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Friday, May 23, 2008

Want to Start a Business and Work from Home? Important Questions to Making the Right Choice

ANY business is going to require money upfront to be successful - whether you have a concept and develop it yourself as a brand and a business, or whether you BUY into someone else’s brand. Believing that you can start a business without any money is a bad decision!

Interestingly, this is the BIGGEST difference between men and women who start businesses. MEN raise the capital, even if it's $1,000 to start. Women try to start a business with no capital, struggle, get frustrated, and quit. Some say that men are in business to make money and women are in business to make a living -- maybe this is why men thrive and women oftentimes just survive!If you want to start a business, you will need money, period. So choosing to buy into someone else’s brand requires that you are smart and ask the right questions to make sure the business is not a scam. Some of those questions need to be asked of yourself! I have two businesses. One is my own brand and one is someone else’s. Neither are scams, and both have been profitable, even in 2008! In addition, I know several women who have invested in Multi Level Marketing brands and are VERY successful. Becoming self-employed requires that you are willing to do whatever it takes to grow your business!Consider:

1- How comfortable am I with sales? Do I understand the sales process and how to close a sale? If you are not comfortable doing this, you will struggle. Let’s face it. In big companies, someone else does the sales, but as a solo-preneur, you close the sales.
2- Do I believe in the product? When you use, love, and believe in a product, it is easier to sell. Do not decide to start a business because of the idea that you will get rich quickly. Start because you believe in your business, and the money will follow.
3- What kind of training and support will I get? If you have decided to invest in a brand, find out what the investment will get you. Any good company will have training and support sessions and phone calls to help you succeed. Check out: http://www.dsa.org/ The Direct Selling Association and see if the company is registered and referred. Talk to a REAL person and find out.
4- How will I develop a business plan? Whether it is your own concept or not, having a 1-, 3-, and 5-year business plan is key to success. Getting support from the SBA or local non-profit orgs that help women start businesses is a great way to learn how to do this.
5- Am I afraid of the numbers? You have to sit down and work out the numbers to figure out how the business will be profitable for you. If you sell one piece of jewelry, one lipstick, one hour of your service, one gadget, you have to consider the TIME you put in to make the sale. That demonstrates real value. Better yet, work your way backwards. Figure out how much you need (and then, how much you want) to make every month. Work your way back with the numbers to figure out what it will take.
6- Am I willing to do whatever it takes to make it work? Starting your own business takes discipline, hard work, and the willingness to push beyond your comfort zone. Are you up for it?7- Do I really want a business, or is this just a hobby? If you truly want to be self-employed, you need to treat it like a business, not a hobby. That means investing in yourself and the business to grow it, even when money is tight. Hobbyists only invest when they have extra cash.

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