Is An Online Home Business Worth The Effort?

The idea of setting up a work from home internet business does appeal to a lot of people but many never actually doing anything about it. Having your own ‘part time business’ that brings in extra income and satisfies your inner entrepreneur desires sounds great, but is it really worth the effort?

How can you build an online home business if you don’t have anything to sell? And, suppose you did have a product or service, how would you actually sell it on the internet, or get it shipped to the customer and then receive payment for it? These challenges are often the obstacles that aspiring online business owners believe will prevent them from ever getting a business on to the internet. But these barriers that are simple to resolve.

Where Do You Start?

The global economical problems over the past few years have been very tough for conventional business ‘offline’ owners. But, conversely, there has been a huge increase in the number of people buying goods and services on the internet. This is good news for people who have taken advantage of internet home business opportunities.

Probably the most popular strategy that entrepreneurs use to generate revenue on the internet is affiliate marketing. Although there are many online home business models available, affiliate marketing must rank as one of the top ones, if not number one.

Basically, the affiliate marketing model is when you promote someone’s product over the internet. You can sell digital products, tangible products, or both. Digital products include eBooks, video courses and membership websites that can be used online or downloaded directly to the customer’s computer. A tangible product is something that is physically delivered to the customer’s address.

A Proven Home Business Model.

Affiliate marketing is great way to start a work from home internet business. There is a wide range of different business markets that you can get involved in. You do not need your own product or hold any stock. Additionally, you don’t have to organise any deliveries or get concerned with payment systems as the product owner takes care of all of these issues. Your job is to find the customers and promote the products to them. When they buy something, the product owner pays you a commission.

When starting your own online home business, the main thing is to get involved with an industry or product line that you like. It will be challenging to keep your commitment going with any type of online business if it concerns something that does not interest you.

Having a work from home internet business is very fulfilling. As your business grows you can enjoy the extra income that it delivers and have the satisfaction that you have created it. Eventually as it becomes more profitable you may be able to give up your regular day job and enjoy the freedom that of working when and where you want so long as you have a computer and access to the internet.

How Much is Your Business Worth? Value It With a Business Valuation Calculator

Valuation Potential

There are more than 10 ways to value your business. Each method will provide you with a slightly different answer. One of the more common methods that business brokers use is to value your business is based on how much cash the business will generate in the long term. Business brokers then discount this cash to today’s value. This allows Business brokers to gain a clear understanding of the value of the business in today’s value.

With online calculators assumptions need to be made in order to generate a valuation figure. Given the value of your business profit, we then need to understand how much actual cash you have available in the business. Probably the largest player to impact upon this level of cash is the tax man. The tax man unfortunately wants a significant slice of your profits. When your business therefore earns a profit of $100,000 you effectively only end up with a lesser amount in the bank, as cash after you have paid your tax bill.

The other major assumption that needs to be made, is what we call the “weighted cost of capital”. This might be more simply referred to as the risk of lending money to the business. If your business is a low risk proposition and your future income is guaranteed then this figure would be down at around 4%. However for most small businesses there is a high degree of risk that earnings will remain constant over the next 10 years, so we apply a risk factor of 15-20% or even greater for higher risk enterprises.

With online business valuation calculator, the model calculates your sales and profits over the next 10 years and then discounts this by the “weighted cost of capital” rate.

There are many more factors that could be taken into account including capital injections and expenditures, depreciation and even whether the owners of the business are being paid a fair salary.

Online Business Valuation calcutors can provide an indicative valuation of a business by using discounted cash flow and weighted cost of capital.

Startup Storytelling – Create a Business Worth Talking About, and Tell Stories About Your Startup

This is one way to approach the whole of business startup, I think. In fact, it is one way of considering your value proposition. If your business is not worth talking about, then you should probably not start at all. But your business is worth talking about. Avoid second-hand stories, because yours must differentiate you.

They have to be good stories and have a purposeful message. In these days of information overload, a good story will always win over dry ‘corporate speak’ or ‘marketing hype’. If you are starting a business, your experience is a treasure trove of stories. Do not be shy. You have learned many lessons and can make them useful for others.

Entrepreneurs Stories to Attract Attention

Entrepreneurs need stories badly. If you contact someone and say, “I’m calling from the Googleplex and I..,”you will probably get attention. If you are making a presentation and you are introduced by the chair saying, “Will is from Goldman Sachs..,” your audience is likely to be very attentive.

But neither of these apply to you. And you need to attract attention fast, however good your (unknown) product or service.

Injecting some humor is good, unless like me you risk forgetting the punch line. The story need not be long and should follow the advice of Chip and Dan Heath (authors of Made to Stick) who say, “For an idea to stick, for it to be useful and lasting, it’s got to make the audience:

  • Pay attention
  • Understand and remember it
  • Agree/Believe
  • Care
  • Be able to act on it.”

Reveal Who You Are

Your story will reveal who you are implicitly, without having to churn out out your resume, or hand out your business plan. The story will of course be true and even if you are telling a story against yourself or one that demonstrates a lesson you have learned, make it positive in tone.

That does not mean that stories need to be embellished and there is nothing wrong with revealing your emotions. It could be that the lesson learned was a hard one. Your brand certainly needs its story and it should not be defensive. It should be narrative. “It’s about communicating who you, as a business, are-discovering your identity, not inventing a new one willy-nilly. Positioning helps a company become what it is, not something it’s not,” says Stephen Dunning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling.

Rehearse Your Story

Storytelling may sound easy. It is not, and you need to prepare yourself, just like you would for any presentation. Craig Wortmann, author of What’s Your Story? has an excellent piece of advice, “Approach your presentations as if your clients or people will not be allowed to take notes or refer to any documentation.”

Craig’s storytelling mnemonic, IGNITE, is worth you noting for creating your own stories-make them:

  • Intentional
  • Genuine
  • Natural
  • Improvisational
  • Total
  • Engaging.

Find a storytelling buddy and rehearse your story together. If you do not like that idea, record it and listen to it on your own. Better still record it on your webcam and play it back to review how it goes. If if you have no webcam, tell it to the bathroom mirror! A live story telling will be different because you will get feedback from the audience, but a rehearsal will iron out obvious shortcomings.

Where the Subject Sources Are

The sources of subjects for your storytelling are most effective if they come from your own experience. But they can also be:

  • second-hand; I told a story to a trainer friend and he loved it enough to ask if he could use it and he has already told it with more panache than my original, but then he is an excellent storyteller;
  • from your company experience; successes of employees, customer experiences, neat problem solutions, examples of creativity;
  • from articles that quote experience or stories recounted in books; you will find Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard’s book Let My People Go Surfing is full of them;
  • presentations of stories retold by you in your own context, if they make strong and memorable accounts that are pertinent.

A storytelling story

A former colleague of mine, George, whose storytelling is a big contributor to his business success, always made me smile when we were on gigs together. He carries a battered old leather briefcase with him. It is so old and worn that the handle is long gone. When he arrives at the front, he needs a large table by the lectern, on which he can spread out a whole bunch of notes and papers before he starts talking. He is a business school professor and this underlines his professorial status.

What the audience does not know is that, while he delivers his presentation as if he had never done so before and does occasionally refer to the papers on the table, it is a presentation he has made many times before, with the same old notes from the same old briefcase. But this ritual is one of many reasons why he makes the presentation a winner every time. He tells the stories like it is the first time they have been aired.