Author's Sidebar: If you don't know how to get started with your own health business, multilevel marketing (MLM) is one way to get started.

If you're already involved in multi-level marketing, you can expand it and grow your business into a 6-figure business (as long as you are willing to do more than sell the MLM products).

What Is Multilevel Marketing (MLM)? 

Multi-level marketing (or MLM, for short) is a strategy that some direct sales companies such as Amway, Herbalife and Avon use to encourage their existing distributors to recruit new distributors by paying the existing distributors a percentage of their recruits' sales.

Find a product or group of products that you believe in and feel comfortable with selling to your family, fiends, co-workers and strangers.

However, be careful and do your own research before you join a multi-level marketing company even if it sounds too good to be true.

Most people find multi-level marketing an alluring way to start a business, help people and make some money. This is especially true if one of the MLM products enabled them to lose weight or restore their health. As because of this, the MLM provides a platform for them to share their story with others.

In addition, most people are attracted to multi-level marketing, because it appears to be an easy way to make ends meet, particularly when earnings are cut back, they lose a job or they're trying to launch a new business.

Some people imagine multi-level marketing as a quick and low-cost way to get rich. However, few people get rich; some make a part-time income, but, most people give up after 1 to 2 years.

Most people who are successful in MLM work hard, have a strong desire to really help people, are personable, stick with it, treat it as a real business, and learn how to expand their business beyond the products that the MLM offers.

Multilevel Marketing (MLM), or network marketing, is an good way to get started with your own health business. Why? Because it is low risk and requires only a small investment for a "starter kit".

As long as you realize that MLM, just like any other business, requires hard work, dedication, time, and patience.

Direct selling for MLM companies like Amway, Herbalife, Noni, Nikken, ACN, DoTerra, Nu Skin, Usana, Pampered Chef, etc. are very popular home businesses.

Other MLM companies include but are not limited to: Avon, Beachbody, Forever Living, Isagenix, Juice Plus, Kleeneze, Mannatech, Market America, Mary Kay, Melaleuca, Metabolife, Primerica, Shaklee, Tahitian Noni, Visalus, and Xango.

MLM companies "employ" representatives in your community to recruit you, your friends, your family members, your co-workers, and other individuals interested in "earning income" within the walls of your own homes.

These MLM representatives pull you in with a sales pitch that says you can make money and help people improve their health by just holding a weekend party with your friends. They convince you that their product is superior and backed by science and will sell itself.

All you have to do is invite a few friends to your house to buy a small kit get started. And, if your friends buy the kit and products from you, you get a sales commission from the MLM company.

And, if you convince some of your friends to join you as sales representatives; and, if they convince their friends to join and buy your products, the friends get a commission and you get an even larger commission! Wow! Doesn't that sound great! Can you see the hundreds and thousands of dollars rolling in?

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is. Now, don't get me wrong -- some people are very successful at this, but, the majority of people fail within the first year! In fact, almost 91% of people in MLM businesses fail by Year 2.

However, for most people who want to start their own home business without having to invest a lot of time and money, a Multilevel Marketing (MLM) internet business is a good place to start -- as long as you grow your business beyond just selling MLM products.

MLM as a standalone home business is okay, but, if you're trying to integrate the MLM products into your own health business, you may want to rethink your strategy.

It really depends on how you want to establish your brand and whether that's more important than promoting an MLM company. When you try to integrate MLM products into your company's brand, there are possible conflicts of interest. There's some "good News" and some "Bad News".

Good News:
-- MLM is a "popular" way for home businesses to generate passive income and grow one's network --as long as you're willing to put in the time and money.
-- MLM is a good way to diversify your business offerings.

Bad News:
-- Being "popular" doesn't necessarily translate to making money.
-- Some MLM companies promote that ALL of their products are great. That's just not true.
-- 95% of people in MLM lose money, plus 90% of MLM companies fail.
-- Some MLM companies push you to over-sell their products, which can reduce your objectivity.
-- You can become too focused on the MLM company instead of being focused on your own company and your brand (I see this a lot!).
-- You can lose your credibility by "pushing" an MLM company's products. Once you lose your credibility, you'll lose trust and loyalty with your customers.

So, make sure that you do your own homework and in-depth research from a business AND technical perspective; and, don't rely on hearsay and the biased enthusiasm of an MLMer. Also, make sure that you track all of your spending. Some MLMers say they're making a lot of money, but they're not clearing a consistent or substantial profit every month.

An engineer's viewpoint: Numbers Never Lie.

Why the High Failure Rate of MLM Home Businesses?

There are a lot of reasons for this unbelievable rate of failure. One primary reason is the fact that people often set their expectations too high.

They begin their very own home based business thinking it'll give them a "get wealthy quick" means to fix their problems. When it doesn't happen within a couple years, they quit! Or, they just buy the MLM product for themselves, but, they stop trying to sell the products and build their downline. Or, they move onto a new MLM company, thinking it's going to be better.

If a person started a traditional business such as a restaurant, clothing store, service station, etc., they would not expect to get rich in a couple years. So why do individuals that start an internet business think any in a different way? A business takes time, whether you are working at home, or carrying out a traditional style business.

It requires research, education, investment, planning, persistence and consistent action over a period of years to be successful in any business. Nothing happens overnight and you need to understand that an internet business isn't any different. Consistent and persistent effort is essential if you wish to be successful.

You must keep in mind that you're building a business which will generate many years of residual earnings if you're able to just remain patient and perform the things that should be done.

In addition, you should look beyond just MLM to build your business. For example, if you're selling supplements as part of your MLM business, you can grow your business by selling other health-related products.

If you're willing to spend the time to go back to school, you can obtain a degree, certification, or a license as a dietitian, nutritionist, health coach, diabetes educator, naturopath, or some other type of healthcare provider. This will allow you to grow and expand your business to attract a lot more clients and business partners.

Before you spend any money going back to school, do your research and self-evaluation to make sure that's what you want to do. Also, make sure that you have other motivations to do this besides making money! If it's only about the money, you'll eventually lose interest and enthusiasm; and, your clients will pick up on this.

