Wednesday, April 18, 2007

WeLc0Me t0 mY bLog!!! :)
First of all, let me congratulate you on acquiring the only manual of its kind in Malaysia. The home based businesses sector has quietly boomed in Malaysia over these few years. The main reason being advances in technology which enables many people with regular employment to work in their homes and earn a lucrative income during their free time. Computer software, handphones, divert call facilities and the internet have all contributed to this. Yet, many people still live in the misconception that one has to have capital, skills, contacts and a special entrepreneurial quality to start a business. Well, this is not true if you plan to start and run your business at home.This manual will try to give you 100 ideas on how to earn income at home. But I feel that you should be given a basic guide on how to use this manual to benefit from it 100%
. Keeping Your Costs Low
Throughout this guide you will be informed of an estimation of what you will need to spend to start your home based business. Do not be alarmed if you see the figures running into thousands of ringgit! Actually, the figures refer to what it would cost if you were to embark on a full-time, non-home based operation. For most home based businesses, the start-up cost is around RM200 -RM500.Of course you are wondering: how you are going to purchase all the equipment necessary to start your business - especially computers? The answer is in leasing and outsourcing.By leasing, you will be able to purchase a high performance PC for a downpayment of a few hundred Ringgit and pay instalments of about RM200 monthly. It is important that I use a computer for an example since for most operations you would only need a computer to perform most tasks. Many companies offer this option. You might also want to check out if some companies allow credit card purchases. The repayment on the amount you have used is usually very affordable.If you do not want to commit yourself to any debt, then outsource your work to other part-time operators. I foresee that most of your marketing communications will involve the printing of letterheads & envelopes, invoices, receipt, business cards and brochures. I started off my first home based business, a language consulting business, without a PC and I use a part-time Desktop Publishing operator to handle all my marketing communications. Of course, the cost per task is more expensive than if you were to print your materials on your own but at an expense budget of RM200 a month, I cannot be too choosy. Also, look around for a cheap photocopy shop for making multiple copies. If you agree to use their services on a long-term basis, you will be given very good rates.
Looking Big
If you are running a business, you want to look as big as possible to instill confidence in your first-time customers. Once they like your work, they won't care less if you work part-time from home. So, please use letterheads, printed envelopes and business cards to convey this message.Also, you must take note of the following:
1. Any phone number you give must must be a land line i.e. not exclusively a handphone number. A business card with only a handphone number smacks of a fly-by-night operation. Although you work somewhere else during the day, you can create this image by giving your home phone number as your business number and diverting all calls from your house phone to your handphone. You can even describe it as a '24 hour hotline'! Let's see your corporate competitors do this.
2. Any good business should have a fax. It's best if you have a fax machine connected to your second line. However, if you don't, give your business number as a phone / fax number. If somebody sends in a fax, answer the call quickly and say " I'm sorry our fax is not working today. Please fax your document to our associate company". What you do next is to run to your office's fax to intercept your fax!
3. If you live in a house, it is okay to use it as your business address. This can pass off as an office in a shoplot. But if you live in an apartment or condo, it will be obvious that you work from home when they see the address. Consider using a rented mailing address for this purpose. Look up management services companies in the Yellow Pages which provide this service but make sure it is close to your office so that you collect your mail easily.
Possessing Relevant Skills
It's true that not everybody can start just any kind of business they choose, but don't get disheartened when you see that 80% of the businesses featured in the manual require some form of specialized skill, qualifications or experience. However, if you feel that business is right for you, that's all you need because you can partner with someone who can do the job! Your partners will be those people who have the skills you need but don't have. The difference between you and them is that you are an entrepreneur and they are not. Your function is to sell their services to the market and make a profit out of it. They'll be only too glad to have you find a buyer for their services and make more money per day than they can a week. How you split the income is between you and your partner.But you should at least try to learn as much as possible about the service that you are selling so that your selling job is easier. Most importantly you should learn the skills required so that you can perform the actually task yourself if required.
Synergizing Businesses
In marketing, there is a law which says that "selling to an existing customer is easier and cheaper than selling to a new one". For this, you should expand any business you have started by creating another one selling to same market. For example, if your chosen business is to provide Networking Services, your customers will be other businesses. You should then find it easy to start a Corporate Training service or Management Consulting service by selling to the same customers and their acquaintances. Only be careful about not losing focus.
Pioneer Businesses
Some of the businesses featured here are so new to Malaysians that you might think that there is no market for them. Which reminds me of the story of two shoe salesmen who visited a place and found out that nobody there wears any shoes. The first one says, " Nobody here will want to buy shoes" and writes off the place. The second one says, "Wow, everybody here needs shoes!". Are you the first or the second salesman?
Useful Resources
Along the way, you will be stumped as where to find services which support your business. Well, I exist to help you. I haven't survived this long by relying on expensive and difficult suppliers / vendors!
I wish you all the best in your chosen business. When you make it big, I will be proud in knowing that I were the ones who inspired you to achieve great things…..

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