Starting any kind of business can be tricky. There is a lot to think about and you need to consider all the time, money and risk that will be involved. Even though a home-based busines can sound enticing if you feel stuck at your regular 9 to 5 job, the transition can be painful and require a lot of getting used to. But the most important thing of all when you’re starting a business is to understand that you will need a solid strategy and a great deal of preseverance to make your idea work and become your own boss. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Consider your personal traits
Before you even start considering opening your own business, you need to know whether you are fit for an enterpreneur. Are you resilient and amibitous? Are you good at working independently and leading a group of people? Are you persistent and ready to take on risks? All of these traits and many more must be present if you’re going to go all in and start your own business. Furthermore, think of the characteristics that will be necessary for the type of business you’re planning to start. Whether you need to be communicative or spend hours in front of your computer with no social contact, those are all some things you need to be prepared for.
2. Evaluate your talents and skills
When you’ve done self-assessment and realized you are, indeed, meant to be an enterpreneur, you need to evaluate your talents and skills before you set on the type of business that you’re going to start. Sit and think about your talents. What are you particularly good at? Are you persuasive, or you have an eye for detail? Maybe you’re incredibly meticulous and communicative. These are all the talents you can employ in certain business. Skills, on the other hand, are the things you can do. Skills are acquired throughout your life, through education and work. You will have the best shot if you combine your talents and skills.
3. Generate ideas
At the intersection of your talents and skills lies your shot at success. Considering you have been realistic with your talents and skills, you can now make a list of all the ideas that combine them. At this point, you should just give way to everything that comes to your mind without any restriction. And if you’re stuck and can’t think of anything that might work for you, don’t be afraid to do some research, talk to some people that may inspire and give yourself time to generate ideas. Some ideas may seem too ordinary to you, but some of the most profitable business are based on already tried out concepts.
4. Test your ideas
Now that you have a pile of ideas, you need to weed the implausible out and stick to those that can actually work until you get down to one final idea. Make sure your idea can function as a home-based business. This means that you can operate the whole business from home without any obstacles. For example, if you live in an apartment, your business can’t involve any kind of noise or other disturbances for the neighbors. You can’t have people coming and going from your apartment, or heavy machinery installed. Also, make sure your business doesn’t involve you having to run around constantly (if that’s not something you’re fine with) because that is not the definition of home-based business.
5. Do a market research
Another important thing when finalizing your list of ideas and deciding on the best one is the market. Ask yourself – is there a demand for this? Can I make money off it? And more importantly, don’t just rely on your own opinion, do an extensive research. It is crucial that your business fuilfills a need on the market, because otherwise you won’t be able to make it successful. Another thing you should consider is the profiit. Not only should you understand the needs of the market, but also how much people are willing to pay for what you have to offer. Before plunging into something that doesn’t pay off, calculate how much you’d be earning and if it’s going to meet your expectations and needs.
6. Know your competition
Aside from doing a market research, you also need to do a thorough research on your competition. This means finding out exactly who else in your area is offering the same services as you and at what prices. If your area of business has fierce competition, you need to consider whether it’s profitable to even start another business that would provide the same services. But if you do decide to go through with it, you need to develop a strategy that would draw the clients to you. Maybe you can lower your prices and offer more for less, or you can take advantage of what you know about your competition and add something more to your business that clients can’t get elsewhere. This is where you get creative.
7. Make a business plan
So you’ve got your final idea. The worst mistake you could make is to jump into it without making a business plan first. This is where you sit down and think about everything your business will require to gain persepctive and look at the bigger picture. Even at this point, you may realize that your idea isn’t viable, so this step is essential in the whole process. Your business plan should include several things. Firstly, you need to set your goals clearly, and assess the market you’re trying to place your business on. Set out what your new company will be offering and at what prices. This is also where you think about how many people (if any besides you) will be included in the project. And finally, how you’re going to get people to find out about your company, i.e. advertising.
8. Invest in it
You can’t start a business without an initial investment. So when you’ve firmly decided on the idea and developed a business plan, you can start thinking about the investments. Since your home will be your office, make sure to turn a room, or at least an area of your home into an office. Even though you are working from home, you need to create the appropriate work environment that will be motivating and help you focus on work. Moreover, you will need the supplies for whatever you’re planning to offer. Whether it’s some kind of machines, or raw materials, you can’t begin without it. Even if you’re starting an online business, you might want to consider investing into a new computer or faster Internet so you can work without interruptions.
9. Manage expenses
Now that you’ve got your own business, you need to act professional in every aspect of it, especially when it comes to money. This means you should open a special bank account just for your company. You should also organize your bookkeeping so you keep track exactly how much your income is and how much your expenses are. When you’re your own boss, it’s easy to get carried away and start mingling your private and professional affairs, mainly money in this case. Make sure you don’t use your private bank account for your business ventures and vice versa.
10. Commit and persist
This is the part where you have to give it everything you’ve got in order to succeed. First of all, you must set up some boundaries when it comes to your working environment. When you work from home, sometimes your family and friends won’t take you seriously. Make sure you set up your working hours and stick to your schedule. If you do, everyone around you will soon accept it and won’t bother you. The key to success is to persist once you’ve started. You must believe in your idea and give your best to fulfill your goals. This doesn’t mean you should be stubborn and go your own way even when it’s obviously not working. You should listen to the feedback and criticism and adjust your business accordingly. And remember, there will be ups and downs, but you can’t let yourself be discouraged.