The health & wellness industry is growing leaps and bounds, and can be a very lucrative business for you and your family. So, do your homework and find a niche market that fits you.

MLM Success and Drop Out Rates
The MLM low success rate and high dropout rate are due to the following:

  • In the first year of operation, a minimum of 50% of representatives drop-out.
  • After five years of operation, a minimum of 90% of representatives have left the company.
  • By year 10, only those at or near the top have not dropped out – making it safe to say at least 95% of representatives have dropped out.

To contrast these statistics, consider the failure rates for traditional small businesses. The Small Business Administration’s statistics for 2008 found that 44% of small businesses survive at least four years and 31% at least seven year, and 39% of businesses are profitable over the life of the small business. Only 64% of small businesses fail in 10 years.

Because of the dismal MLM failure rates and other criteria, it is interesting to note that MLM businesses don’t even qualify for SBA loans or other small business funding and assistance programs.

How Much Time and Money is Involved?

For a product-centered MLM, where the product is the focus for compensation and bonuses, expenses will include the cost of a starter kit, marketing expenses, party-hosting expenses, Internet, phone, office supplies, travel expenses, etc.

For a properly launched campaign, this could run anywhere from $1,000 per year on up. The chances of being able to start a successful MLM business with little or no upfront income is slim to none. But, that's exactly what most people do! -- they try to make money without spending any money or by spending as little as possible!

Can You Be Successful Doing This Part-Time?

You can be successful as long as you are realistic, patient, motivated and passionate about helping others. If you are focused on helping people, you will be successful.

How successful you are depends on what kind of success you are looking for, and how the MLM sets up its incentive and compensation plan.

In a product-centric MLM, success may come from acquiring free or reduced product -- which is great if you love the product and your goal as a representative is to acquire as much product at as little cost as possible.

However, if cash is what you are looking to generate, the chances of making a decent part-time income of more than $500 a month are slim.

Despite many MLMs promoting their company as a great way to work part-time for a little cash for Christmas or hard times, a full or part-time MLM business doesn't come cheap or easy. 

Additionally, some MLMs require you to generate certain levels of income or recruitment levels in order to even start qualifying for compensation plans.

It is very likely that anyone trying to do an MLM business for a short period of time will find themselves in the hole financially because of products and supplies purchased upfront.

Can You Really Make Money in MLM?

Some people make lots of money in MLM, but, the percentages are pretty low. In some recent research concerning the public MLM Nu Skin, the research cited a 2008 case study which shows the number of people achieving Blue Diamond status (the highest level of earning) was 0.14% - not even a half of a percentage point.

The reality is, only a small percentage of representatives actually realize the high earnings advertised in marketing materials and meetings. It is usually only those few who joined the MLM at the very early stages of the business and who are positioned at the very top of the entire recruitment chain who are making the big bucks.

If you come in to a well-established MLM expecting to make a large income, you'll find out sooner or later that the opportunity train has already left the station. (That's one of the reasons why there are new MLMs opening up every week!)

In every case, using an analytical framework, the loss rate for all these MLMs ranged from 99.05% to 99.99%, with an average of 99.71% of participants losing money in an MLM. On average, one in 545 are likely to have profited after subtracting expenses and 997 out of 1,000 individuals involved with an MLM lose money (not including time invested).

Conclusion
To be clear, selling a product out of your home (also referred to as direct sales), is a viable home-based business opportunity. Anyone interested in selling a product to generate income has a high probability of success.

Having said that, however, it is crucial to research and investigate the company and products for which you want to represent. There are many single-level marketing companies where the likelihood for generating income is much higher than typical MLM statistics.

This is because compensation comes solely through selling products (no down-lines, minimums or recruitment tactics). Additionally, some MLM companies are product-centric and have compensation plans designed around richly rewarding product sales.

If you're interested in becoming your own boss and want to work out of your home but are in need of some good, profitable ideas, you'll be happy to know that there is no shortage of possibilities out there, ripe for the plucking.

Some great (and profitable!) home-based businesses include computer-repair technician, bodywork/massage therapist, computer tutor, coach (business or career), technical writer, elder caregiver, virtual assistant, personal chef, Web-site designer, and pet sitter.

If none of these get you very excited, take a deep look inside yourself to see what you would like to do. Doing the work you love — and throwing your entire heart and soul into it — can make the difference between profit and loss.

If you would like to first try working at home for another company before starting your own home-based business, check out SOHO Jobs, which has a pretty good collection of reviews and links to other sites offering work-at-home opportunities.

Whether you start your own home-based business or work at home for another business, research the opportunity thoroughly before diving in too deep — there are a lot of scams targeted at people like you who want to work from home.

As you weigh the options review the following checklist to get an understanding of the logistics of that endeavor. Remember, also, that your dreams of working at home may not align with the real demands of running a business out of your house. Considering the requirements of balancing work with family might help you envision the work-at-home scenario.

Checklist for Starting a Home Business

Starting a home-based business can be a complicated undertaking. The following checklist covers the most important points that you will need to consider and will help you stay focused as you try and get your business off the ground.

1. Create a business plan. Even if you are the only one that will ever read it, it is important to plan out your business and the important milestones you hope to accomplish. See the AllBusiness.com Business Plan Center for advice on putting together this important document.

2. Establish your business entity. You will need to decide if you want to run your business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation.

3. Get your business license or reseller certificate. Make sure you are in compliance with your state laws and get a business license or a reseller certificate if your state requires one.

4. Check with your local zoning commission. You do not want your business shut down prematurely due to zoning laws. Make sure you can legally run your business from your home before you put in too much time and effort.

5. Purchase insurance. Determine what kind of insurance you need, and purchase this before you actually open your new business.

6. Organize your office. A well-organized office space leads to a successful business. Make sure that your office is in a place in your home where you will be able to focus on running your business with minimal distractions.

7. Purchase your equipment. Make sure that you purchase any required office equipment ahead of time. You will avoid embarrassing moments if a customer wants to fax you an order and you do not have the proper equipment ready.

