Starting a business from home is a fabulous idea, and surprisingly rewarding. It is the perfect option for those who may be confined to their home anyway, perhaps because of a disability or maybe because they have children to look after. It is also brilliant if you want to become ‘your own boss’.
Here, we want to walk you through five steps you need to start up your home business. We can’t cover everything, because every business is different, but the information on this page should highlight just how easy the process can be.
What is your idea? Ideally, for a home business, you should do something which you can do without venturing out too much. For example; some people may opt to be writers. Some may engage in a bit of web design. Others may do a spot of eCommerce. Think about what you want. We would suggest that you opt for something where you have at least a passing knowledge of the industry. This not only makes the process a lot more fun, but you should have more of an idea about how you can market yourself.
Determining Your Target Market
Once you have the idea in place, you need to work out who is going to want to buy it. The process that you will go through here will be dependent on your industry, so we can’t go into much depth. It is likely that you will be spending a lot of time trawling the internet, getting a feel for who could potentially buy your product. Look at how other companies in a similar niche market themselves. Where are they advertising?
Step 2 is going to be easy if you have knowledge about the industry you are planning to work in. You will already have some idea about which people may be interested in your products or services. Remember; try to come up with a unique target market here. You don’t want to be targeting the same people that everybody else is targeting if you can help it. It makes marketing a lot more difficult.
Founding Your Website
Now you need a platform which you can use to advertise your services, or in the case of eCommerce sell your products. Thankfully, this is an easy step. You have two options:
- Hire somebody to build your website
- Do it yourself.
If you have a lack of funds, then doing it yourself may be easier than you may think. You can use software such as WordPress to build up your website. It takes a few days to learn the ropes, and there are plenty of templates you can download to give your website a unique twist.
Find out how to easily build your first website.
Don’t forget about your branding at this stage. This is where knowing your target market will come in handy. Your branding will need to be aimed at them. This not only includes the aesthetics of your site but the way in which you write your content.
While this is an easy step, it is one of the most important steps. If you get this step wrong, then you will barely do any business. If you do not know what you are doing, please do not be afraid to hire somebody to help you.
Automating Your Business
There are some parts of your business that you will need to be very hands-on about. Since you are running a home business, it is likely that you are a team of one. This means that you probably do not have a lot of time to spare. If you can automate a task, then you should do it. While many automation tools will cost a fair sum of cash to use, they will save you a whole lot more by ensuring that you do not waste your time.
Ways in which you can automate your business include:
- Email software: there are several affordable email solutions you can utilise to send out mass emails at once, or even force your customers through a very specific email funnel over time. If you invest in just one tool for automation, it should be this one.
- Social Media Management: this will form a key part in your marketing strategy. Use software that can automate your social media. Schedule posts. See replies to your posts at a glance etc.
- SEO Automation: Search Engine Optimization (discussed in the next section) is the main way in which you will gain customers to your website. Use tools to cut down the work you need to do here.
Read how more tips on how to automate your business.
Marketing and Your First Customers
Marketing your home business is a never-ending process. The second you stop marketing is the second your business dies.
At the heart of your marketing campaign should be search engine optimization (SEO). We won’t go into too much depth here, mostly because there is a lot to cover. All you need to know at this stage is that SEO is the process of increasing your ranking in the search engines, where most customers will come from. SEO is something you will be investing heavily in.
Social media should form part of your SEO campaign, but it has other uses too. It is a brilliant way to engage with customers and drive new people to your platform. At the minimum, you should be using services such as Twitter and Facebook. Other platforms may come in useful dependent on the nature of your business.
Up your backlink game with a few easy-to-follow tips.
You should set up an email system right at the start. Collect email addresses through your automation software. Make sure you keep in touch with these customers. Remember; if people have given you their email address, it shows that they have at least some drive to buy from you.
When you do gain customers, and it may take a while, do the best job that you possibly can. Customers that love you will come back. They will tell their friends and family about you. Once this happens, you know that you will end up being successful with your business.
To find out more business tools you can use, check out our other articles here.