It may be that when you think in terms of expanding your efforts to earn extra money from home, that you only consider opportunities in the same genre as the ones you already have. This has its good points organizationally and logically – it will also help you as you won’t need to duplicate your efforts across the board.
However, it may also be a good idea to do something totally different that doesn’t fit together with anything you are already doing. This could be fun and offer some variety for you. For example say your home business is one that is centered around affiliate marketing programs. One way to expand might be to offer services for affiliates – to help them promote their business, such as list builders, solo ads, etc. This fits easily into your existing portfolio.
However wouldn’t it be fun to take up a craft that involves your hobbies or interests? For example have you always wanted to try your hand at making something like natural soaps and candles – or baking? This could be fun and may also become another source of income. A business based on arts and crafts is a lot more labor intensive than Internet marketing; but remember it is for fun and variety as well as extra income eventually.
Don’t do it unless you think it would be fun, as if not you may see it as one-too-many-things to do. You may be surprised that even when someone is totally focused to one thing, that you will find people that are more than willing to change the subject. They may actually be tickled by finding something they want ‘out of the clear blue sky’.
One example is a gas station where obviously selling gas is the primary source of income. Usually gas stations have ‘mini-marts’ where you can buy ‘convenience’ items while you are there. These ‘mini marts’ are a good little source of ‘extra’ income.
However, this could go farther, possibly if the owners also make some delicious home-made fried chicken to sell to their customers. Nobody would be expecting this in a gas station ‘mini-mart’ and therefore it has some attraction as a novelty.
Aside from the fact that as a reseller (affiliate) you may be able to get a ‘discount’ or wholesale rate, why would you support your competition? For the most part you should think in terms that indicate you believe your product to be superior and that is why you chose to use it. That you may make a few extra dollars that way is all good.
In addition to possible extra revenue and savings in your business operating budget, using the product yourself will give you the ability to really describe the functionality in your ads. It is so much more convincing to read something written by someone who has actually used the product than just a bland review that may say if you liked it.
You wonder if they even know what the product does or if they were in some way paid to give a favorable rating especially in a ‘check box’ format where you are not allowed comments to qualify your answers. So we are to take the word of someone we don’t know at all, believe they actually used the product and are being 100% honest in their review?
It is important to note here that it is not just reviewers that are not really honest about their experience with the product that are a concern. In addition there are so many haters that may get an evil thrill by saying something negative that may hurt the seller. This can be on purpose or just innocently out of ignorance.
In any case if you have had direct experience you will be able to describe many aspects of the product that otherwise would not be known. The more enthusiastic you can be in your advertising, the better! Always remember to quote any statistics you can find (with the reference source included) that offers proof that your product is superior. This can be a ‘study’ or the results of testing done by a reputable organization.
It also may be important to mention the sales transaction itself as this would be a definite source of satisfaction if it went seamlessly as it should. Stuff happens but you can even learn something when it doesn’t. You can earn your customer’s loyalty by the way you quickly resolve issues.
If you are in business at home, whether or not you also have a day job and the usual personal and family obligations, you have to learn how to say that you gotta run! That is because you likely do not have a lot of time on your hands to spare to small talk and chattering.
Be polite to everyone of course, and even spend some time ‘networking’ when it is a peer or prospective customer you are communicating with. Make arrangements to meet again or whatever is applicable. Make a note to follow-up because there is nothing more shallow than saying you will do something that you don’t do, particularly if someone might be waiting for you to do what you promised.
A built-in escape hatch would be to say something to the effect that if they don’t hear from you by a certain time, to feel free to contact you instead. This really has a nice touch in more ways than being out in front. It gives the person the impression that you are responsive – and a real person with concerns like theirs.
If you have a large list or membership you will likely get a ton of emails. Some will be in response to autoresponder messages and as such may have a low rate of a response from you which may or may not be understandable to people. In any case it may be a good idea to have a second email address that you know is a higher priority to respond back to such as where there has been a direct, personal communication to and/or from the member or prospect.
The real point here is to make time for people if you are running a business or are even just at the point of beginning to develop one; don’t be off in an ivory tower or somewhere chattering mindlessly. Be down in the trenches with the real people who may have issues that need your help to resolve or to understand.
Ever hear the expression ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’? The ‘gift horses’ in this scenario are your members and customers. If you want their continued support you need to pay attention to them and address their concerns. Tell your ‘buddies’ you gotta run!