8. Set up your Website. You will need to purchase a domain name and set up your Website so that it is ready to go live when you open for business. By planning your Website concurrently with starting your business, you will be able to include your domain name on your promotional material. Check out the Internet & E-Business Center at AllBusiness.com.

9. Make your schedule. Even if you do not want to work 9 to 5, you will need to create a schedule that follows somewhat normal business hours to ensure that your customers can reach you. They may not be aware that your business is in your basement and you have to get your kids to soccer practice.

10. Organize your inventory. If you plan on stocking merchandise in your home, you will need to make sure it is well-organized to facilitate a quick turnaround time. Make sure that they are easily accessible and free from dirt and debris. If you are a smoker, make sure you store your inventory in a smoke-free area.

11. Get your shipping supplies ready. You should not have to scour your house for a padded envelope when you get your first order. Gather ahead of time all of the supplies you will need, such as envelopes, boxes, bubble wrap, shipping tape, and labels.

12. Open your virtual doors. Now that you are completely prepared, you are ready to open your business up to the public.

Tip: Here are some websites to consider if you want to make some extra money or start a home business:
-- Etsy.com -- if you're crafty
-- Tutor.com -- especially if you're good in math and science, $10-$14/hr
-- Elance.com -- graphics design
-- RetirementJobs.com -- senior-friendly jobs
-- TaskRabbit.com -- errands

Every day, new business ventures are created. Some of these businesses will succeed, but many will fall by the wayside. Others will be able to take-off to a great start, given their ample resources and capital, but will falter along the way. Some ventures may be on a shaky ground at the start, but with perseverance and careful planning will prevail in the end.

Will your business thrive, or will it join thousands of others that have faltered along the way? Here are 12 rules to make sure your business grows and prospers:

1. Do What You Love. To do what you love, you first have to know what kind of work you really want to do. This requires intense introspection and an understanding of which kinds of work get your creative juices flowing and which kinds dry them up. Doing what you love also sometimes requires that you ignore what other people want you to do for a living.

You may decide, for example, that you'd really like to start a recording studio in your home, but your spouse or best friend may think something more practical, such as buying into a fast-food franchise, makes more sense. Ultimately, you must decide what you're going to do for a living — even if it means you can't work at home.

2. Find a Niche. For small businesses, it is best to find a niche. A small company with limited resources can efficiently serve niche markets. Concentrate your efforts on a fairly narrow market offering. This entails sticking to what you do best, and becoming an expert in that field.

Realize that it is not possible to be good at everything. By concentrating on a fairly narrow market niche, you may be able to avoid head-on collision with bigger competitors. If you are a hardware store selling everything from paints to lumber, the entry of giant retailers like Home Depot in your area can spell the end for your business.

However, you can try to limit your offering, for example, to construction of porches and decks and be the best retailer for this segment.

3. Be small, yet think big. The most common question of small business start-ups is How can I compete with my big competitors?

Small businesses have inherent advantages over big businesses, including flexibility, ability to respond quickly, able to provide a more personalized service. Make sure that your business takes maximum advantage of those areas that represent the strengths of small companies.

4. Differentiate your products. Present the benefits of your products and services to your customers, highlighting the unique solutions it offers to their problems. Avoid being a copycat; rarely do imitators succeed in the market. Study, but do not copy your competitors, and package your products distinctly.

5. First impression counts. Strive for accuracy and quality the first time around. You often do not have a second chance to make a good first impression. This entails a well-laid out store, courteous staff, and personable voice over the phone, etc.

However, if you are a one-person business working in a home office, remember that you are the center of your business and marketing efforts. Everyone you come in touch with is potentially a client or a referral to another client because they are either impressed with you as a person, impressed with your skill at providing a certain service or product.

Make sure that you are always presentable, professional in your ways and knowledgeable about your business.

6. Good reputation and Expert. Your business hinges on its reputation. It is imperative that you build a good reputation for the quality of your products and support services.

Remember that three things guarantee success: high quality goods, superior service, and your expertise. Always aim for high quality with your products. Also, ensure that the service you provide is so good that your clients will want to come back or be glad to send you referrals. Study, take courses, read a lot, etc. so that you become an expert.

People respect those who know more than they do. If you want to be an expert, acquire the knowledge by going back to college, taking college courses, obtaining certification training, and doing in-depth research.

By specializing, you assume the role of a presumed expert, even if you've just started your business. It makes good business sense for your clients to hire an expert instead of someone less experienced.

By avoiding the mistakes and dead ends that someone with less experience may make, your clients could end up spending less money by hiring you — even if your hourly rates are higher.

7. Constant improvement. Entrepreneurs know that they should not be rigid in their ways of thinking in their quest to improve their best products and services.

You risk being left behind by the fast-paced competition if you cling to the "this is how we've always done it" kind of thinking. The business environment today demands that you need to come up with new solutions fast!

8. Listen to your customers. Be market driven: Listen and react to your customer's needs. Customers need to feel that they are important to you because they are! When you focus on your customers and gain their trust, they will not only recommend you but they will also remain loyal to you.

Remember, personal recommendation and word-of-mouth are the least costly yet most effective marketing strategy for your business.

9. Plan for success. An entrepreneur should understand the power of planning. A good plan helps you increase your chances of succeeding and can help you define your business concepts, estimate costs, predict sales and control your risks.

It tells you where you are going and how to get there. Going into business without a plan is like driving into a foreign land without a road map.

10. Be innovative. Innovate your offerings constantly, keeping pace with technological changes. Use change as a springboard to improve your products, procedures or reputation. Innovation should also cover your operations from pricing, promotion, customer service, distribution, etc.

Keep your eyes for new ways of doing things, and apply those that can improve the quality of your products and efficiency of your operations.

11. Work smart. As an entrepreneur, you need to possess self-confidence, plus a never-ending sense of urgency to develop your ideas.

Studies have shown that the individuals who succeed in entrepreneurship are far-sighted and can accept things as they are and deal with them accordingly.

