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8 Ways to Guarantee Your Home Business Fails

Apr 17, 2008
Lots of people fail in their home businesses. Failure is easier than success, after all, even though it hurts more. There are plenty of things you can do that will easily increase your odds of failure.

1. Talk, but don't act.

Go ahead. Tell everyone that you're going to start a home business. Maybe even buy a business kit or ebook that tells you all about what you need to do in order to get started. But actually start? No.

2. Work as little as possible on your business.

Lots of people get started, but then do very, very little work on their business. There's always something else going on, whether it's family life, a regular job or a hobby.

Know what? An hour a week isn't going to get you very far in business. If you want to get to the point where your business practically runs itself, you're going to have to work hard to reach that point. It takes time, often years, to have so much as a shot at putting your business on anything resembling autopilot.

3. Opportunity-hop.

Now, there are times when you should give up on a business opportunity. Some ideas genuinely aren't going to work out. The challenge comes in figuring out when to switch and when to stick with it.

This problem is particularly strong in direct sales. People go from company to company because so many sound so good. But you aren't impressing your customers and you aren't building a solid foundation for your business. You lose a lot every time you decide to start over. Don't do it casually.

4. Start too many businesses.

This is a common fault for people running online businesses. One website may seem to be easy to run, so why not two or three or fifty? Surely 50 websites earning $10/day is better than one earning $10/day.

Too bad it's just not that simple. Each website requires development, marketing and maintenance. Even if they're on something near to autopilot, all your websites need some of your attention.

5. Fail to research.

Even if your best friend ever swears that it's a brilliant opportunity, you need to do your research. First and foremost is whether or not it's something you will be comfortable doing. If you don't enjoy your home business, where's the motivation to work on it. The possibility that you may earn good money later is often not enough.

And then there's the question of whether or not anyone else will care about what your business offers. If no one is interested, no one will buy.

Worse yet, a failure to research can mean falling for a scam. You always need to know what you're getting into.

6. Assume you can do it all.

Everything. Take care of your family, home and your home business.

Most likely you will need some help. The kids out of the house for at least part of your working time is a good start. You can work after they're asleep too, but you're risking having too little time for yourself if you try to do everything. Overwork is the path to burnout.

7. Refuse to market your business.

There are plenty of ways to market a home business, but especially if you're online it's very easy to fall for "build it and they will come," which quite simply doesn't work.

You should be willing to talk to people you meet about your business. Market it online in whatever form you prefer. Market it in the real world.

8. Have unrealistic expectations.

This can be one of the causes for most of the above problems. If you expect your business to succeed too quickly, you may be more prone to opportunity hopping. If you expect to be earning money quickly, you may overextend your business.

There's only so much you should expect of a given home business. There are many wonderful possibilities that could happen, but overnight, 6 figure success is extremely low on that list. Assume you will have to work hard, for years, and that it will be a while before you see so much as adequate money.

But don't forget to dream!
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/blog/ about running a home business. She did a recent series on publishing an ebook at her site.
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