Millions of people around the world try to start a home based business every day. People are sick and tired of the 9-5 and that leash they call an alarm clock. Maybe you’re tired of the insecurity of the job market, having to budget for everything you do. Maybe it’s the 5-2 plan you’re tired of (5 days of work for 2 days off). Everyone is searching for that secret that the “guru’s” keep guarded. Every time I hear that line about “I snuck into the gurus bag and stole” or “all the gurus are going to be mad at me because I’m telling you this” I laugh. I laugh because the truth is most of the time there selling the same rehashed stuff that you can buy on eBay. The difference is on eBay its going to cost you .99 cents and you’re going to get 10,000 eBooks to read. In telling you this I may also be upsetting a few gurus (that’s my version of having a sense of humor). In all honesty what there selling is not junk at all its actually valuable information; I’m just saying there is no reason to spend $97.00 dollars for an eBook you can get for literally cents.

I'll summarize some important steps in owning a business and why a mentor is important to them.

1. Advertise

The key to any business is advertising it whether it’s a brick and mortar or an online business. Having people visit your online business is the life blood of your business and it’s also the hardest part of your business. Online your typical business will see 1-3% conversion ratio. If you have a fully optimized site that is perfect you may get as high as 7-8% (very rare). I have heard stories of people getting higher than 7-8% but have never experienced it myself. I think it’s funny when I see businesses for sale that have something along the lines of “turnkey business all you have to do is advertise”. You mean all I have to do is the hardest part of owning an online business? Once you have been online for a little while you do begin to find a few tricks to generating traffic but it can take a lot of time & money. This brings me on to my next key in owning a home based business.

2. Why you need a mentor

Having a mentor can do several different things for you. It can save you a ton of money, and a ton of time. First, a mentor (preferably someone who is making money online) has already spent money and time building an online business and can teach you how to advertise and where. Don’t believe the hype there is no such thing as advertising completely free (because for most of us our time is worth a certain amount of money). It is true there are ways to advertise for much, much cheaper with great results and this is where a mentor comes into play. In purchasing an eBook you are in a way buying yourself a mentor (and most of the time that’s exactly what they want you to believe) and in that capacity it makes sense. The problem is many times they are going to try and sell you on the “back end”. There is nothing wrong with it (it’s a great way to do business and if you trust the person who sold you the eBook it makes it even better) it just makes sense to be aware of the fact there going to continue to keep selling you. While an eBook is a great place to find information I personally prefer a person mentoring me as they can guide me through the “real world” problems as they surface.

3. This is a business

You need to treat your business like a business. You have to budget, set time aside and have a plan (a mentor will help you with this). If you truly want to be successful with your business it takes time and consistency (a mentor will definitely cut down that time). As soon as you start treating it like a hobby that’s exactly what it will become and you will be lucky if it ever gets off the ground. I hear people talk about how you should try and get into business with something you like and create a niche. While that is sound advice and one way to go I prefer to cater to what other people want and understand what they like. What I like personally is a small market compared to what other people like. I am in business and I want to cater to as many people as I can so I can advertise to as many people as possible. A mentor will be able to help you find the markets and teach you how to be ahead of trends instead of catching them on the way down.

4. Find a product

This is one of my favorites. They tell you now you know everything you need to sell “X” product all you have to do is go find it (meaning a product to sell). Then they give you a couple of “places” to find products so you can retire or tell you “just to sell my product” (typically followed by the marketing works because you bought it and you can’t argue with that). I would say (in my opinion) that 99% of the time these products are not worth buying for the “wholesale” price much less the marked up price. Its true that if your going to sell online your going to need a product (I’m sure some of you already know that and have looked all over for it and couldn’t find it) and you need to be able to make a profit on it. There really are a lot of places to find products to sell you just need to know where to look and sometimes you need a little money to get them. A mentor will be able to help you find the products that sell and teach you how to sell the products. There is no sense in selling a product that doesn’t have a market. Worse yet you find a product that is in a extremely competitive market and lose a lot of money trying to compete and advertise with the "big guys". If you don’t know what you’re doing you can literally lose thousands of dollars trying to advertise in PPC's and never have anything to show for it.

If you have the desire to succeed you really can make it online. There is more that could be said but it’s important that if you want to really make it online you remember the 4 items listed above. If you simply remember that a lot of what’s online is written by people who know exactly what to say to pull your wallet out and put in your credit card number then you will also understand that there probably (I can’t say all as I haven’t read every eBook out) just selling the same thing as the other guy. There is a lot of great information out there and the information is invaluable. However valuable the information found in eBooks are the information from a personal mentor can be exponentially more effective. You could literally save thousands of dollars (that could be used for advertising) by finding a mentor and having them teach you what to sell, how and where.