They know how to manage their time, realizing the importance of leisure in as much as work. These people are oftentimes quick to change directions when they see their plans are not working.

More importantly, they recognize their weak points and move on to nurture alliances and acquire the skills they need to put their business on the right track. They realize the importance of working smart, knowing that it is not the quantity of work you do, but what you do and how well you do it.

12. Treat It Like a Business. If you want your business to be a business — an organization that generates the kind of money you need to become financially independent — you have to treat your business like a business, not like a hobby or a momentary fling.

Note: If you're not having much success with your business, then, you're probably making one or more of the classic 7 mistakes that entrepreneurs make. Get the author's How to Start a Business ebook; or, contact our business office for a business consultation.

Here's how to get started with your guerrilla marketing:

Step 1a: Develop Your "Personal Story" Elevator Speech. If you overcame a major crisis in your life, your first step is to summarize your story and have the ability to explain it to people in one minute or less. This explanation is called an elevator speech because it can be told to someone during the span of a short ride on an elevator.

Example: “I almost died in the hospital from diabetes. But, diabetes saved my life. Now, I'm helping others. If you have a friend or relative with diabetes, here's a copy of my story in the newspaper."

Step 1b: Develop Your "Business" Elevator Speech. Your next step is to figure out exactly what your business does and have the ability to explain it to people in one minute or less. This explanation is called an elevator speech because it can be told to someone during the span of a short ride on an elevator.

Example: “I have a catering business that specializes in small to medium sized parties. Our barbecue sauce is the best in the city and the kids love our hot dogs and hamburgers. Let us do the cooking, so you can focus on the party!”

Step 2a: Keep Business Cards at All Times. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on business cards. You can get free business cards at Vista Print (you must pay for shipping).

Things to include on your business card are:

  • A memorable slogan or image
  • Your contact information including an email address and a website
  • Your name and the name of your business
  • A mailing address

Step 2b: Carry Copies of Newspaper Story/Pamphlet at All Times. A newspaper story carries a lot of credibility -- it's better than the business card. If you don't have a newspaper story yet, develop a colorful 1-page pamphlet or a flier or a CD if you have the finances and computer skills.

Step 3a: Create a Website. Having a website is a must. Websites can be designed and maintained for as little as $7 to $10 a month. Of course, the cost will increase when you add more pages, an online store, a blog, an email account, and other features. Make sure you get your own domain and a good web host provider. If you need help, contact our business office.

Step 3b: Use social networking. Set up accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, MyPage, Twitter, Ning, etc. to expand your network. It's free!

Step 4: Get a video camera and audio recorder. Record your story! Record your lectures! Record people in the street talking about your services and how iou helped them! Videos are very powerful!! So are audios, but not as much as video. and, with the popularity of YouTube, you can really get your message out to a lot of people! If you are a good talker, with a great personality, or, if you have a great story, then, video is a must for your business!

And, once you have video or audio, you can make a DVD or CD to hand out to people.

Step 5: Don’t Stop Talking. Make sure you tell everyone you know about your story and your business. Give them some of your business cards, or fliers so they can pass them out to people they know. And remember, you’re not limited to the people you know. Tell everyone: people in the grocery store, hardware store, barber/beauty shop, post office, the mall, church, parties, picnics, etc.!

Step 6a: Write an ebook. Review all your lectures, videos, audios, notes, research, etc. and write a book, based on your experiences.

Step 6b: Develop a CD or DVD. Review all your lectures, videos, audios, notes, research, etc. and develop a CD or DVD, based on your experiences.

Step 6c: Write/publish a book. Based on your ebook or CD/DVD, write a book, based on your experiences, and get the book published.

The most important part of street marketing is to deliver a great product or service. The man you met in the elevator better love that barbeque sauce and you better give him a great price.

Maybe you could charge him for 25 dinners for a party of 30 people. It’s not nearly as important to make money from him the first couple of times he uses your service as it is to have him be a return customer for years and to get all his friends to become regular customers.

Word of mouth is the best advertising and a happy customer will recommend you to everyone they know!

Find Your Niche

When you start your business and begin thinking about your brand, it’s very important that you develop a niche. A niche is a very specific product or service that you specialize in.

For example, if you are a hair stylist, your niche might be natural hair care or cuts and colors. If you are starting a landscaping business, your niche might be all-weather plants and flowers.

Learn about your competition, see what they are offering and figure out what it is that you do better than them. Maybe your cleaning service has a special process for removing pet fur and stains that seems to be much more effective than your competition.

Once you figure out what it is that you do better than your competition, you should emphasize this special product or service to your customers. Of course you want people to buy all of your products and services, but when it comes to your specialty you want to be the first name that pops into their minds. If someone has used you to remove pet smells and stains from a new home and you did an outstanding job, they are much more likely to have you do basic cleanings down the line.

It’s important not to force your niche. Maybe you thought you were much better at removing pet stains than you actually are, but your customers seem to love the way you remove grease stains. It is wise to listen to what your customers are telling you and change the focus of your specialty as needed.

Branding

Once you have identified your niche, you should brand that specialty into the minds of your customers. Here are some ideas to help you get that done.

Create a slogan to go along with your business logo that lets people know what your specialty is.

Actively market your niche if being interviewed or reviewed by local press.

Make your specialty the main focus of your advertising.

Offer a lower price on your specialty than your competition.

Develop a powerful video about your story or your product/service, and distribute it on the Internet, and hand it out as a DVD to people on the street.

How to Advertise

The most important part of any successful street hustle is getting the word out. One of the best ways to do that is to advertise, advertise, advertise!

Where to Start:

Step 1: The most important part of successful advertising is to figure out exactly who your customers are; this is called your target market. You don’t want to waste money by getting your message out to the wrong people.

Step 2: Once you know your target market, speak to them directly. That means coming up with a message that fits your customers. If you’re a hair dresser in a major city, you don’t want an old man’s voice on your radio spot! You want to talk to your customers in a language that they’ll understand.

Step 3: The hardest part of advertising is figuring out how to reach your target market. For small businesses, it’s a good idea to use local marketing. A good example of this is short radio commercials on a station that is popular with your customers.

