Your home based business is probably going to fail!

It’s 3:00pm PST as I write and I just got another “tip” from some ambiguous article archive I apparently opt-in on about starting a home business.

This is probably the 100th or so of these I have gotten recently and it’s time to spill the beans.

Most of these so-called author’s do nothing else except send out articles on how to run a home-based business. Kind of funny in a way, because they do nothing else except send small paragraph-length emails that are horribly devoid of any real useful information about small business, starting a home-based business or anything else along the lines of this topic.

So, here’s Tom’s tips for the home-based or start up business. It doesn’t matter if you are large or small – here’s the straight talk you need:

1) Don’t be stupid.

This is key. This may be unavoidable for some.

2) Don’t “try” different marketing approaches without quantifying the results.

That means if you spend $125 on a yellow page ad, you better be asking your clients where they heard of you when they do call so you can tell if it’s a good investment. That goes double for keyword advertising like: Google, Overture, Sprinks, etc.

3) Your idea may totally “suck”.

Don’t be afraid to revise your idea. Columbus was looking for quicker route to India, but things worked out for him pretty well. Just because you have “an idea” doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

4) Don’t copy someone else’s plan.

That means avoid MLM, quick-turning real estate or home-based franchises that do not have a corporate office, UNLESS you’re really good at conning and recruiting other people.

5) Don’t believe the “pay yourself first hype”

If you’re building an enterprise that has employees, facilities, etc.. you should probably pay them first… it’s bad karma otherwise.

6) If you do have a successful run, you’re next is more likely to fail on your next idea.

See #3 above. Hubris & pride are killers. Ask the dot-com folks or as we see here in Redmond, WA – Former Microsoft millionaires who cannot start a successful venture on their own. Funny stuff. I started buying up the expired domain names of some of these companies who failed miserably, but still turned moi down when interviewing for them back in 98′ – 99′ when I was a young buck.

7) You don’t always have to “spend money to make money”, but quit being such a damn tightwad.

You rarely succeed on cheap hosting, programming, design or PayPal-only ecommerce sites. It costs you more in the long run when you’re cheap.

8) There is no 8th thing.

9) It’s not quick. You cannot get rich quick unless you play the lottery. You should focus on building a solid business slowly over time. We’re in year 4 and doing well using this principal. That goes doubly for the web. The web should be a channel for your business, nothing more. If you have no experience running an online store… find someone who does. You can’t expect to jump or transition an existing business into ecommerce without finding good help.

10) 60% of all business’s fail within the first four years, but for you we give you 11 months.

Don’t “try” to succeed. That is a half-assed approach that is bound to fail. Make a plan, write it out. Distill your offering down to 1-2 sentences that describe your service, product or whatever it is that you are doing to make money. Darn, now I have to split this one off into #11:

11) Don’t use ambiguous language.

You’re not the best. You’re not fooling anyone. Your brand new company that has a poor Google page rank or an Alexa ranking of 5,000,000+ (not good) and no visitors isn’t “The World’s Premier Provider of Technology-based Solutions for the Proactive Development and Deployment of Widgets.”

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