You can start a home based business much quicker than you probably thought possible. The set up costs for an online business are low and you can be trading within a month. You don’t even need to produce your own products or services. But there are some questions that you need to answer before you start.
1. Who Are Your Target Audience?
Before you start your home based business, you need to have a good understanding of your target audience. A lot of people choose the product or service first, but the best way is to start by choosing your audience. Then decide how to solve their problems with your products or services.
2. Will You Sell Products Or Services?
You can do either, but it’s generally simpler and quicker to start with one. In a service-based business you can start as soon as you establish the services you’re going to offer. With a product-based business you’ll need to either produce the products first or you can sell products produced by other businesses as an affiliate.
3. Are You Ready To Create A Website?
Now that you know what you’re going to offer and to whom, you’ll need to create a website. You don’t have to worry about the technical difficulties of building a website. There are plenty of online step-by-step videos and tutorials that show you how to build a website. Or, if you prefer, you can outsource the job to a web developer who can do everything for you.
4. What Is Your Start-Up Budget?
When starting a home based business you’ll need to decide how much money you have to get your business started. Undoubtedly an online business is a cost effective way to start but you will need some capital to get your website online and for marketing and advertising.
5. Have You Got Somewhere To Work?
You’ll need an area in your home as your office where you can work and won’t be disrupted. If feasible try to have a business computer and not use your family computer for your business. This means you won’t have to worry about your kids needing the computer when you’re working.
6. Are You Ready For Social Media?
Your prospective customers are hanging out on social media. Set up social media accounts for your business such as a LinkedIn page, a Facebook page for your business, and a Twitter page. You have to be on all the social media networks. Just choose the ones that are appropriate to your business.
7. Are You In It For The Long-Term?
You’re not going to make millions in a few weeks. All legitimate work from home businesses take time to gather momentum, find customers and make a profit. If you’re the type of person to give up if you haven’t made loads of money in a several weeks of starting then perhaps the home business world is not for you.
When you start running a business from home it can be difficult at first to get in the right frame of mind, so knowing a few tips and tricks can be very useful.
If you are already running a home based business and you feel you need a fresh approach, then these tips could help you, too.
Maybe you are doing good in your business but want to do better!
Improving your productivity is always a good idea. After all, we can always do with freshening things up a little every once in a while.
With that said here are my top five tips that may help you on your way.
1. Set Manageable Goals
It helps in every area of life to have precise written out goals that we are aiming to achieve. So it makes complete sense to have goals for your business too, this will give you a reason to work every day and a clear image of where you want to be.
As a start set yourself a definite financial goal (For example $1000 a month, was my original goal)
After that set out the steps you need to take to reach that goal. Don’t be over ambitious at the start but at the same time don’t make it too easy either.
The trick is to set a goal that you will have to work at to achieve, so that when you do get there you know you have put the work in to do so. Once you reach that goal then re-evaluate the situation and set new goals so that you are moving forward all the time.
2. Hold Yourself Accountable
Once you have your goals in place, you need to be disciplined enough to ensure you are making every effort to work towards achieving them, if you are finding this hard to start with it can sometimes help to ask someone to check up on you (weekly or monthly) to see the progress you are making towards those goals.
If you are moving from a full time job to work at home it can sometimes be difficult to motivate yourself.
You are going from a structured environment where everyone knows who they are accountable to and what they need to be doing on a daily basis, to having no one to answer to but yourself.
I know that may sound great, but remember:-
The success or failure of this business is down to you,
The progress you make is down to you,
How much time and effort you put in is down to you,
In short you are now accountable for every aspect of your business, there is no hiding from the fact that the book now stops with you.
3. Remember it’s Still a Real Business
Sometimes, when working from home it can be hard to get yourself into the right mindset. When your home is your office and there is no daily commute it can be easy to become lazy and lack discipline.
To stop this from happening, you might want to try the following:-
Set aside an area of your home that is your work space. If at all possible, this should be a room where you work and work only. It does not have to be a big room or an elaborate space but it does have to be a good working environment…
My first home office was a small 7′ x 5′ room with a desk, a bookcase and a small filing cabinet. I had a whiteboard and a calendar on the wall and a few old jars with my pens in on the window sill, shelves above my head housed files and a printer and stacks of blank paper.
The point being once I was in that room and closed the door, I was at work, it felt like a work environment and I treated it as such, it got me into my ‘work mode’
When you are in your ‘home office’ Set yourself business hours and stick to them. Treat it like a real work environment, so non-business emails, personal phone calls and social networking, should not take place during ‘work time’.
Don’t get tempted to check your Facebook page or search Google for what’s on TV tonight because these things can easily eat up an hour or more of your time, time that could have best been used more productively.
Having a dedicated work space and definite working hours gives you a structure and will certainly help you be more effective for your business.
4. Dress accordingly
I’m not saying you have to put on your business suit… unless that works for you of course, but please don’t spend the day working in your pyjamas, mentally it does not get you in the right frame of mind no matter what you may think.
