Business & Money – inextricably linked according to our latest survey of subscribers. 50% of you who responded to a successful business with over 27% of you wanting to run a successful business that you can work on, and travel with, anywhere in the world.
Trailing in way behind was "a million pound property portfolio" desired by just 13.5% of you, with only another 13.5% of you wanting to be debt free. I'll tackle those two topics later in the week, but I bet the property portfolio would have been higher this time last year!
What is a "successful" business?
Everyone has a different definition and I think it depends what kind of a life you want. If you want a nice easy quiet life, with lots of time for leisure activities and hobbies, then a nice home-based or lifestyle business would be good for you. You may want to look at a network marketing opportunity like Avon, Telecom Plus, Virgin Vie or Success University.
Or even something more down to earth and local like a babysitting business, gardening or something where you buy into an existing successful system, like Judith Morgan's Cleaning Biz. My friend Kim – a great hairdresser – has made a great business working from home 3 days a week, in her lovely salon, entirely depending on word of mouth referrals and able to pick her kids up from school and knock off early if she wants to .
If you want a bit more excitement then you might want to build a global business with lots of staff and a high-flying lifestyle. If you want high-flying but no team, then a consultancy business might be for you.
By any definition, a successful business is one that covers all its overheads, pays its taxes, makes enough profit to create a long term financial cushion to be able to ride out peaks and troughs in the market or economy, and pay you a handsome salary AND dividends on top!
When I was in my 20's and 30's, I would have defined a successful business as one that paid me enough to pay my household bills, without having to work away from home. My expectations have been raised quite dramatically since then! As have my outgoings. But also my income luckily.
Not without a lot of pain though, due to having NO CLUE about what a successful business looks like, acts like or needed from me. About 100 books, and at least FIVE business mentors later, I might be getting there.
I think it also depends on your level of corporate or business experience when you start, where you set your expectations, and whether you have read any of the great wealth creation or business books like "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki or "The E-Myth Revisited "by Michael Gerber which are certainly eye-opens.
Working with Judith Morgan, serial successful entrepreneur, and hanging out online with gurus and business coaches like Rich Schefren has changed the way I think about business for ever, too.
There is no right way way or wrong way to think about what a successful business means for you, but do try and define it. If you begin with the end in mind, you will find it a lot easier to put the plan in place to achieve that success for you.
Businesses seem to go through phases … in the early days it's all about attracting clients or customers and so many do not get past that hurdle.
When we then surveyed our mailing list about what was stopping them creating a successful business some interesting answers came up ….
The overwhelming majority of you feel that money is the issue in starting a successful business.
Business & money, money & business. Bit like the chicken and the egg eh?
You want a successful business so that you can have more money, but you can not even start a business becuase you percieve that you need money to start one, and you do not have any money.
The survey revealed that you think you need start up capital, you worry about paying yourself while the business gets going, and you are concerned about not being able to afford to outsource the things you can not do.
Then we get into marketing worries, like not being confident of being able to market your business effectively, talking about your business in a concise and compelling way, or how to go about promoting your business.
As this article is about Business & Money, I'll steer away from my favorite topic, marketing, and stick to the brief. With difficulty as I get very passionate about marketing.
If you look around you there are numerous business opportunities that do not require any start up capital. A local babysitting, cleaning or dog-walking company could start with some neat, hand-written leaflets put though local doors, and then you could re-invest some of your profits in getting that done through your local paper and professionally printed. We got a quote the other day for 10,000 full color 2-sided flyers for £ 40 odd.
Need I say that the aim with those kind of businesses is to quickly recruit people to do the actual cleaning, gardening, babysitting or dogwalking – with you just doing the marketing, admin, etc. and enjoying the benefits?
Most network marketing opportunities require a very minimum investment – some, like one of my favorites, can be built and made a success of, entirely online, only requires you to join yourself for £ 25 / $ 50 odd per month (£ 1 / $ 2 in the first month).
