Don’t Let “Analysis Paralysis” Stop You From Launching A Home Based Business

While many people dream of owning their own business, taking that first step can be a challenge. In most cases, aspiring entrepreneurs feel that the prospect of launching a business is too big and they quickly become discouraged at all there is to do in order to accomplish their goal. They are plagued with questions such as:

– Will I have enough time?
– Can I really do this?
– What if I fail?

In other words, they suffer from “analysis paralysis”.

I’ve found that one of the most successful strategies to prevent analysis paralysis from standing in the way of fulfilling your dreams is to take a big goal (i.e. launching a home based business) and break it down. When your goal is too big, it takes time and since the reward is too far off in the future, it’s more difficult to stay motivated. However, when you set smaller specific goals for yourself, the reward you feel after satisfying that goal motivates you to move forward.

For example, suppose launching a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business is one of your goals but the prospect of getting it off the ground is too overwhelming. While you may be confident that there’s a definite need for a contractor referral business in your community, you still have concerns:

– Will I be able to find contractors?
– Will I have enough time to devote to a new business?

These concerns can freeze you into inaction. So why not break it down? Set one or two small goals for yourself that will move you in the right direction. For example, contact a few contractors in your neighborhood and ask them if they’d be interested in getting job leads from you. Or, contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask if they see a need for this business in your community. Even brainstorming on a business name can be a goal that encourages and motivates you. Keep a notebook and jot down notes, ideas and/or names of contractors and networking opportunities that might benefit you if you decided to launch an HRN.

Another strategy for achieving your goals is to decide what motivates you. Ask yourself why you want to launch a home-based business:

– Do I feel unsatisfied at work?
– Do I want to spend more time at home with my family?
– Do I want more financial security?
– Am I looking for a way to help others in some small way?

Once you’ve pinpointed what stimulates you about owning and operating your own business, just envision the satisfaction you’ll feel once you’ve achieved that goal. You will get help to achieve your goal every step of the way.

How To Start A Referral Business – FREE eBook

If you’re looking for a viable, low cost business to launch from your home, then a referral service business is a great option!

Referral services can be operated from any location, they don’t require a lot of start-up capital or overhead and the majority of your business can be generated through networking and word of mouth referrals. And, in today’s busy world, most people don’t have the time to do the appropriate research in order to find the right doctor, car mechanic or home improvement contractor.

A referral business saves clients not only time but money that they might otherwise have spent hiring an unqualified service provider.

But, do you have what it takes to operate a successful referral business?

If you’re organized, resourceful and enjoy helping people or are just a self-starter looking for a way to make money from home, then the answer is “yes”!

Click Here to download the How To Start A Referral Business e-book.

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Shop Anytime and Compare Prices Online Hassle Free

No matter what time of year it is that you decide to go shopping, doing so online saves you valuable time and money and it can be done at your own convenience. It is great to know that there are millions of products that you can browse through right from the comfort of your home or office without the having to deal with the hassle of traffic on the road or unduly exposing yourself to the hot sun, or using up your precious half hour or one hour lunch time to go looking for what you want in a brick-and-mortar store. I am sure many of you enjoy shopping online just like I do. One thing that can be a bit testy is the fact that most of us tend to shop around for what we want and this can take some time depending on what we are looking for. This may involve searching for hours on search engines which point us to different merchants who all have their own prices, and then we have to collate the results of our findings to see who has the better deal. To make our lives much easier in this regard, BizProt Super Centre lists almost everything we need online on their website so that we can make one search and then be able to compare prices right from the website. Isn’t that great? Sure it is!

They can compare the prices on the things that we buy every day or just for special occasions under categories like Appliances, Automotive, Babies & Kids, Books & Magazines, Clothing & Accessories, Computers & Software, DVDs & Videos, Electronics, Gifts, Flowers & Food, Health & Beauty Supplies, Home & Garden, Jewelry & Watches, Music, Musical Instruments & Accessories, Office Supplies, Other Products, Pet Supplies, Sports Equipment & Outdoor Gear, Toys & Games, and Video Games. Many persons are just about ready to start buying up stuff for the upcoming winter season, or maybe you are looking for gift ideas for a special occasion. No matter the case, when you are ready to start shopping online and need to compare prices side-by-side, let BizProt Super Centre be your search partner of choice.