Dress as you would in a normal working environment, it is great for getting you into ‘work mode’ and It makes you feel like you mean business. Besides if you have an unexpected Skype call you don’t have to worry about your appearance in front of that potential client or JV partner.
5. Plan Ahead
Believe me when I first started out I would waste days starting one thing getting side tracked by something else before moving on to yet another task and ending the day no better off than when I started six or seven hours earlier.
There is nothing worse than starting your day not knowing where you are going or what jobs you need to do.
Without a plan for your day it is easy to flit from one thing to another until before you realise it, half of your day has gone and you have got nowhere.
Nowadays I usually spend the last half hour writing down the things I need to do the following morning, that way when I sit down at my desk, I have a list of jobs in front of me and I can prioritise each one and then work through them ticking off each task as it is completed.
I find this helps me get a lot more done and if something urgent does come up, I can prioritise what needs doing and come back to my list without losing my way, anything not finished can be added on to the following days list.
So, you have just established a home business, and you are ready to get it up and running. However, you could still use a little help finding your way. This article is full of useful tips to help you navigate the waters as you start out on your entrepreneurial journey.
Write down business goals. This will give you a clear list of what you hope to accomplish instead of vague aspirations. Every day write down a few things you want to accomplish and what you don’t finish, do it first the next day. This way you’ll be able to keep yourself on the right path.
Make sure your home business web site looks professional and is designed with the user in mind. While there are numerous options to build your own site for little or no cost, often investing a little in a clean and professional design pays off quickly. Visitors are more likely to return again or recommend your site if it is easy to use and appealing.
You are likely going to need additional insurance to cover your home business. Check with your insurance agent to learn if there is any insurance that is required by law or that will protect you from any kind of financial fall-out if anything negative was to happen. Your agent will be able to help you or send you to a company that can.
Keep everything as organized as possible to make it easier for you to keep your bills paid on time and your customers happy. Find a place with few distractions that you can dedicate to only your home business supplies. It will make the time that you spend working more efficient.
Find out what others are saying about your home business and use this on your promotional materials. Positive reviews on websites about your products or your business itself are an excellent, organic way of marketing. Your customers rely on positive experiences of others to make their shopping choices, so why not help them find those glowing reviews?
Determine if your home business is safe and make any needed adjustments, especially if there are children in the home. You might need to buy safety equipment and create policies concerning who can use your space. This will help ensure your family’s safety and help you avoid any accidents that could be a nightmare for your business. Having a home-based business does not exempt you from inspections.
Keep detailed records of what you spend and how much you make. In case your business is audited, you will be expected to have professional-looking records. Learn how accountants keep track of expenses and keep your own business journal on a daily basis. Keep track of expenses, phone calls and mileage among other things.
Running a business from your home is a big, life-changing endeavor. You are sure to face lots of challenges along the way. With a little guidance, all of your hard work can pay off. Try out some of the tips you have learned from this article, and make the most of your home-based business.
Being able to work from home raises the question of how to set up the perfect home-based office. Where do you start? The very first thing to think about is where in the home will the office be located? I would pick a space with at least one window for natural light and have it located away from any high traffic areas in the home. I would then take a look at what the skeleton of the room needs for example is the paint color acceptable or do I want to paint the walls? What kind of window treatments would I want? Is there room on the walls for art or decoration?
When picking your paint color always take into consideration the size of your space and your furnishings. If your office space is small look for a color that will make it appear larger. Never paint a small space a dark color. If you are working in a large space you can add an accent wall to help make the space feel a bit smaller. Also consider the color of your furnishings when picking a paint color. Dark woods would match better with warm colors and the light woods with variations of pastels. After you pick your paint color then it is time to head over to the paint store and get some samples. Put your samples up on the walls and look at them at different times of the day. Some folks like to work during the day while others might be working in the evenings.
Other items to take into consideration after the paint color has been chosen would be window treatments, art/wall decoration and lighting. There are several options for window treatments such as vertical blinds, horizontal or mini-blinds, roller shades and draperies or curtains. As far as wall decoration, put up your favorite inspirational quote to help motivate you through your work time. Be sure to put your achievements such as college degrees or certifications up on the wall and don’t forget a nice grouping of those family pictures. Lighting choices will be natural light provided you have windows in your office space, floor lamps, task lamps and decorative lighting. Of course, you would add these items after the office has been painted and the furniture you have chosen has been permanently placed.
This leads me to the layout of the home office space. There are many different configurations for the office floor plan such as U shaped, L shaped or square shaped. Measuring your space before purchasing the furniture is very important. Do a floor plan and make sure that everything will fit into the space.
Add a touch of your industry to your space so people will know what it is that you are doing while working at your desk. For example, if you are a company representative selling health and wellness products have a couple of products displayed. Finally add your basic office equipment such as computer/mouse, printer/copy/fax machine, telephone, shredders, bulletin boards, white boards, etc. and you have successfully set up the perfect home-based office. Now it is time to enjoy your new office space and get to work!