Creating Wealth With Home-Based Business and Cottage Industries
By Michael Sandburg
The economic downturn and prolonged depression have caused an upsurge in the interest in home-based businesses and cottage industries. The long term unemployed, or under-employed, understandably see this as perhaps their only opportunity. Others turn to starting a home-based business because of the desire to be one’s own boss. Still others sense a need to hedge against the possibility of losing one’s job, given the new climate among employers that fails to instill confidence in job security.
Even retirees are turning to cottage industries to supplement their income, particularly in the light of companies cutting back on cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in pension plans. The threat and reality of pension reform is causing genuine concern among both retirees and workers anticipating retirement.
The Protandim opportunity offered by LifeVantage is the one in which we have greatest faith at the present time, for the reasons explained in other sections of this website.
In this post we will consider a few important factors that apply to any home-based business you might consider.
1. Time Commitment:
Perhaps the greatest investment is a commitment of time. If you are not prepared to live your new business day and night, success may be elusive. That is not to say you have to work 18 hours a day at your new venture, but you may need to consistently give your business at least several hours a week, perhaps minimally an average of a few minutes out of each waking hour. If you are not actively doing something to enhance your business, you should be thinking about things you might do when time permits. Don’t expect to plop down your initial monetary investment, walk away, and watch the rewards roll in. If you do find a business that works that way, please tell me about it.
Another thing about time is that you need to give your business time to mature. Don’t expect overnight success. There is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme, and if anyone tells you otherwise do not just walk away, but turn and run in the other direction as fast as you can.
All good things take time. Give your business the time to work. That is not to say keep feeding a dead horse, but if your particular business opportunity is viable for anyone, it should remain viable for you too. Turn to others you can emulate, people in your industry or company who are on the road to success, and whose lead you can follow.
2. Financial Investment:
Any business, large or small, requires a commitment of financial resources to get started and keep rolling. The old adage that “it takes money to make money,” is just about as certain in life as death and taxes. This financial investment may range anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars on the low end, on up to hundreds of thousands or even into the 7-figures for some franchise businesses. This money may come from savings, credit cards, or loans, venture capital funding, or partnering with others with the cash.
3. Follow the Yellow Brick Road
It is important to have a business plan or a track to run on. Franchises are ideal because they have a proven track record, with established procedures and practices that have been demonstrated to work. This is why it is hard to tell one McDonald’s restaurant from another. They all follow established methods of serving their customers. The trial and error has been done for you. Those things that are shown to work are put into practice on a large scale. Follow the established path, and achieving success is the likely result.
Short of having a large investment for a franchise opportunity, a home-based business proposition that has an established path to success is Network Marketing. The financial commitment is typically small, under a thousand dollars in most cases, and seldom more than a few thousands.
Network Marketing professionals will tell you that you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Any MLM business is only as good as the upline support you will receive, the product you represent, and the commitment you are prepared to make to follow the path and promote your business.
In the past I have been involved in several MLM programs. In each case I was introduced by a friend or a family member. The biggest thing I learned from those experiences is that success depends upon 3 factors: Product, Support, and Attitude.
A. Product with USP
Choose wisely when you decide to get into business for yourself. Foremost is the product. Don’t fall for the hype or get mesmerized by the circles or other pictures drawn by those promoting the franchise or other opportunity. Never lose sight of the product. If the promoter avoids discussion of the product, and is more passionate about the opportunity than the product, my advice is to look elsewhere. Quick.
Does the product line have a unique selling proposition (USP)? USP has also been described as unique selling price, unique selling product, or unique selling point, depending on the industry served. But these all amount to the same thing: Is the product somehow unique that it cannot be had cheaper elsewhere, or is it something everyone already has and does not need from you? The former is obviously better. Protandim fits that requirement in a very big way.
Elsewhere on this website information is presented to illustrate Protandim’s uniqueness. That is what caught my interest, as someone seasoned in network marketing. This was not initially obvious, however, to me. I sometimes over-think things, and that was the case here.
I actually played with the idea that since Protandim has no secret ingredient, perhaps I could simply roll my own, so to speak: buy the assorted ingredients separately, mix them together, and live happily ever after. I tried it. Ha! Then I remembered I’m not a chemist.
Getting the right amounts of each ingredient, in the proper proportions, is not nearly as easy as it first seemed. Then I heard Dr. McCord discuss the process, and the fact that there is a synergistic relationship between the ingredients such that they don’t work the same way individually. The sum is greater than the parts because of this synergy. Some, by themselves, are even toxic if not taken in proper proportion. Besides, the process is so complicated that no one with a life would ever actually have the discipline to formulate their own, even if they could figure out how to do it. Buying the product already made in the proper proportions costs less than a couple dollars a day.
If people will drive to Starbucks and pay $5 for cup of coffee, they certainly are not going to gripe about paying $1.67 for a pill with so much promise as Protandim. And if one is serious about using the product, the preferred customer program offers a generous discount.
So Protandim’s USP is safe.