The product is personal development education, including business, internet marketing, wealth creation and various other topics. The content is great, provided by many top names, and would benefit not only you, but many, many people.
If you use the content yourself, and if you blogged about what you were learning, and put links in your posts and a banner in your sidebar, like we have over to the right there, you would soon start attracting traffic and referrals. Building a business the easy way.
Actually that goes for any start up business. One of the best way to attract business is to keep a blog (web diary). Just tell your story! Your blog will naturally fill up with key words and even a local business will start to attract customers …… especially if they use Google Maps and list themselves in Google Local.
Oooops! straying into marketing there. Stick with business & money!
One of my business partners has a cleaning biz opportunity which is a license, not a franchise, which is a bit more informal and certainly less expensive. You are buying into a proven system so are less likely to go wrong and I know the founders give their licensees loads of support.
However, licenses and franchises are best suited to people who want their own business, but who wants to follow a proven system – they dont 'suit raging entrepreneurs who want to create, improve and change things all the time.
Coming onto the second part of the results from our survey, what kind of business can you run from anywhere in the world?
Ah, now this is the clincher.
If you want a business that leaves you free to travel, and be based anywhere, unless you are going to be head of a massive empire, with loads of directors and an MD or CEO to run things on a day to day basis, you will be needing an internet business.
And the good news is, internet businesses do not take much start up capital, the overheads are very low, and while you can start doing everything yourself, you can re-invest your profits in building a team of experts to outsource most of the work to.
We had a great day in London the other day with one of my most established internet marketing friends, Peter Woodhead, where he made us gasp with how easy it is to build a business without ever having to create a product yourself.
He showed us how to find "out of public domain" books, audio and articles to use, update and make our own. He even showed us an incredibly simple way to make money from those new products, even if you do not have a website !!
There really is no excuse not to create a business that can travel the world with you. If you do not do it, there is something holding you back and that something is in your head, not out here in the business world.
It's more about your beliefs – limiting and negative beliefs about business in general, and you in business, in particular.
Actually that's true of wealth creation generally. It's like most people are going around in a thick, thick fog of believing that it's not possible to make more money than that earned from their day job.
Once they get "the spark of possibility" lit for them (as my first mentor Gill Fielding used to say) then it's just a question of finding the RIGHT opportunity for them, the one that will suit their personality, skills and strengths and take them furthest, fastest and most easily.
Talking of personality types, do you know what yours is?
I'm a star / creator / mechanic in Wealth Dynamics terms, and a 9 on the Quick Action part of Kolbe Index.
So in terms of my strengths and skills, I love to speak and make videos, I love to create products and write.
Then, in terms of how I habitually take action, I love to get things moving, take action quickly and get momentum going fast.
Terrible at follow up, ok at research up to a point, and really rubbish at accumulating assets or making deals (unless they are very creative ones!)
Luckily, we are accumulating assets please ourselves due to investing with people who do that for you!
You see, once you know your strengths, skills and style of working, you can work to those strengths and outsource the rest.
They you can really fly, in terms of not only succeeding, but doing so in a way that is MOST enjoyable.
Because there is no point in replacing a job you hate, with a business you hate, because you are having to do stuff you do not enjoy, are not good at and worse, the boss is an overstressed, controlling madman (you!) .
Now, can you figure all that out yourself? Or would you like some help?
If so, then one of your first tasks should be to find a mentor – someone who has successfully built a business in the area you want to go into.
Where can you find such a mentor? I would start by asking everyone you know, then perhaps think about going to networking meetings. Be brave about asking for help and advice – it will make you stand out from the crowd (who are all trying to sell something!)
Think about joining one of the online networking groups like Ecademy, who also hold countrywide and local networking meetings.
Only by surrounding yourself with people on the same kind of journey as you, will you be more likely to be successful.
And with the economic doom & gloom around in the news at the moment, would not it be great to build a business on the side of your day job, that may, one day, set you free?
Because you can, you know!