourself, “Do I truly speak directly to the client, about the client and for the client – or – is the message I’m offering all about me?”. This is the first and simple step. You might be clearly articulating a difference to the market; however, it must mean something to the market. Many marketing messages I see are feature-led, as opposed to being full with benefit orientated copy that speaks directly with the prospect.

Secondly – when I visit your website, read your emails, or look at your marketing literature; is it clear that you know your sector? In other words, do you offer an education to your audience, and not just a sales message? Remember ‘experts’ don’t need to sell, at least not initially. Include articles, reports, guides – offer your market something of stand-alone value. In other words: educate first, sell second.

Thirdly – and this is essential – understand that your client never actual buys your product or service: they are buying the result of that product or service. So again, appreciate the fact that they have no real interest in what you do, it’s what you can do for them, that is the key. So when crafting your marketing materials talk in terms of ‘outcomes’; what the client will be left with, after they have engaged your services or used your product.

Notice how both these very simple strategies will start to help you be regarded as the preferred choice. It’s by no means all of the answer, but it’s a very good starting point; and something your competitors will not be addressing. Whilst they simply talk about themselves, and how great they are; you on the other hand, will demonstrate and purposely articulate, a deep understanding and appreciation for your client – which ultimately is all that matters.