One famous MLM that I was involved in for a time sold cleaning products. Their products are excellent, and earn customer loyalty. They are among the oldest and most successful businesses in the world and many of their distributors have made millions. But true or not, the common perception is that many of their products are similar to things you can pick up at the grocery store. That’s a tough product line to push today.
Another MLM sold telecommunications services. Competing with the phone companies that we have all grown to hate certainly had its appeal. But this too was a tough business. We were largely selling a commodity that everyone already had. Nevertheless, I achieved a comfortable level of success in this program, and even pioneered some marketing approaches that helped many others grow their business. But this company fell apart almost overnight, leaving thousands of us scratching our heads wondering how the rug got pulled out from under us in an instant. That was a hard pill to swallow.
Another MLM program I was introduced to sounded great at first. But it turned out they were selling a product that was readily available for free elsewhere. So much for that plan. Neither my sponsor nor I ever made a dime in that business. Our respective investments, though relatively small, were totally wasted. This was a case where the product failed the USP test.
So now comes LifeVantage and Protandim. Wow. Here is a product that has what appears to have genuine potential to improve health and perhaps even prolong life. Protandim has USP. It is unique. Its benefits cannot be achieved by any other product on the market. Those are strong statements, and these were claims that I must admit I was not quick to accept. But if you watch and listen to several hours of videos explaining the product and its development history, and read a bunch of the peer-reviewed studies documenting its effectiveness, it is hard not to acknowledge the significance of this product.
You’ve heard of products being described as “the best thing since sliced bread.” Protandim is better than bread — sliced or not!
B. Strong Support Network
Another vital element required for success in any new business is a strong support network. In a franchise venture, is the company really going to be there for you to help you navigate the obstacles you will face? Chances are you are not going to encounter a problem no other franchisee has ever faced, but it is highly likely that you’ll be hit with things you never experienced before. Can you count on the company having your back in such situations?
The same is true in Network Marketing, perhaps moreso. You’ll be faced with challenges every day, from the moment you get out of bed each morning. Chances are you are new either to the concept of Network Marketing, or certainly to the company and product line you are representing. Your new business can be a fun, but it is going to be series of challenges at first. Can you count on your “upline,” the person who introduced you to the opportunity and the line of people above him or her, to help you build your own “downline?” Does the company sponsor training and other events to keep you involved?
Perhaps the most important support network is your family and circle of friends. I don’t mean that they have to buy your product or join under you as a distributor — though that would be nice. Rather, I mean that they should be supportive of your efforts and enthusiasm, not negative influences. Surround yourself with positive thinkers.
C. Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)
Negative thinking is deadly to dreams. Imagine if Walt Disney had allowed the negative thinkers of the world to influence him. Mickey Mouse never got depressed, did he? As the new movie Saving Mr. Banks illustrates, Walt Disney was not a stranger to challenges. And while plenty of negative thinkers crossed his path, he never allowed them to influence him or detract from his ambition.
From a personal experience early in my life I can attest that negative thinking can be devastating. I recall proudly announcing to my sister how I has earned a 96% grade on my Latin I regents exam. This was a standardized exam taken by high school freshmen statewide, and I had achieved a pretty good grade. One of my sisters, several years my senior, and who had not done quite so well, retorted, “Wait until you get to Latin II. That’s impossible.” I believed her. I let that negative influence into my head and did not do well at all in the advanced course — even though I had a solid foundation in the language. She crumbled that foundation out from under me, because I accepted her negativity as reality. Don’t let negative thinkers, among your family members or your close friends tear down the foundation that is your enthusiasm for the opportunity. There is an old saying that “misery loves company,” and some people derive great pleasure from holding back the people who are close to them from achieving greater success. Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to the nay-sayers.
“That’ll never work. That’s just one of those pyramid schemes. No one will buy that. No one needs that. ” These are small sampling of the things you are sure to hear. Well meaning as they might be, you’ll seldom hear a truly successful person uttering such clatter. So when they say these things, consider the source. Even people you love and who love you back might not believe in the project. That’s ok. They just don’t know what you do. They didn’t get all the facts before passing judgment. Again, consider the source — and realize they may not be as well informed on this particular topic as you have become. After all, yesterday, or last month you didn’t know any better either.
Old enough to remember a cup of coffee costing a dime, I might have been likely to suggest to the founder of Starbucks that, “No one will ever pay $5 for a drink of coffee.” How wrong such a statement would have been. The possibility of your venture being successful is no less preposterous, so just smile at their ignorance and get back to them after you’ve proven them wrong. After all, others before you have been successful at whatever business you are considering, or else no one would have presented it to you. What personality assets do they have that you don’t , and that would make your success so utterly impossible? And what makes those nay-sayers so smart? If they’re so darned smart, why ain’t they rich?
That’s about it. Six simple elements are essential: (1) The ability to make a commitment of time; (2) a bit of financial investment; (3) an outstanding product with its USP; (4) a business plan or path to follow; (5) a strong support network; and (6) an attitude of positive thinking. These are the keys to any successful business venture, from creating the next Disneyland, to capitalizing on the next great Network Marketing opportunity.
Good luck in your new venture, whatever it is.