It seemed, like so many things do at the time they are, ahem, conceived of, like such a good idea. ‘I’ll work at home. With gasoline prices rising, it will be cheaper in the long run.’ You tell yourself and your spouse and anyone who will hold still long enough to listen to you. Do you remember that euphoric rush you got when you announced the decision you’d been agonizing over?
Days, weeks, yes, even months have passed and you’ve still not made your first sale, this is the time that the nightmares come.
#1: Not having read the statistics on web banners, you sink your entire advertising budget in 10,000 banner ads for the bargain price of 19.99. Banner ads are great later when you are trying to build name recognition, but for start-up, you just blew your precious ad budget, (the click through ratio for banner ads is pretty low compared to the number of impressions shown). You have the makings of a New Business Nightmare on your hands. Lack of information can be cured, but it can be very costly initially.
#2: Or what about this one? You’ve spent three straight days designing a beautiful website, articles, resources and hundred of links spread over say a dozen pages, you upload everything and start your advertising up and go to bed. First thing in the morning, before you even brush your teeth, you run to your computer to check your stats. What’s this you ask? All of your hard earned credits are gone, but no one clicked anything but the homepage. You open the page in a browser and sure enough, you’ve forgotten to add navigation links. Another nightmare, but don’t despair, you can add the links and start clicking again to surf up enough credits to start your campaign again. Never again will you forget to test your website before you advertise it.
#3: Some nightmares aren’t very frightening at all; they’re surreal dreams full of soft mist and ordinary minutia. Once you stopped getting up to go to work each day, you might find that you’re body feels more tired at first. It’s easy to put off writing an article or pushing your surfing time back an hour or two, but without a consistent framework many people find themselves floundering, unable to complete any task because for the first time in their adult lives they are entirely in charge of their own time and they don’t know how to organize it. If you were prone to procrastinate in your 9-5 job, you will find that your habits aren’t much better when you’re working for yourself, only this time, you are the one to pay for it. Time management skills allow people to work from home and still commit to a routine. A business that is run in a hit or miss fashion will perform in a similar fashion.
#4: For many, the worst nightmare of all is the fear of failing. Starting a new business demands a huge personal investment. You spend hours planning, developing, testing and finally advertising your program or product and are crushed by the lack of response. Day after day you advertise and still no one buys, you must have failed somewhere, right? Wrong. You may be doing everything just right, but the market goes soft. Tell your mom you’ll be staying in her basement for another month and start working on your next idea. Shoestring businesses open and close on the Internet in record time; some last less than a day. Don’t let the fear of, or even actual failure frighten you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go back to the drawing board and most importantly, don’t waste time beating yourself up about it. Fix whatever went wrong and try again.
When your nightmare raises it’s ugly head, look it right in the eye and spit! No one makes it through life without some bumps and bruises and a business has a life-cycle of it’s own. Learn from your mistakes, organize yourself and your time to get the most benefit for your new business and don’t be afraid to fail. The only way the nightmare can come true is if you give up and quit.