Local radio and cable TV ads are relatively inexpensive and a good way to target your audience. Don’t worry about creating the ad, the employees at the radio station will help you develop your commercial from start to finish. They will even provide you with research about your target market.

Step 4: Make sure your advertising is memorable and professional. Remember, first impressions are important. Create a funny tagline, or slogan that people won’t forget! Add humor to your personal story.

Step 5: These days, having a good website is important. You can create a website for little to nothing. Make sure your website has all of the information your customers need such as products and services, pricing, directions, and specials!

Ideas for local advertising:
Local radio and cable television offer ad time at a reasonable rate with the ability to reach your target market.

Local newspapers are a good way to target customers. It doesn’t have to be a city wide newspaper. Your town may have a penny saver or small alternative newspaper and your neighborhood may also have a local newsletter or neighborhood paper.

You can create free ads online using websites like Craigslist, but, be careful.

Business-to-Business Networking

Good networking is an important skill of any successful hustler. It’s important for you to get in the loop, and reach out to those around you who are doing similar things or who can help you take your hustle to the next level.

You can start by networking with other businesses in your community this is called business to businesses (b-2-b), This is a great idea because:

  • You can get referrals from other business owners.
  • You can learn about different resources available for local businesses.
  • Instead of using money, you can barter services.

Example: If you have a coffee shop, you can use the copy machine in the bookstore for your menus and bring them free coffee and treats in exchange.

You can create promotional materials that advertise both of your businesses, and share advertising costs.

Getting Started
Step 1: Contact your local small business association (if you have one). You can also check with your local chamber of commerce for a list of small businesses in your area.

Step 2: After you check with these organizations, hit the streets and start introducing yourself to the local business owners in your area. Let them know what services you provide and tell them that you’re willing to refer customers to them and help them whenever necessary.

Step 3: If you need a service, such as lawn cutting or biz card design, hire a company in your area. If you give them business, they will give you business in return.

Some Business-to-Business Example Ideas:
If you have a barber shop, hand out coupons for a discounted slice of pizza (from a local pizzeria) with every cut. In return, they can hand out haircut coupons with each pizza they sell.

If you have a flower shop, provide fresh flower arrangements to the restaurants in the area, for a reduced rate. In return they can place a small sign in their entrance advertising your business.

Here are some ways to promote your business with little or no money -- just your creativity and your time.