Get A Free Business Phone Line In Under A Minute

Are you one of those persons who want a fast, simple web and mobile messaging platform? Well, now you are able to get that, and more! SendHub is a fast, simple, web and mobile messaging platform. It’s far more effective than traditional channels like email, which often go unread. It lets businesses and organizations communicate with their customers via text messages. They also provide users with a second phone line to make voice calls or send text messages through.

Here are some great features that SendHub has to offer:

a) Collaborate With Your Team Through Simple Calling and Texting
b) Broadcast to All Your Customers With One Text
c) Reach your Community. Great for Churches, Teachers & Coaches

Calling Features:
– Take Your Business Line Wherever You Go
– Get a free number in any area code
– Works on any cell phone or the web
– Premium voicemail transcription

– Designed to Make Sharing Easy
– Simple sharing of contacts & groups
– Message forwarding
– Chat rooms

Give your business that extra boost by getting SendHub today.

Gondola Shelves For Your Business

metal-gondola-shelves  3-pegboard-gondola-shelving

An important aspect of getting items sold in business places is how they are laid out. Presentation is very important and cannot be overlooked at any point. Even if the product or item is not something the consumer wanted when he or she steps into a store, the individual may just end up buying the item based solely on how it looks on the shelf or how it is presented to them otherwise. Laying out items in stores is a craft that many merchandisers have mastered over the years. Gondola Shelves play an integral role in organizing items for sale. In fact, they are “…the most popular retail shelving system for every grocery, supermarket, pharmacy, hardware store, discount store, convenience store and more. Retail gondola shelving is a heavy duty metal shelving system that is designed to support and display a wide range of items.” Can you image walking into a store with no shelves and all the goods are placed on the floor? This would surely turn you off from buying at that store for sure. Gondola shelves easily solve that problem.

Gondola shelving is available in many sizes, giving you the flexibility to choose the depth and height that will best display your merchandise. You can get metal shelves (pictured above, left) and pegboard shelves (pictured above, right). You can decide which one(s) you want in any color of your choice that would add appeal to your store. You can also get curved gondola shelves in addition to a wide range of clever accessories to further organize your displays. If you want your store to be even more appealing, you can use LED lighting on your Gondola shelving. Spruce up the look of your store today with quality metal and pegwood Gondola shelves.

Home Based Business Self Evaluation Survey

Over the past fifteen years I’ve spoken with hundreds of moms, dads, career changers and retirees who are interested in launching a business from home. Many of them have formulated business plans, conducted market research and applied for financing and yet they have still overlooked one of the most crucial steps in the business planning process–self evaluation. Most new entrepreneurs don’t realize that it’s just as important to analyze yourself as it is to analyze your potential market.

If you’re considering the launch of a home based business, you might want to take a moment to ask yourself a few important (and personal) questions before taking the plunge.

1. What are my strengths?

The answer to this question will provide the foundation on which you can build a successful business. Whether you’re a people person, a computer geek, a number cruncher, or a craftsperson, your business should maximize your strengths.

For instance, if you know that you enjoy cooking, consider becoming a personal chef. If you enjoy computer work, don’t consider a sales career. Your abilities should be the cornerstone of your business so that you enjoy the day-to-day tasks associated with it.

It’s a simple concept yet most people never look inward when envisioning their ideal home based business. They read or hear about another entrepreneur reaping the rewards of working from home and want to emulate that person without considering the differences in their abilities. Make a list of your most marketable skills and ask yourself what you enjoy and why you enjoy doing it. Use that information to create your ideal “job” and then consider businesses that will maximize your talents.

2. What are my weaknesses?

If you’re going to conduct an “honest” self-evaluation, then it’s important that you identify your weaknesses. Perhaps you’re not as disciplined as you’d like to be or maybe you’re not the best bookkeeper. Running a business will require you to handle a wide array of responsibilities from sales and marketing to accounting and secretarial. If you overlook one aspect of your business or don’t handle it efficiently, the business will suffer, or worse yet, fail.

