This is something that many of us dream about, and there are several reasons why. Spending more time with family, creating a better work life balance, or the desire to start a business with low startup costs.
All are great reasons, and whatever yours might be, I highly recommend taking that leap. This blog will help identify useful tools and provide tips on how to start a business from home.
What type of business are you starting?
This is the first step towards starting your home business. Deciding on the type of business you want to start will help you identify the tools and processes you need to use.
For instance, an ecommerce website might need different web building tools to a lifestyle blog. Once you have identified the business you want to create, you can then start to look at what to implement to make this happen.
If you need some inspiration, here is a blog on 10 business ideas that you can start tomorrow.
How can potential customers find you?
How is your business visible to the outside world? This could be as simple as listing your business on the relevant directories or creating a Facebook page.
Although not essential, most people opt for creating a website. Whatever it is, you need to make sure you have a way for potential customers to find out more about your business and provide them with a way to contact you.
A website or Facebook page are great for this and both can be optimised to engage your target audience and encourage them to contact you or buy your products.
By building a website, you will benefit from receiving organic traffic through search engines. There are plenty of individuals and businesses out there who will build a website for you, although this can be costly depending on who you use.
There is also the option to build a website yourself using a drag-and-drop editor. These are simple to use and produce fantastic results for a very low cost. Find out more about building your own website by reading this blog post.
A Facebook page is a good, low cost alternative to building a website. You can still provide all the information you need and include a way for you potential customers to contact you. With the release of Facebook Marketplace you can even sell products through the social media platform. Usually businesses will use Facebook to complement their website but there are many cases where people only use Facebook.
Marketing and sales strategy
Now that you have an idea and a place for people to find out more about your business, you need to start getting people to buy your products or services.
A great marketing and sales strategy takes into consideration your customer needs and habits. Ask the question, what problem does your product or service solve for your customer? This will allow you to tailor your message to show people that you provide a solution for them.
Now dig a little deeper into your customer’s mind-set. Think about their habits, how they consume information, where do they hang out, what do they browse on the internet. This thought process will help you figure out the best way to get in front of your target audience. You can then create a strategy to target these people using the most appropriate platforms and selling to their needs.
Some basic infrastructure
Once you have figured out your marketing and sales strategy you need to think how your business is going to operate on a day-to-day basis. There are many functions that combine to create a business and each is as important as the other. As without one, you don’t have a complete business. Below is a list of some of the core functions to consider.
Internal communications – communications within your business can take many forms. Working from home presents the challenge of not being able to communicate face-to-face with other members of your team. Email, instant messenger, phone or collaboration software can help with this.
Document handling – Having a place to store all your important documents is vital for the efficient running of your business. Creating a home-based server is easy enough with the right advice. There are also many cloud based alternatives that allow you to access your documents from anywhere in the world.
Communicating with customers – email and phone are the most traditional methods but businesses are now adapting to their customers’ preferred communication methods. Social media being the most obvious here, but you can also consider instant messaging services and other chat services.
Advertising – there are many different advertising platforms available. The right one for your business depends on your customers’ behaviour and your budget. Social media is a low cost and effective way of getting in front of your target audience.
Taking payments – Depending on what your business does, you will need to set up a method for them to pay you for your products or services. Think about what your customers will prefer before implementing this system.
Keeping accounts – You can easily hire an accountant to help you maintain your business accounts. There are also many business accountancy software packages available that make it simple for you to keep your own accounts.
Living your dream
Starting a business from home is still a very viable way to run a business. With ever increasing technological advancements it is becoming easier each day. Hopefully this blog has given you some ideas on the areas to consider when starting your home business. For further details on the specifics of starting a business see this blog.
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