Many home based business start with nothing else but an idea and somebody’s will to make that idea into a reality. While it’s true that financing can help you start up quicker and make your new business into your only job sooner, a home based business can become a full time career quickly if you use your resources wisely. It’s important however to take a good look at your business idea before abandoning it all to chase after your dream, since some business ideas won’t be profitable and you may need to adapt it and correct any potential issues before starting up.
Viability analysis of a business idea
You should go to great lengths to decide about the potential of a business idea, because your vision may be clouded by the fact that you’d love to make your business idea into your full time job. Do not leave a stone unturned, and quantify things. Do not buy a full warehouse before knowing for sure that there is enough people willing to buy those goods, even if you think it’s a great idea. Risk should be taken based on hard data and numbers, not just a feeling that things will work out well. It’s also worth asking trusted friends or family to give you their opinion on your business plan, specially if you tend to be overly optimistic, but don’t let naysayers stop you. Most business ideas have potential if they are approached correctly. Maybe your product is not unique, but you can make the way you sell and promote it unique and better than your competition.
Recruit help or train yourself
Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and how they affect your business, and consider enrolling some friends or family to help you with the things you are less good at doing. For example, if you are really bad at paperwork, and you know it, you may be better off getting somebody to help you with that from day 0 instead of having to pay an accountant a lot of money for a rush job the day before your tax deadline expires. If you know what skills you need you may also consider getting training for them, in preparation to starting up. You can get lots of free training online in subjects such as marketing, sales and general business management and etiquette. This is specially important if your core skills are technical. No matter how good your product is, you’ll need to be able to sell it and manage the cash flow as well, even if you are the best engineer in the entire world.
Get registered as soon as possible
In most countries starting a business is easy and doesn’t cost a lot of money, so you should do that as soon as possible. This will free your hands to start trading without having to worry about such things as the bank taking longer to approve your business bank account than you’d have expected. This also prevents somebody else registering your business name before you get around it. The same goes for domain names, registering your favourite domain name often costs less than a night out, and saves you the frustrating situation of somebody else beating you to it. And once you are registered, make a plan to get started and work for it. Set a final date when you will hand in your notice and become officially an entrepreneur, and do your ground work and research before that so when the day comes you are ready to start trading.
Do you really need financing?
While having your business office sharing the guest bedroom on your house and using an old computer may be a bit inconvenient, it may be a better alternative than trying to raise finance or getting a loan from banks who, in times of economic downturn, may not be very friendly to upcoming small businesses. Many small home business ideas can start with minimal to no capital, and once you have a running, functioning business is considerably easier to access finance to allow for growth. Do not be tempted to get a loan just to finance an expensive office in the best area of town and overpriced equipment that you don’t really need, or you may be forfeiting your future as an entrepreneur. Banks and potential suppliers will look at your past credit history as a business owner before dealing with you, and if you seem risky they may give you more expensive terms.
Promote early, promote often
Even if you are generally not a sales person, make a point of telling everybody you know about your business or they won’t know that you are offering the services or products they, or their friends and families, need. The same goes about having a website and implementing some sort of marketing strategy to create buzz for your new product or service, so you can have clients as soon as you start trading.
There are many ways to advertise your small business for free or at minimum cost, so every home based small business should be able to promote themselves using social media, SEO and even PPC advertising. Create a strategic business marketing plan to promote your business, and plan it so you can do a bit every day along with your core business development tasks.
Many easy business ideas can easily become a full time career if you are willing to stick with it even if it takes a bit of time and quite a lot of effort to become profitable. Despite the fact that being a small business owner is a challenging path, it is also a rewarding a potentially very profitable one. Even if you later on decide to join the workforce again and work for others the experience of being a home business owner will enrich you and make you more desirable as an employee. However, keep in mind that entrepreneurship seems to be addictive, and many business owners start several successful businesses over their lifetime.