I am writing this post from St Thomas over Spring Break. I am fortunate enough to run my business from a laptop and can work anywhere in the world. Many small business owners share my passion for freedom and have chosen a calling that requires very little, if any, face-to-face time. Mine can be run from a mountaintop in New Zealand (I was there last week), on the slopes of Aspen, or just about anywhere where an internet connection is present. My “home” in my home based business, is everywhere.
Fortunately for the budding entrepreneurs of the world, there is no”secret formula,” to accomplish what I have done. It takes work, no doubt, but the secret to building any successful small business comes down to several simple activities: observation, replication and elimination.
Candidly, any owner of a successful small business who hands you his playbook is a fool. He or she has spent years developing their business, and most likely NOT in the methodic way that I am describing here, but by trial and error. The input to their success was a lot of hard work that resulted in less than a dozen activities that really matter, and hundreds that do not matter at all.
Fortunately, those that set out to build a new business in today’s environment need only pay attention to the signs of success from several powerful competitors in order to hone in on their “magic dozen” activities. While these inputs are different from industry to industry, they are very likely exactly the same among the successful players within the industry. This brings us to point number two, replicate.
Business is not like school; in school copying was bad and punishable by a bad mark, a failing grade, even expulsion in a few severe cases. Successful business owners have mastered the art of taking another person’s business idea and replicating it. Think of Coke and Pepsi, Apple and Microsoft, Titleist and Callaway, etc. Each did not “stumble upon” their idea independently of the other. They watched the competition and tried to replicate, and then improve upon, their ideas. If you get nothing else from this article, remember this quote:
“Pioneers get the arrows…”
You don’t want to spend your entire life trying to develop the “great business idea” only to find that you fell short. Let someone else do the hard work and then you do it better. How do you do it better, you ask? It comes down to point number three, eliminate.
If you’ve followed the plan this far, you’ve spent the last several days, weeks or even months stalking the activities of your fiercest competitors. What did you learn? More than you thought, I’ll bet. You probably noticed that they each engage in numerous identical activities. Moreover a few of them engage in matching activities that a few did not, interesting . . . Could some of them know something that the others have not yet discovered? Conversely, how many of them engaged in “waste of time” actions? This is very prevalent, even in successful businesses; eliminate the activities that each competitor completes solo, unless you have a really good sense that they have discovered something that the other expert business operators have not. This leaves you with:
1) actions that all the top players engage in; and
2) actions that some of the top players engage in that might either be cutting edge and create a massive advantage for you, or might be bleeding edge and not work at all, keep your eyes wide open on these.
Home Based Business Road Map
After all this analysis, you have now completed your road map. You now have your business’s high performance engine, tuned up and ready to drop in the chassis of your company -all you need to do now is to customize it with a little paint and maybe a racing stripe or two!
Congratulations you have now very likely shaved years off the development time of your home based business, and at the same time increased the odds of success manifold. But you must have a question: if it is really this easy, why don’t more small business owners do it this way? The answer is that they get caught up running on the wheel, pushing harder, confusing movement with progress. You on the other-hand are smarter than that, and your reward is now much closer than it was before.
I wish you all the best in your future business endeavors.
About Jonathan Winter
Jonathan Winter is a published Author, a CPA, he has an MBA and has spent over 10 years of his life working in the financial services industry in New York. He specializes in wealth creation through small business development and effective cost management. To find out more about building a home based business visit 101MoneyTalk.com