It helps to equate a home business to an office where there is a staff of employees in various departments to handle specialized tasks. You, as the home based business owner, will be responsible for running every one of those departments. It’s not necessary to be an expert in every field. Identify which aspects of the business you’re best equipped to handle and which may require some assistance. Consider outsourcing those responsibilities to an experienced professional so that you can devote more time to the aspects of your business that you enjoy.

If you’d prefer to handle all of your business “in house” as opposed to hiring out, there are other options available. For instance, a Board of Advisors can offer you guidance in areas where you may not have experience. A business course at your local university can help improve upon many business related skills from business planning to public speaking. Computer programs are also available which can assist with everything from bookkeeping to graphic arts. And finally, you can consider launching your business with a partner who has strengths in areas of business management other than yours.

I’ve seen many very talented entrepreneurs fail in their endeavors simply because they didn’t identify and compensate for their weaknesses. For instance, through my Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business, I met an interior designer with tremendous flair and creativity yet she was terribly unorganized and a chronic procrastinator. She knew exactly how to put together a room, match colors and chose just the right fabrics but never seemed to get around to it. Eventually, many of her clients got tired of waiting and stopped using her services.

By recognizing your weaknesses and accounting for them in the beginning, you’ll ensure that your business will function efficiently on every level and will increase your odds at success.

3. What am I willing to invest personally?

While running a business from home looks appealing, it requires personal sacrifice and discipline. For those who work in an office, business hours are defined and you work alongside coworkers who can support you. When you work at home, it’s easy to get distracted by the routines of those around you and it can be more difficult to define your work hours and commit to them regardless of outside pressures.

It’s helpful to make a rough outline of your weekly schedule. Figure out when your most productive hours are and what activities you may be able to sacrifice for work. Are you willing to work after the children have gone to bed at 9pm? Maybe you’ll have to cut out a weekly lunch date with a friend?

Beyond the time commitment, your home business will require you to invest your energy and your emotions. There will be highs and lows and the rewards may not be immediate. At times you’ll need to take chances. It will require you to troubleshoot, multitask and adapt. There’s also always the risk of failure. Consider all of these factors before you start your business and be sure that have what it takes to handle the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.

4. What am I willing to invest financially?

While some may require a larger initial investment than others, launching a business requires capital. If you’re discouraged by having to spend money in the beginning, then perhaps the business you’re considering isn’t the right business for you. If you feel passionate about what you plan to do, then the investment will seem like an end to a means not to mention an investment in yourself.

That’s not to say that you need to spend foolishly. Minimize your expenditures by investing in the necessities first. You may want to make a list of what you anticipate your business expenses to be for the first three months of your start up and then another list of anticipated ongoing monthly expenses. Consider legal fees, marketing and advertising costs, merchandise (if you’re planning on selling a product), supplies, insurance and office equipment. Decide what expenses will be necessary in the beginning and what purchases can wait.

Look at the final numbers and then ask yourself again if you’re willing to commit to that type of financial investment. If the answer is “yes”, then you’re ready to move on to question #5.

5. What do I hope to gain?

In your search for a business to run from home it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter “get rich quick” schemes and work from home scams. No matter what you may have read or heard, there is no formula for overnight success in business. Businesses grow slowly and require work and commitment. If you’re launching you’re business with dreams of overnight riches, you’ll inevitably be disappointed.

Ask yourself what you hope to gain from your home business. Is it a better lifestyle? More time with your family? Personal stimulation? Financial rewards? Independence? And then ask yourself if you think that your business can (realistically) be a means to that end. Your answer may not be a conscious one, it may be a gut feeling but in my estimation, that’s the most ringing endorsement of all.

As you work at your business, keep your goals in mind. From time to time, as you ride the highs and lows of being a business owner, remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to launch your business in the first place and strive to keep those priorities in focus. You’ll find that the most successful businesses are driven by people who love what they do and focus on the day to day work of their business rather than the financial rewards.

After some careful self-evaluation, you may realize that you and your potential new business aren’t a very good fit. Don’t be discouraged. It’s better to find out now then after you’ve made the personal and financial commitment. There are also numerous options available to those who want to work from home and you can continue to research them with your new-found self-awareness.

If however, after answering the above questions you’re more confident than ever that you’re ready to become a home based entrepreneur, then congratulations–you’re about to embark on one of the most challenging and rewarding adventures of your life!

