It's the American Dream—starting your own, successful, home-based business. The problem is, how difficult is it to truly realize success when starting your own home-based business? The following tips will help you get started in determining how to start your successful, home-based business:
- Decide what you want to do. Think about that one thing that drives you—that thing that you are most passionate about—and figure out how you can make a business out of it. What did you want to be as a kid—or better yet—what did you like to do most? Do you still get excited when you think about that one thing? Whatever that deep-seeded passion is—rediscover it and turn it into profit for yourself.
- Determine your target market. Once you have ascertained your product/service, decide what your target market is. Small businesses, big businesses, consumers…? Whichever you choose—develop a marketing plan that will enable you to access the customers that most need your help first, and grow from there. You will find that your business will grow more quickly and profitably if you start this way.
- Ascertain marketing time needed. How much time each week will you need to spend marketing and advertising your services? Determine which days of the week or what times of the day you will spend marketing, and work accordingly. Marketing your business is critical to its success. Otherwise, the people who most need your help will not know you exist and will choose someone else who is actively networking and marketing their services.
- Ascertain sales time needed. How much time each week will you need to spend selling or in sales presentations? Determine how much time you will need to accomplish this, and schedule your time accordingly. If you have marketed yourself effectively, the next logical step is to present your services or products to potential buyers. Allocation of your best time to selling will result in more sales more quickly as you move forward.
- Ascertain how much "work" time needed. Especially in the beginning, it will be most difficult to balance your time to incorporate marketing, selling, and work time. However, if you can carve out the rest of your time to actually perform the service or produce the product you have promised your prospective customers, you will have successfully achieved a balanced schedule designed to keep you on task and always marketing your services to those who most need your assistance.
- Surround yourself with resources. Get involved in networking groups, meet with peers from former jobs you have held, and develop a mentoring relationship with someone you trust and respect. The more resources you have to help you succeed, the better your chances are of actually succeeding in making your home-based business dreams come true.
- Develop strong banker and attorney relationships. One of the keys to success is to know your banker and attorney well. They will be able to provide you with leads and other resources to help you grow financially. They will also be able to help you obtain low-cost, small business loans designed to help you drive business while not worrying about start-up capital or cash. Use a small business loan to invest in marketing and advertising, good equipment, or other items needed to effectively begin your home-based business.
- Set office hours and schedule. Determine your office hours and your schedule, and follow accordingly. If you do not schedule your office hours, you will not be as productive as you could, which may hinder your growth. Equally as important—stick to the schedule you develop. Treat your business as if you were working for someone else, but remember that since you are working for yourself, you will only be as successful as the amount of time and resources you put into your business.
- Set aside a room in your home as your "office". An effective home-based business has a room designated toward your office activities. Don't try to work from the kitchen or coffee tables; this will prove more distracting than you may realize. Determine the best room for you to work in effectively, and go for it!
Starting a home-based business can be a challenging task. Many do not succeed due to disorganization, lack of funds, unproductive marketing/sales efforts, or ineffective resources. Planning in advance to ensure your home business will be all that it can will prove advantageous to you in the end as you begin signing sales contracts and working diligently with your clients in growing and developing your business properly.
Home Business Equipment Checklist
Whatever your home business is you need equipment to get the work done. Doing a little planning in the beginning can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Not to mention money.
This checklist will help you decide on your home business equipment needs and prioritize them so that you can invest your money wisely.
When it comes to hardware, don't skimp. Research and read reviews before buying. And get the latest, most up-to-date hardware that you can afford for your home business. A computer can make or break a business.
Of course you'll need the essentials, but there are also other types of software you will need. Some software you want to consider for your home business are: accounting and bookkeeping, database management, contact management, word processing, etc. You may also want to purchase profession-specific software that's pertinent to your particular home business.
You probably have a land line in your home, but how will you communicate from the car? You will probably need a cell phone. Other communications services and devices to consider are: cordless phone, speaker phone, multiple-line phones, fax, answering machine, pager and palm organizers. You will also want to look into long distance companies and Internet service providers to find the best services and deals for your business.
No matter what home business you have, you definitely need to back up your data. Some popular choices for this are: jaz drives, tape drives and zip drives. Choose what's best for you and be sure to use it.
After you've made the investment in the best equipment for your home business, you want to be sure you're protected if something happens. Shop around for the best coverage at the best rates. You may also need special insurance for yourself and any employees you may have. This may be required, so, again, do your homework now. The last thing you want are nasty surprises once you're up and running.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.