So, you’re thinking about starting a home-based business, but you’re not sure how?
You’re not alone. The online-world has drastically reduced the barrier to entry for anyone interested in getting products or services out to the world without ever leaving their living room.
Yet no matter if you want to sell crafts from your living room or health coaching sessions online, there are a few things you need to do before you run out and get business cards printed.
Here Is A Beginner’s Guide to Starting A Home-Based Business:
Determine Your Big Idea
This one seems like a pretty basic starting point, but it’s important to zero-in on exactly what you want your business focus to be from day one. Before you create a business name, logo, or website, step one is to write down a detailed description of your business. The more clear and concise you can be with your description; the better. Once you start explaining what you do and what you offer, you want to make sure there is no confusion to your prospective clients.
Pinpoint Exactly Who You’ll Help
Once you have your business idea fleshed out, it’s time to get crystal-clear on who you are helping and how. People spend money based on the ability of a product to solve a problem, or fill a hole in their lives. If you are not solving a problem, your business will turn back into a hobby faster than you can say, “extra spending cash.”
Write down a description of who your ideal customer is, what they are looking for and how your products or services help them get what they want. This is often the most difficult part of starting a business because many times the problem you solve is not the problem your customer thinks they have.
- Does your prospect have firm convictions against wearing leather or to just stop being ridiculed in public by her vegan friends?
- Does your customer want to be healthier or does he want to feel more confident in a bathing suit?
- Maybe your shop visitor wants to use naturally-made products but can’t seem to find a shampoo that makes her curls soft so she’s secretly been using the salon brand.
Find the root problem and understand how you fix it. Sound tough? Get out there and ask everyone you know for opinions, input and feedback.
Test Your Idea
Speaking of feedback, it’s time for the validation process. You may think you have an amazing idea, but unless other people agree, you won’t make a dime. Ask your friends, run it by strangers in your community, reach out to other local small business owners, set up a small stand at a farmers market… anything you can do to gather opinions and feedback on your products or services will help you immensely in the long run. Remember, your market knows what they want better than you do.
Don’t Get Discouraged
The unfortunate news is that often your family and closest friends won’t be the best support system when you decide to start a business. Entrepreneurs are a rare personality; they are not afraid of a little risk and a little adventure in the hope of something bigger on the other side. Do what you can to venture outside of your comfort zone. It takes a confident dreamer to bring a business to life and that’s sometimes hard for family and friends to understand.
If you believe in your idea, you are truly solving a problem or filling a void and you have validation that people will pay money for what you offer, then it’s time to get started. It may take a while so don’t get discouraged.
There are inexpensive ways to set up a website, collect online payments, build an email list and create business cards; all of that will come soon enough. The first step, and often the step that most small business owners forget, is idea validation. Lack of validation is the single biggest reason most businesses fail within the first 18 months of operation. No matter if you are selling handmade Christmas ornaments, a self-published recipe book, or online yoga classes, you need an audience who will pay for what you are offering.
Tell everyone you know about what you are doing and treat it like a business from day one. The sooner you can get past the idea that this is a side gig or a hobby, the sooner you’ll see real results.
Now go, get out there and start changing the world with your home-based business!
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