Debra Cohen is President of Home Remedies® of NY, Inc.–a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN). Ms. Cohen is also author of a business manual entitled The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner Referral Network. To date, Ms. Cohen has assisted more than 400 other entrepreneurs launch successful HRN’s nationwide. For more information about starting an HRN in your area, visit the HRN website at Homeowner Referral Network.

Finding Business Inspiration

Some entrepreneurs will recall having an “Aha!” moment when inspiration for their business first struck. But for many, unlocking the door to the right business opportunity can be somewhat of a challenge. The search for a unique service or product can be daunting not to mention that the business must capitalize on your strengths and interests.

As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention” and in many cases, businesses are born out of our own needs and experiences. Keeping in mind that your business or product should help your potential client in some way, start to pay attention to your daily activities as well as those of your friends and family and think about services or products that would help make your life or the lives of people in your community a little easier.

For example, one woman I know started a party planning business after realizing how time consuming it was to plan her own wedding. Another entrepreneur created a device for heating wet wipes soon after giving birth to her first child.

Inspiration for your business idea may also be discovered by paying attention to your likes and dislikes. If you take some time and focus on the aspects of your day that you enjoy the most, you may stumble upon a new business that capitalizes on your talents. For example, do your friends and family compliment you on your ability to create unique meals or on a specific recipe? Maybe you’d enjoy being a home chef or marketing one of your home baked goods or sauces to local stores or restaurants? Or maybe you enjoy exercise? Perhaps you’d be interested in starting an in-home personal training business or running fitness classes for new moms in your community?

So, start your search for the right business opportunity by paying closer attention to aspects of an ordinary day that you may take for granted-grocery shopping, your morning commute, cleaning, cooking, exercise or even just browsing the internet. And, ask yourself:

1. How much you enjoy/dislike this aspect of your day?
2. What would make the task easier?

Examining your world (and yourself) with a more critical eye may help you find the just the inspiration you’re looking for!

Debra Cohen is President of Home Remedies of NY, Inc. and founder of the Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business. Her HRN business has been rated “The No. 1 business Start-Up” by Small Business Opportunities magazine and has been featured in numerous media including Working Mother, Entrepreneur, Remodeling, Good Housekeeping and CBS News. Currently there are more than 300 independently owned HRNs operating nationwide.

For additional information, visit her website at

The preceding was a contributed article.

Bar Equipment

Beverage Dispensers

Running a successful business these days requires that you have the right tools and equipment. Without them, the business would be doomed for failure before it even opens. Even if it stays open for a while, eventually problems will develop. That is why the correct tools are essential. This is true for any business. The challenge many business owners face is where to find the right equipment they need at reasonable prices for their business. If you are in the beverage industry and run a bar, for instance, you can buy bar equipment from They have a large selection of the items you need to make your bar function without a hitch.

Some essential bar equipment that you can acquire include Beverage Dispensers like tempered beverage dispensing, frozen beverage makers, cold beverage service, and hot/cold insulated servers. You will also need Beverage Prep devices like blenders, juicers, and rimmers along with Coffee and Tea equipment like brewers, airpots, warmeras, and urns. Some Underbar equipment that you may also consider investing in include ice bins, cocktail units, sinks, combo units, and blender stations. There are many other bar equipment that you can buy as you see fit. Check out for more options.

Honeywell Barcode Scanner

Speed and accuracy in any business transaction are very important. They can be the difference between losing money or collecting money and keeping customers happy. Business places like Supermarkets, Grocers, Hardware Stores, Pharmacies, and so on rely on sophisticated technology to help them maintain their customer base, due to satisfied customers, and profits that are realized as a result of accurate price checking at the checkout counter. One such technology that thousands of them have employed is the Honeywell Barcode Scanner. It is lightweight, affordable, and does the job every time.

Honeywell MS9590i Industrial VoyagerGS

The Honeywell MS9590i Industrial VoyagerGS (pictured above) is one example of a rugged barcode scanner that can be used in intense industrial and healthcare environments. It is very accurate, easy to clean, and durable. There are other Honeywell Barcode Scanners that you can choose from though. Check them all out to see which one best fits your type of business and your budget.

