How to start a small business at home?

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Whether you are a father who stays at home, a busy mother or a college student, you can make money from home.

According to some researches, more than 50% of small businesses are home-based. They can offer low overhead, helpful tax incentives.

if you’ve chosen the right home business, working from home can be a lot of fun.

So how do you start a successful home business idea?

In this article, you will find the answer.

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Business in Home

This type of business is not all that different from regular business, so you must carefully plan your activities.

If you want to determine whether you should or shouldn’t start a home-based business, the pros and cons are important elements you need to explore in the decision-making phase.

Pros:

  • By home-based business, you can keep your current job and will still have a stable revenue until the home-based business will start to bring in revenue of its own
  • Spend more time with your family, therefore you can have a more flexible lifestyle
  • The startup costs are smaller than those of a traditional business.
  • You can take care of your children
  • Save money when you don’t have to pay money for an office or a store.
  • A flexible schedule. You can manage your time better.
  • Being your own boss.
  • You can hire members of your family.
  • A home-based business doesn’t need a lot of money as a capital

Cons:

  • You will have no more time for the family activities
  • Decrease the house space once you bring in your equipment for your business.
  • Maybe family members will ask to spend more time with them now that you’re permanently at home.
  • The lack of ability to find a balance between business and family by higher stress levels.
  • The activities of your business may cause misunderstandings with neighbors.
  • While you don’t have the money to hire employees, you may also be your own accountant or marketer and so on
  • By staying most of your time at home, you will miss the community and social contact
  • Home-based business requires a stronger discipline to establish the right working pattern

The support of your family and friends is essential when you want to start a successful home-based business.

You need to invest time in planning and managing the business to ensure its success because a home business is not as different from a regular business as you might think.

How to Start?

Follow these steps to develop a home-based business that will succeed.

1. Evaluate Your Talents

Common attributes for successful business owners are motivation, perseverance, self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to deal with uncertainty.

Keep in mind, your talents are the base for any successful business, therefore, think of your talents as the things you’re really good at.

2. Examine Your Skills

The difference between skills and talents is that skills are active and talents are passive.

As you know, you’re born with some talents but you develop skills over time. For example, a person who is creative may have excellent skills for writing or drawing.

3. Generate Business Ideas by Putting Your Talents and Skills Together

The first step is usually the hardest. you must think about your talents and skills; what kind of home business could you start.

Identify some skills that have allowed you to produce results for people and generate income.

For instance, a retail store manager may have these skills:

  • Team management
  • Customer service
  • Sales
  • Inventory tracking
  • Communication skills
  • Organization skills

When you identify your main skills, the next step is to come up with business ideas that related to them. by adding complementary skills that you can quickly learn, expand your scope.

In the retail store manager example, you can learn online marketing and add it as a new skill so this person is in a good position start an online store.

Keep in mind, not all businesses are going to work good as home-based businesses, and some won’t work at all. For example, start any business that involves a lot of clients coming and going is sure to upset the neighbors.

Therefore, check your idea list and remove any business ideas that won’t work as home-based businesses.

4. Market Research

In this step, first, you must try to figure out if there’s even a need for your service/product. And when you’ve identified that there is a strong enough need.

Doing this step can be a lot of fun. It’s an opportunity to learn more about your product/service, industry, customers and what their problems/needs are.

End of this step, you’ll know for sure if you should start this certain home business, and how to position yourself.

Try to answer these questions when doing Market Research:

  • Is there a strong enough need for my service/product?
  • When my business lunch, who is most willing to buy?
  • Why are people buying my service/product? What needs or problems are they looking for my service/product to solve?
  • How much are customers willing to pay?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • What is doing my competitors that I can learn?

How do you start market research?

There are several strategies for doing your market research

  • Write a list of questions to ask
  • First, ask questions from friends and family and then ask other people
  • Go to places or events where your prospects may be
  • Analyze your results

5. Define Your Target Market

When you have an idea to make money, identify your target market is the next step. Your target market is a particular group of the population that is most likely to buy your service or product. By doing this step, you can determine whether there’s enough demand for your business.

In order to define the market for your home business, you can assume a funnel approach and apply some filters to narrow down your market.

For example, a person who have visual creative talents and photo editing skills can work as a graphic designer but by taking a funnel approach, his/her market takes shape:

  • Who will buy your product or service?

Small businesses need some images for advertising

  • What is their age range?

Owner of small businesses between 25 and 55 years’ old

  • Is your business gender?

No

You can continue to answer these questions until you identify the group of people that are most interested in your product or service.

6. Research About Your Competitors

You need to identify the companies operating in the same market, therefore, you can differentiate your business from theirs.

Here are some tips to collect information about your competitors:

  • Google

By using Google, find local competitors and visit their homepages and take some notes of their business models and their featured customers.

  • Social media

According to some reports, only 54 percent of small businesses have websites, but there are about 50 million business pages on Facebook. Try finding them on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

  • Job ad

About 51 percent of employees are open to leave their jobs. Use this stat as an advantage by posting a job ad that looks to hire employees of your competitors. Therefore, you can find out how your competition operates from one of their employees.

  • Call Them

As a way, you can also try calling your competitors and ask them about their businesses. For instance, you can ask something like, “we want to switch our service providers and we are considering your company. So can you tell us what differentiates your company from the rest?”

7. Find Your Niche

You will find out how many competitors are competing for the same market when you did your research. if you want to be successful, you must stand out and offer more value or address a specific need

You can come up with a unique value proposition when you use the result of your research.

small-business
small-business

Source: socialimpactarchitects

8. Test Your Home Business Idea

Now, you must test your idea to see if it has the potential to work. Maybe your idea has good sound on paper but you not sure that it works unless you put it in front of your market.

Here are some tips to evaluate your idea:

Introduce Your Service or Product on a Limited Scale

You can sell your product or service to a relatively small group of people by finding trade shows, festivals, and other types of events.

Work Part-Time

Use your free time to evaluate whether your idea has the potential to generate income if you’re currently employed.

Offer Your Product or Service Free

While you work for free, you can gain good experience and build your portfolio.

Influencers

Sell your product to one influencer and get it in front of a large and receptive audience. These people have a huge audience.

If your idea fails at this stage better than fail after investing a lot of money.

9. Estimate Budget

Try to estimate how much you need to get started. costs are different depending on the nature of your business but the administration of the small businesses estimates that you can start for as little as $3,000, or possibly even less.

Your main concerns are marketing equipment when you are not paying for an office or a store.

10. Fund of Your Business

About 75 percent of small businesses used their personal finances while 16 percent went to banks and 6 percent ask for the help of family and friends.

Here are some funding options

  • Use Your Retirement Funds
  • From your Friends and Family
  • Borrow from a Peer-to-Peer Site
  • Apply for a Small Business Administration Loan
  • Crowdfunding Sites

11. Market Your Business

You have to market your home business idea since it is new. Help your potential customers know that you exist and understand how your product or service is different from or better than your competitors.

Run your home business and by following the tips in this article grow your customer and you’ll be well-positioned for success. Tell us about your home business idea in the comments.

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