  • Talk, talk, talk - Look for opportunities to tell your story to someone while standing in line at the post office, grocery store, etc. 
  • Buy lots of groceries. Here's an angle that the author uses every once in a while: He'll go to the grocery store and buy 20 bags of frozen vegetables. Someone in the grocery line or the clerk will always say something when they notice all the vegetables, something like: "Wow, someone really loves their vegetables!" This gives the author an opening (or excuse) to tell them that he discovered that vegetables saved him after recovery from a near-death diabetic coma. Most people pick up on the following words: "death", "coma", or "diabetes". Inevitably, someone says" "My mother is diabetic." So, the author quickly tells him his story (in 15-20 seconds) and gives everyone a copy of his newspaper article. This is just one example of why you want to be able to summarize your story in 20 seconds or less.
  • Carry a copy of your book or newspaper story. There are so many creative ways to get your story out into the public. Another example: The author carries a copy of his book with him when he stops by the post office to mail some letters. Inevitably, someone in line sees the title "Death to Diabetes" and asks the author something like: "Is this book any good?" And, the author smiles and says: "I think it's a great book for diabetics -- although I might be biased as the author." This leads to a discussion with 2 or 3 people standing in line, who happen to have relatives with diabetes. Again, the author hands out copies of the newspaper story. 
  • Gradually, over time, people in the post office, and people in the grocery store recognize the author when he stops by. And, it didn't cost him any money or any time since he had to go to the post office or the store anyhow.
  • Share your testimony in a church. In many churches they ask people to share their personal testimony. This is a perfect platform to telling people about your own personal story of recovery.
  • Sell YOU. Key Point from the author: Never try to sell your product -- always focus on your story -- sell your story -- sell YOU.
  • T-Shirts. This is great for turning yourself or others into walking billboard. You can give the t-shirts away as prizes which is also another great way of gaining word of mouth promotion. Your t-shirts for the prizes don’t need your website address on it. Just give away a great, fashionable shirt and that’ll have people eager to tell friends and family where they got it from.
  • Buttons, pens, pencils, decals, notepads, etc. Use stationery to promote your business. Every time a person uses your pen or writes on your notepad, they'll see the name of your business.
  • Business Cards. Don’t skip this one. So many people see this and think you’re going to tell them to print cards and hand them out. I’m not! What you do with these cards is head to every library or book store in your city and find the section that relates to your business. Open each and every book and place a business card somewhere in the book. This is great targeted marketing and only costs you a few bucks for the cards and an afternoon of placing the cards. If you need some great business cards, check out VistaPrinting.com or UPrinting.com
  • Write a paperback book.  This is a very powerful promotional tool as well as a product that will generate revenue for your business. However, not everyone can write a book that people will buy. If you're not a good writer or if you don't like to do research, this is not for you. But, if you write your own book, people will definitely see you as an authority in your niche.
  • Write an E-book. This is easier than writing a paperback book. You can do this for two reasons. One, you can write an e-book on a topic in your niche and circulate it so people will start to see you as an authority in your niche, or you can also sell the ebook for a small profit and use that money to fund your business.
  • Money Stamping. Grab a stamper from your local office supply store and stamp a funny phrase along with your website address on it. Have a make money online blog? Stamp something like “Learn how to make thousands of these online: site  here”.
  • Sticky Notes. Another way to use your stamper or even your printer. Sticky notes are noticeable anywhere because people know what they’re for notes. Put these on local business doors, offices, cars, or above mail boxes in apartment complexes and people will take notice.
  • Use lots of stamps. Looking for a way to get noticed in the huge pile of advertising mail potential clients get? Send your promo material in a big manila envelope and put 22 – 2-cent stamps on it. Out of 100 envelopes, who’s do you think will catch the eye first?
  • Do Not Disturb. Heading to a blog expo anytime soon? Get some door hangers printed up with your business information on it and possibly a link to something free on your site. Get the attention of everyone in your market this way, and it’s super cheap as well. No-one else I know has been doing this so you’ll stand out for sure.
  • Pay it forward. When you’re heading into the movie theater, pay the persons way behind you and tell the cashier to give them your business card. You’re not guaranteed that the person will become a client but I bet the word of mouth on that one would be pretty big.
  • Fake publicity stunt. You could have people picket your storefront with signs that read “This business is too nice” or “Company X is too good at their job”. There's a million fake publicity stunts, use your imagination and I bet it’ll work no matter how weird or out of the box it seems.
  • Guest blogging. This is for the bloggers out there, or even the freelance writers. Guest blog on other blogs largely related, or semi-related to your websites niche. Opening other peoples eyes to your name and your website is always good promotion, especially if you’re an awesome writer. Not to mention networking with other bloggers is great for business as well.
  • Bumper Stickers. These are great because they can go anywhere, not just on your car. Bathroom stalls, street poles, etc. Get creative with where you place them, they can grab peoples attention when placed in the right spots.
  • Help Home Based Businesses. Most HBB owners try to keep their records hidden from local housing authorities so they’re hard to reach. Head over to your local chamber of commerce and suggest a HBB committee. They might appoint you head of it (you can even ask to be) and you have a bunch of HBB owners who will come to chat and you can promote to with business cards, flyers, booklets, ect.
  • Top 10 reasons to choose YOU. Instead of leaving business cards or other promo material at a business or in someones email box, create a list of the top 10 reasons why the prospect should choose your company. Make them 100% true, humorous and memorable.
  • Demonstrations. Got a service business? This is perfect for you. Find a local store that pertains to your services and put on a free demo of your services. Your service involve outdoors? Contact news stations and let them know you’ll be offering a BBQ and free service demonstration. The BBQ could get a little costly, but the amount of press and promotion could really pay off.
  • Print Calendars. These could be given to each of your clients or left in a store for people to take for free. Print your website address and a little slogan or client testimonial on each months picture for exposure every day. The people using your calendars will even help you out when they have company over who will see the calendar, especially if the images you use are high end and visually appealing.
  • Window decals. Get a custom printed window decal on your car with your logo/website and possibly a slogan. looks professional, and is great for red lights.
  • Sponsor an event. Doing this is at most times, very inexpensive and also GREAT for publicity, especially if its a big event. You normally get your logo and business mentioned in all of the events promo material which is tons of publicity you normally wouldn’t get. Be at the event to add extra stickiness to your business name and interact with the guests.
  • Holiday Greetings. Send emails or snail-mail to your past clients wishing them happy holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years). This helps them keep your name/business in their head as well as standing out from the other people they’ve done business with before.
  • Charity Donations. Donate some of the profits you generate every month to charity. Great for promotion in the media and clients to feel like they’re helping out the charity by purchasing from you.
  • Hold a Contest. This could have 1-10 winners which helps the word-of-mouth promotion everyone needs and wants. You can gain free press for starting the contest, plus publishing the winners is great for more press coverage.
  • Partnerships. Do you have a lawn-care business? Try partnering with a window washing company. Any partnership which benefits both companies is a great idea and a great way at grabbing the attention of new potential clients. Also a great way of giving your business targeted marketing.
  • Blood Drive. Host a blood drive, contact newspapers, tv news, radio, etc. have 1-2 banners up with your website information and also have business cards at the sign in table. Everyone loves to help their country, city, state, ect. and giving blood is the easiest way for some people to do that. Putting yourself in the forefront of your cities next blood drive would make your business very visible to a whole range of new potential clients and word-of-mouth advertisers.
  • Client Appreciation BBQ. Invite your past clients to a BBQ and let them invite 1-2 friends to come with them. This will help your customers LOVE you even more than they already do, as well as bring some new faces into contact with you as potential clients.
  • Outdoor Signs. Ever see the huge amounts of signs in the grass for mayor elections or in the front yard of a house that just got remodeled? This is a great, and inexpensive way to get your websites name out there. Pick a great tagline or picture for the ads, and you’ll be sure to get noticed.
  • Circulars. A lot of people nowadays are looking for good deals on just about anything, so when they receive the “junk mail” it’s not considered as “junk” anymore. Get a brochure put into these and you’ll have a good chance at 10-100K people to see it depending on how big the circulation is.
  • Newspapers. You don’t have to just buy an ad. Today, a lot of newspapers are hurting for editorials, so if you have any copy writing skills, you can send in some editorials to the newspapers and include a byline for your company/website information.
  • Magazines. Similar to above. Don’t just buy an ad that will get looked over, but write an article and if it is well written, when people read it, they’ll want to check out your website for more information on you.
  • Put it on a bus. Mobile advertising is great and will get viewed by a lot of potential clients on a daily basis.
  • Postcard Mailing. This is a bit cheaper then sending out envelopes that might weigh a bit and it also is easier for the potential client to read what you’re promoting without having the OPTION of opening the envelope (a postcard is one single piece of paper).
  • Giving it Away. How many people will turn down a free service or product? I don’t think very many will, so your voice and company will get out there in front of a lot of people. It’s also good for press to say you’ve given away X amount of products or services.
  • Enter Business Awards. From small, local awards, to big, multi-national ones like Inc., your company could benefit from the exposure inside the awards. It’s an added bonus if you win because then you have a nice trophy in the office, or ribbon on your website that says you’re a good company.
  • Link Bait & Viral Marketing. This is a well known tip to bloggers and website owners but few actually use it to their full advantage. For example, create some surveys as link bait, or create some funny videos can boost your viewers in a huge way.
  • Offer all the extras. If you cut grass, offer to come in the winter and shovel snow. If you cook dinners for offices or nurses at hospitals, offer to create desserts. The ideas are endless, but if you give your clients EVERYTHING, they will have nothing to go elsewhere for.
  • Borrow a wall/building. Get a projector and find someone to let you use the side of their business/wall, and have your company logo/website/information shown on it every night. I know I would personally stop and look at what was showing on the side of a building for sure, so I can imagine how many others would as well.
  • Own the bus stop. Not literally, but if you can get your ad on the poster area of the bus stop along with the seat inside the bus stop, you could effectively “own” the bus stop and the eyes of everyone who stands there on a daily basis waiting for the bus. Add this in with #6 and you’ve got something everyone will remember and talk about.
  • Doctors Office Magazines. Slip business cards into magazines every time you go to the doctors. That’s what they get for making you sit in a waiting room for 2 hours at a time, only to be seen by the doctor for 15 minutes :)
  • Sex Sells. If your business is built for it, use it. Anything that isn’t “highly upper class” could use a little sex in their ads or in various ways. You could have 5-10 bikini models picket outside your business. This will definitely grab attention of guys in cars passing by.
  • Sponsor the homeless. I believe in helping people in any way possible. If you see a homeless person somewhere on your daily commute to work, or various other places, you could pay the homeless person to hold a sign that reads “YourCompany.com paid me to hold this sign”. Regardless if it brings a TON of business your way or not, at least you’ll feel good about yourself, and you’ll touch that persons life forever. Buy them lunch and dinner or take them to a grocery store and pick out some chips and various other foods they can keep with them. Buy them a hotel room for the night to sleep in and get cleaned up. They’ll gladly stand with a sign for you after you do this for them.
  • Underground Music. Is there a genre of music that your target market listens to? I bet there are hundreds, if not, thousands of music groups that are unsigned and lack funds to survive off their music. Why not offer to rent the hall for their next performance in exchange for flyers and banners during the show, or passed out at the door? You can also sponsor their CD production, or offer to get their website created in exchange for advertising at their shows, on the site, etc.
  • M&M Candy. If you go to the M&M website, you’ll notice that you can personalize your candy. You can use this to either promote your business or just put a thank you on the candy and give it to a client.
  • Hair Salon’s and Barber Shops. How much talking happens in one of these places on a daily basis? Why WOULDN’T you want to be a business they are talking about? Drop in and offer the hair stylists some free food from your restaurant or coupons for free products. They’ll be talking about you to everyone who comes through the salon for weeks to come!
  • 800 number and PO Box. If you’re looking for a company in the Yellow Pages or online and one has a home address and a number like this: 1-333-565-3245, while the one next to it has a PO Box for the address and a 1-800 number, which do you think is more likely to ‘look’ and ‘feel’ more professional? What company do you think is going to get the first call? You guessed it, the one with the 800 number and PO Box. 
  • Press Releases. Regardless of what anyone tells you, a well formed and well written press release can gain you a lot of attention not only from the media, but from the target market as well. Don’t let this simple tool pass you by when trying to establish your bootstrapped business.
  • Airplane Chauffeur. Find out when a trade show pertaining to your business will be in town. Next, hire a student or someone who will work for a low amount of money and have them hand make a sign with your websites address on it and stand next to baggage claim or right outside the door of the airport. They aren’t picking anyone up, but the people walking by and seeing your website address don’t know that.
  • Let Others Talk You Up. A lot of people will enlist their friends and family to talk to other people about their business, but why not get people who aren’t super close to you, pay them a bit of money and send them out to bars, clubs, movies, restaurants and other busy places to talk up your business. Any word of mouth is good, even if you have to by the persons dinner in order for them to do it. Every little bit helps.

