Top 5 Mistakes Moms Make When Starting a Home-based Business

Oct 9 08:09 2009 Raynay Valles Print This Article

Are you a mom who wants to build and promote your own business?  You could be making these mistakes.

Like other businesspeople,Guest Posting moms who start home businesses make common mistakes that can damage or even kill their fledgling businesses. Unlike solo business owners, mothers have children depending on the outcome of their home business venture. It's not just about money, it's about providing for their children too.

Here are the top 5 mistakes mom entrepreneurs make when they start home businesses and tips to avoid them:

Deciding to sell a product without testing the market.
It's Business 101: Don't put money into something for which there is no market. 
For example, Sharon creates a new widget cover. Friends tell her they are cute.  Sharon is an action taker so she starts producing lots of them to sell. Did you see the mistake? Her friends didn't say "I want one!" AND offer her money.  Not only that, Sharon needs to know if there's a large group of people who already purchase widget covers. When you show your idea, friends and family are likely to encourage you. It's more important that strangers tell her, "I want one!" and offer her money. There's a big difference between people being polite and encouraging your idea and an idea that may have take-it-to-the-bank marketplace value.  As an aspiring entrepreneur you'll need to know the difference.  Don't fall in love with an idea that may eat up a lot of money with nothing to show for it.

Equating risk with being an entrepreneur. 
Entrepreneurs take risks but SMART entrepreneurs try to minimize their risks. As a smart businessperson, you'll work to minimize risk. Pre-selling is one way. Instead of Sharon getting 1000 widget covers made and storing them in her basement or garage, she should try selling from samples. She can offer a discount when customers place an order and pay in advance. If she can't sell from the samples, at least she hasn't invested a great deal into the business.  Also minimize risk in building your website. Instead of spending months building an expensive website, build a simple 1-3 page website fast and get potential buyers to it.

Spending time and money poorly.
“The purpose of business create and keep a customer.” said Peter Drucker.  If you're spending time and money on things that don't help you get or keep customers, you've mispent those assets.  This means if Sharon spends 3 weeks designing stationery, she is not building her business. That time could be better spent. When you're starting out, if your old computer does the job, why buy an expensive new computer? Use that money on an ad in a magazine your potential customers read - that may build your business. Follow this simple rule: Do something every day that contributes to getting and keeping customers.

Not selling more to existing customers.
Most businesses focus on finding new customers.  That's an expensive mistake. It costs a lot of marketing dollars  to get people to your website and to convince them to buy from you.  Once they do, they trust you. At that point it costs very little to market additional items to them. If you serve them well, why wouldn't they be interested in your other offerings and recommendations?  If you don't have other goods and services to offer them, you can refer to other quality businesses and get a percentage of sales.  Ask yourself what other things would your customers need.

Using lack of money as an excuse not to promote your business. 
If people don't know about your business, how can they buy from you? There are low budget and free ways to promote your website that can be effective.  For example, to get traffic to your website you can write articles and submit press releases, both of which are free.  You can also get other companies to refer customers to your business for a share of the sales from their referrals. By paying a commission for referrals, you don't have to have money up front.

By educating themselves, mom entrepreneurs can avoid common mistakes that other home business owners make.

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About Article Author

Raynay Valles
Raynay Valles

Entrepreneur Raynay Valles teaches moms how to build and promote their own websites, drawing from over 10 years experience as an internet Marketing Specialist. Learn how to succeed in your online business by watching her free online video at http://www.1000momsonline.com/freevideo  for more information.

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