What If You Could Duplicate Yourself?

Let’s daydream for a minute.

Imagine that you’ve finally taken the entrepreneurial leap, left your 9-5 job in Corporate America and launched your own business. Your company is a tremendous success and, less than one year later you have more work than you can handle. You’re working 12-hour days and inevitably falling short somewhere. Doesn’t sound like a dream anymore, right?

I was faced with this situation several years ago after I started my Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business. I launched Home Remedies of NY, Inc. from an old farm table in my basement with just a refurbished fax machine, computer and a phone line. And, after just one year in business, I had more work than I could handle. I was fielding calls from homeowners outside of my operating area, from contractors across Long Island who wanted me to represent them and from other entrepreneurs who were interested in partnering with me. After a few months of working 10-hour days, I was overwhelmed and had completely lost the work-life balance I had tried so hard to achieve.

My entrepreneurial mistake is not that uncommon. Many new business owners are so enthusiastic and passionate about their business that they become the core of it and ultimately, the business can’t operate without them.

Consider this scenario…

You’re a world-class baker and all of your friends and family are encouraging you to start your own baking business. After months of soul searching, you decide to fulfill your entrepreneurial dream. You leave your 9 to 5 job and set up shop as “Suzie’s Cupcakes”. After a few months in business, word catches on that your cupcakes are the best in town. Soon, you’re receiving orders for more cupcakes that you can make in a week, let alone a day. You’re in your kitchen at 5am and work ‘round the clock to fill the orders. While it may seem like you’re in the bakery business, you’re not. You’re in the business of “making cupcakes”.

Now, consider this scenario. Your cupcakes are a huge hit and there’s a line out the door. But, you’re not there. Why? Because you’ve documented your proprietary cupcake recipe, copyrighted it, trademarked your business name and the name of your world-class cupcake and now have a staff of people who work at your bakery and make them for you. You may now be out on the road promoting your products to other stores or maybe even consulting with people who want to launch franchises of your bakery because it’s been so successful. Or, maybe you’re just sitting on a beach relaxing somewhere with your family?

Why are these two scenarios so different? Because your business doesn’t rely exclusively on you anymore. You’ve duplicated yourself. This is the basis of the franchise model and the solution I found for my own business. In order to expand my HRN and continue to maintain a work-life balance, I decided to “duplicate myself”.

When my HRN business took off, I was faced with two options:

1. Expand and try to handle all of the work on my own.
2. Expand by teaching others how to do what I do.

After evaluating both my options, I went with the second.

Over the course of several months, I met with attorneys and business consultants and set out to document my business model so that I could teach other entrepreneurs how to launch contractor referral businesses in neighboring communities. My plan was that, once they were up and running, I would refer work to them and share the contractor commission. That way, I would be able to satisfy the demand for my services in a larger market area without having to do all of the work on my own.

I tested the waters with a small ad in the Business Opportunity Classifieds section of The New York Times:

Home improvement contractor referral business. Investment $5K. For additional information, contact Homeowner Referral Network at…

Within 2 weeks I had a list of 22 prospective HRN business owners!

Over the next 6 months, with the help of a friend from the Wharton Business School, I wrote The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner Referral Network© which outlined every aspect of my business from my contractor screening process, commissions and invoicing to a market segmentation study, promotional campaigns, homeowner and contractor sample dialogues and liability issues. The process was beneficial to me personally because it forced me to analyze my company with a very critical eye and systemize all of my operating procedures that I had taken for granted.

In less than one year, the first HRN was up and running on Long Island and now–almost 15 years later–there are 300+ HRN’s like mine operating all over the country!

My business would have never achieved the level of success it has today if I hadn’t figured out how to duplicate myself. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who dreams of launching a business of your own, keep in mind that while passion may drive you to start your own business, creating a plan to duplicate yourself is what will help you sustain it.

Debra Cohen is President of Home Remedies of NY, Inc. and founder of the Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business. Her HRN business has been rated “The No. 1 business Start-Up” by Small Business Opportunities magazine and has been featured in numerous media including Working Mother, Entrepreneur, Remodeling, Good Housekeeping and CBS News. Currently there are more than 300 independently owned HRNs operating nationwide. For additional information, visit her website at Homeowner Referral Network.