Note: For more ideas about guerrilla marketing for your website and how to start your business, get the How to Start a Business ebook.

There are many ways to generate extra income. However, you want to choose something that fits your interests and personality. You may have certain skills, training and education that will dictate what’s best for you. So while this is not one size fits all, here are several extra income ideas to consider.

Earn money from your hobbies. If you’re like most people, your hobbies cost money. They may cost lots of money. For example, a friend used to spend hundreds of dollars for new camera lenses just so he could take better photos of his children. Is there a way to turn your hobby into a money-making proposition? Even if you make just a little cash, you can help offset your costs.

In addition to the ways listed above on this web page, here are some additional ways that you can use your hobbies to bring you wealth or generate a secondary income.

Photography. You can make money by selling your photos. Plus, you'll make some money from prizes and contests.

Blogging. Blogging is one of the many ways to make money online. Blogging can be a way to supplement your income if you have subject that you’re passionate about, and if you like to write.

But blogs aren’t the only way to make money online. You could open an online store. You could sell things on eBay. Here’s a list of 10 ways to make money online.

Sell stuff. A final way to earn some extra cash is to sell things. Look in your closets. Check your bookshelves. Walk out to the garage. See all that junk? How much of it do you actually use? Couldn’t you borrow books from the library when you need them? When was the last time you played Mario Kart 64? Wouldn’t you feel better if your house were less cluttered?

As long as you don’t try to sell it all at once, it doesn’t take much time and effort to sell your used stuff to generate some extra cash.

Sell your most valuable items on eBay. Consider selling certain specialty items to specific stores: sell your used CDs to a music store, your used Nintendo stuff to a game store, etc.

Use Craigslist to sell bulky items, or to get rid of stuff that just won’t sell.

Hold a garage sale to purge everything else. (Our annual garage sale is just a month away — I can’t wait.)

Avon calling. Could you join Avon's reported 170,000 sales representatives? For every £100 of goods they sell, reps earn 20 per cent commission, rising to 25 per cent for orders over £140.

Representatives start selling directly from the Avon brochure without having to buy stock in advance and they don't have to pay until the products have been delivered to their customers. Unlike many direct selling companies, there is no substantial initial cost outlay with only a £15 registration fee.

Join an MLM Company. Working as an MLM rep is a good way to learn how to sell their products, but, you won't make much money until you start selling your own products. The MLM and their founders tend to make the big bucks. Have you ever noticed the same people starting a new MLM business every 2-3 years? That's how they make their money!

