Ryan's Blog

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Home Biz Roller Coaster

Like much in life, building a home-based business is cyclical. It's like taking a ride in a roller coaster. You start on the ground, go slowly up in the air, and then when you reach the top, fall down the other side at dizzying speed until you're back on the ground again. Just like a roller coaster, the uphill part of building your business can seem painfully slow. It's almost as if you have to push the carriage up the slope yourself. But at the top you reach a point called the Tipping Point. That's the point when you don't have to push any more. The hard work is done. You can just sit back and enjoy the ride downhill. So, get ready for the ride of your life as I show you the 6 phases of the Home Biz Roller Coaster.

1. Getting Off The Ground. Don't believe the hype that surrounds a lot of home-based businesses. There is no such thing as instant success. The truth is, you can't succeed in phase one. It's practically impossible. Why? Because you don't know enough yet. But don't worry. This is the phase where you're going to do all your learning. And remember, we often do our best learning by failing. So, in this first phase, be ready for a few uncomfortable bumps. Insulate yourself against them - perhaps by keeping on that full-time job - and be encouraged that, once you get past this phase, there's no getting off: you're already a success in the making!

2. Identify The Opportunities. In phase one, you'll have learnt what works, and what doesn't work in your particular neck of the woods. In phase two, you're going to identify the opportunities that will eventually define your business. At first, it will only be an inkling, a few ideas blowing in the wind. Something someone said tying up with something you know about. But seemingly out of nowhere, you'll come up with the idea, product or service that only you could have discovered. Looking back later, it will seem simple. You'll ask yourself: why didn't I think of that before? It's like the man who invented ice cream cones 2000 years after the invention of ice cream. It was just waiting for the right time to be invented.

3. Produce Something Special. Once you have your knowledge and your big idea, you now have to turn it into a product or service that people will queue up to buy. We're still on the upward curve of the roller coaster, which is defined as hard work, with no money coming in but plenty of money going out. But don't worry. Remember the cyclical nature of the trip you're on. If you stay on board, it will come. Phase three's theme is partnerships. OK, you may be able to develop a great product on your own, but the chances are you need someone else to help you. Ferret these people out. Make sure they share your dreams. And work together to produce something special that nobody's created before.

4. Work Like Hell and Advertise. Up till now, there's only been a steep hill ahead of you. It's been like climbing Everest, with no apparent end in sight. But, now, with your product created, you might just be able to glimpse the summit ahead. But don't get ahead of yourself. There's still a lot of work to do. The final uphill phase is about marketing yourself to your customers. If your business is an Internet business, it means working non-stop to create a marketing-oriented website, offering great content, building joint ventures, publishing articles that enhance your expertise, and advertising. If you want some good advice in this phase, take a leaf out of the book of the billionaire media mogul, Ted Turner, whose recipe for success was: "Early to bed, early to rise; work like hell and advertise."

5. Establish Working Systems. The fact is that everything up to this point has been hard graft. OK, I know there are satisfying moments on the uphill curve, but let's face it, you're in business to make money not spend it. Well, the good news is, that, if you've researched your market, developed your idea, created great products, and marketed till you're blue in the face, things are now going to change. Instead of Money Out, it's going to be Money In. Instead of being predominantly active, your role is going to be predominantly passive. Instead of pushing the carriage up the hill, you can now get in and enjoy the ride downhill. Of course, it doesn't mean you have nothing to do. On the contrary, you need to establish systems that ensure you run your home-based business like a proper business, even if you're still in the garage or bedroom. And that includes systems to collect and account for the money coming in. But who knows? You might even be able to pay yourself a wage!

6. Deliver Excellent Customer Service. We're now racing down the downhill curve of our roller coaster on the last phase. There's a good chance that, while the uphill phase seemed painfully slow, the downhill phase is exactly the opposite: fast, chaotic, and out of control. Your one focus in this phase is on your customers. Whereas in the uphill phase, there was just you and the dog for company, you now have people knocking on your door at all hours of the day and night. You're in demand. Your response must be to deliver outstanding customer service to everyone who wants a bit of the action. That way, if you want, you'll come up with an idea or proposition that will start off the whole roller coaster journey all over again!

The Home Biz Roller Coaster can be exciting, frustrating, painful, crushing, never-ending, wonderful, and exhilarating. If you make it to the end, you'll have experienced one of the greatest rides of your life. I'm still on it and so, I suspect, are you. I wish you a great trip! See you at the other end!


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