If you’ve got that entrepreneurial spark, why not start your own business from your very own home? The best business you could build from home are the ones you start yourself from scratch, not the ones you buy into (talking to you, multi-level marketing schemes!). Even if you’re starting from absolutely nothing with little money, it’s definitely possible to build up your business idea into a successful and profitable company. Here is a guide on how to get started.
Step 1: Pick your niche
Come up with a business idea and choose what sort of business you want to start based on your experiences. This is most likely going to be the most difficult step, as you need to identify the idea behind your business and what your unique selling proposition is. You don’t have to necessarily have professional experience as long as the work you do is rooted in proper knowledge or expertise, so you can turn a hobby into a business as long as the quality is there.
Also consider that if you have a criminal record, there are a few fields you can’t start a business in, including medicine, law, finance, or anything that uses hazardous materials. If you want to be sure about your options, speak to an attorney to get a better understanding of what limitations you have if you’ve been convicted of a crime before getting started.
Step 2: Determine your target market and your competitors
Understanding whom you’re trying to sell to is a big factor in the success of your business, as is knowing who your competitors are and what they’re offering. By identifying your target market early on in the process, you can determine what kind of demand there is for your product or service and adjust accordingly. Also, every business has a competitor, and you want to make yours stand out so you must know what the competition is doing in order to offer something different than them. It’s beneficial to do a competitive analysis to help figure out what your company’s edge is.
Step 3: Decide what your budget is
Every business needs capital to get it off the ground, so figure out how much that is before you start spending. Consider how much you’ll be spending on your office space, including rent, utilities, equipment, and administrative services like conference calling, and be realistic about these costs. Also, consider other expenses like marketing costs and employee salaries and benefit packages. Do plenty of research and compare prices to make sure you get a good understanding of what your budget will be.
Step 4: Finance your business
The preferred way to finance your new business would be through personal savings, but understandably, this isn’t always a reality or a viable option. In 2018, nearly half of all small business owners went to the bank for a loan to help finance their company. There are other ways to obtain some capital, including:
- Rollovers as business start-ups (ROBS)
- A home equity loan
- Finding angel investors
- Asking family and friends
- Personal finance loan
Don’t forget to keep your business finances and personal finances separate for legal reasons. Make sure to establish your business as its own entity and set up an LLC for easy accounting when it comes time to file your taxes.
Step 5: Advertise
How are people going to know you exist unless you market your brand or product? Make sure your company has a website and you’re on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn (or all of the above – whatever makes sense for your brand and target audience) and understand the strategies involved for each platform, because yes—they’re all different. Traditional advertising is fine too, but the real bread and butter comes from social media these days, so get your profiles up and get that website functioning as soon as possible.
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