It can be very exciting to start up a business in your own home, whether that is a business with physical products to sell or it is a service-based business. You may have some unexpected difficulties to overcome, though, and we want to share with you some of the dos and don’ts of this kind of venture. Here are a few things you should try to do and a few you should avoid as you get started with your home business.
Don’t Expect a Big Income from the Start
Your business may get off to a rocky start and might not make back its money for a while. Depending on the kind of business you are going into and your business model, you may not see a profit for the first three years. In some startups with a low cost overhead, like service-based businesses, the profits may come early on, but they could be small.
It takes time to penetrate the market, though, and to get the word out about your business. It will take months or years to build up a reputation as a reliable professional in your field, and you will need to develop contacts and relationships with clients over time. As your business grows, your profits and earnings should grow as well.
Do Clear Your Schedule
Starting a business is a lot of work and will take a major time investment. You have to target your audience well, figure out your advertising, ensure your products are available, and keep your customers happy. How are you going to do all of that and keep up with all the chores and errands you normally do? You might not be able to, which is why it could be smart to source help for some of your minor tasks.
Consider hiring expert services like an Atlanta weekend maid service or a babysitter service. Think of the other tasks that you might not have to be directly involved in that you could find someone else to do for you so that you can focus on the business. This might be necessary if your business is going to thrive.
Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
On that same note, you need to be careful about taking too much responsibility onto your own shoulders. If you attempt to wear all of the hats in the new business, you could quickly become overwhelmed. Some businesses, even small ones, benefit from having multiple people involved. You may need a secretary or a part-time coworker to help with some of the work. Just having someone check your financial records periodically or oversee the shipping side of the business will be helpful. They can take some of the work away from you so that you are not always exhausted or stressed, and they can find mistakes that you might not catch on your own.
Do Make Up a Solid Business Plan First
Before you get your business up and running, you need a plan to work from. Don’t take this too lightly and just come up with a plan in a few minutes. A business plan should be the basis for your action over the next year, so it needs to be well thought out and should be tailored to your specific needs.
If you aren’t sure how to come up with a business plan that would be right for you, then you can consult someone on this. Anyone with a business management degree will be able to help you, as well as friends who are business owners and who have successful businesses.
Don’t Mix Business and Home Life
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners will make when starting a business from their home is to integrate home life and business life. They try to work while juggling childcare responsibilities, cooking, errand running, and more. This rarely works out well, because it can mean constant interruptions and plenty of frustration.
If possible, you need to have a separate office space in your home that is not used for anything else. You should also try to separate specific hours each week to work on the business and delegate certain hours for home life and your family responsibilities.
Do Learn How to Market Yourself and Your Business
Don’t expect customers to just come to you naturally. You have to put in the work to get your name out there and to make your business known. You should look into advertising options that are suitable for your business and your budget and learn how to market yourself and your brand. Don’t be afraid to make yourself look good as you are courting potential clients. Let them know about your skills and be sure to show them examples of your work or testimonials from your customers.
As you do work successfully and add clients, use them to your advantage. Encourage them to tell others about you and ask them to write testimonials you can use. A smart way to advertise would be to cut your fee for some clients in exchange for them advertising your services on their network.
This can be one of the most difficult things for new business owners to do- marketing themselves. They may not know how to go about it, and for that problem, you should seek help. Read books on marketing, read as many marketing blogs as you can, and get some ideas for how to grow your business through word of mouth and economical methods.
Don’t Aim too Wide
You will need to find out who your target audience is and keep your focus narrow. If you can develop services and products for a specific audience, then those you target should really like it, and the wider public might be somewhat interested. If you aim for too broad of an audience, you may miss the market entirely and risk alienating everyone with watered down products and services that don’t appeal to anyone. Reaching a core audience can mean really good word of mouth for your business, though.