Taking Paid Surveys at Home. But, be very careful -- don't give them any money upfront! Companies desperately want your opinion, and they are willing to pay for it. The trick, of course, is knowing where to find the paid surveys that pay the best. One of the most popular and legitimate survey sites is CashCrate. Not only can you make money taking surveys, but you can also make money by referring friends and family to CashCrate.

Ebay Store. It’s now easier than ever to run an online Ebay store. You can of course acquire products to resell on Ebay. But you can also create an online store to market products that others are selling on Ebay and share in the commissions generated by the sales.

Start an Online Business. Making money online requires very little cash investment and can be done on your schedule from home. There are two approaches to getting started. First, you can build a blog. Setting up a blog takes just minutes and costs very little -- start with Blogger.com. Second, you can set up a website. It’s much easier than you think. Start with someone like SiteSell, who will walk you through how to get traffic to your site and how to make money online.

Realtor. This may seem like a crazy time to start selling real estate, but in a slow market a lot of the competition runs away. You’ll need an initial investment to obtain your real estate license, but over the long term have the potential to make substantial income.

Website Design. With the continued growth of the Internet, website design has become a growing industry. Unless you already have the know-how, you’ll need to spend some time learning the technology. But there are plenty of online resources available, and the best in the business can earn a great income.

Graphic Artist. There are a lot of ways to generate money through graphics. Just the logo business alone could keep you busy if you have the artistic skills necessary to develop cool graphics.

Virtual Assistant. Virtual assistants today can do just about anything for you that doesn’t require their physical presence. Many virtual assistants from places like India are working full time for people in the U.S. The best VAs can earn $30 to $50 per hour. The starting place if you are interested is Elance.

Freelance writer. If you have a knack for writing, you can earn great money writing for others. Not sure how to start? Contact bloggers who are always looking for great writing. As blogs grow, they can afford to pay freelancers good money for quality articles. Websites looking to build links also hire freelancers to write guest posts to be published on blogs and websites.

Home business. The ideas and potential for a home business are limitless. There are folks who run creative memories stores, operate a video business, or sound studio from their home. One of the great benefits about running a home business is that it greatly reduces your initial investment.

Sell a product. A friend recently designed a children’s game and is in the process of producing and marketing it. It’s a lot of work, but they are passionate about the work, and the potential payoff is huge.

Generating income (along with minimizing expenses) is the foundation of smarter money management. While earning extra income does take work, its payoff can be huge.

Here are some other ways to make money:

  • Getting a second job
  • Selling items on eBay
  • Having a Garage Sale
  • Pet sitting/walking
  • House sitting
  • Building niche websites
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Create an authority blog
  • Sell your services online
  • Writing articles for content farms
  • Teaching a class
  • Lawn care
  • Childcare
  • iphone apps
  • Secret shopper programs
  • Focus groups
  • Grant writing
  • Creating a course
  • Painting houses
  • Selling produce from a garden
  • Handing out fliers
  • Creating a physical product and selling it
  • Photography
  • Selling sperm or eggs
  • Donating plasma
  • Selling items on etsy
  • Making dog treats
  • Giving tours
  • Transcribing
  • Teaching music
  • Translation
  • Computer setup and problem-solving
  • Creating items on Cafepress
  • Tutoring
  • Setting up blogs
  • Resume writing
  • Gardening
  • Write an ebook
  • Selling CPC advertising
  • Selling CPM advertising
  • Creating a private forum/membership site
  • Selling premium content
  • Creating a job board
  • Flipping websites

The formula has always been the same and the only difference between those who succeed and those who don't is the extent to which they apply it.

Lots of people want to be successful and most of them believe that success can be achieved through some kind of superstitions power (The secret?) while in fact becoming successful in life is all about sticking to five things that are listed below.

If you managed to do the following 7 points you will surely be successful in your life and the reason lots of people aren't successful is that they don't manage to stick to all of them.

The formula for (real) success

1. Success is all about the number of trials: Some people succeed from the second attempt, some people do it from the third while others have to try tens of methods before they succeed. If you want to be successful in your life then you must understand that trial and error is the only way.

2. Commitment even when there is a war going on: If you intend to commit to a task for less than your lifetime then forget about success. Success is all about committing to your tasks even if you were feeling bad, sad, not in the mood or even if there was a war going on -- don't procrastinate!

3. Flexibility: After all you don't want to try to do something the same way 10 times and fail each time. You need to be flexible enough to change the method you use if you discovered that it doesn't work

4. Going against everyone: Do you know why most people aren't successful? its not because they tried and failed but because they never tried!! friends, relatives and your society might put you down or make you believe that success is not possible. If you believed anyone then you will never be successful in your life while if you went against them all you will reach what you want.

5. Having thick skin: If you want to be successful in life then put in mind that you will be rejected, criticized and discouraged all the time. Success is all about understanding that these things are a normal part of the price you pay for success.

6. Find your purpose in life (your Gift): Find your purpose in life or the Gift you were given by God. Once you find your Gift or your purpose in life (why you were put on this planet), then, you will discover your real passion. How do you find your Gift or purpose in life? Think about what you do well. Think about what your parents, relatives, or teachers told you that you were good at when you were a child. That's your Gift!

Then, use that Gift to serve Mankind and help other people.
Help your fellow man: Join a community group, become a teacher, participate in a support group, become a community volunteer. Figure out a way to help others in need. Use your Gift to help improve the lives of others.

7.Develop a plan: People who fail to plan are people who plan to fail. Don't underestimate the importance of a good business plan or marketing plan.

Note: If you're not having much success with your business (or life), then, you're probably making one or more of the classic 7 mistakes that entrepreneurs make. Get the How to Start a Health Business book/book to learn how to start or kick-start your business or, contact our business office for a business consultation.

If you're not sure what to do, get the How to Start a Home Business ebook and/or the How to be a Great Health Coach ebook.

If you already have a business and you want to grow your business and revenues, then, consider the comprehensive Health Coaching & Business Training Program -- the online/physical kit version or the less expensive online-only version.

 

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