You must be thinking What kind of business can I start at home? How to Start a Small Business at Home? The concept of being one’s own boss is popular with many people. In fact, there were a record 5.4 million new business applications in 2021 alone. The ability to work from home, create a flexible schedule for yourself, and earn an income doing what you love clearly appeals to many people.
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Unfortunately, starting a new business that will be successful long-term isn’t as easy as it may appear. About 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. A whopping 70% of small businesses fail in the first ten years. These numbers shouldn’t discourage you but rather help you realize that careful planning is in order if you want your new business to stand the tests of time.
To increase the odds of your new business succeeding long-term, consider the six tips for success outlined below. These tried-and-proven pointers will help you lay the groundwork for a business that will appeal to your target audience and generate a steady stream of revenue.
6 Tips to Start a Small Business at Home
1. Come Up with a Business Idea
The first step in starting a new business is selecting an industry and choosing which products and/or services to sell.
Consider your talents and abilities when creating a business idea. What are you good at? What are your areas of expertise? Do you have a lot of experience in a certain field?
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Even more importantly, consider the demand for particular products and/or services. Are there people who would be interested in what you would like to offer? Will these people be able to afford your products/services? Would you be able to reach your target audience easily?
It’s also wise to bear in mind the current labour and product shortages may continue to plague industries for the foreseeable future. Make sure you’ll be able to continue to offer your chosen products/services long-term.
2. Create a One-Page Business Plan
Once you know what you want to sell and who you intend to sell it to, it’s time to create a business plan. This plan should be short, but it should cover all the important aspects of starting a new business, including:
Start with financials:
- How much money do you need to start your new business?
- Will you rely on savings or take out a loan?
- How much can you spend on product creation/acquisition, procuring business supplies, marketing, etc.?
Talk about your marketing strategy:
- What are the unique selling points of your business?
- What are the best ways to reach your target audience?
- Do you know which social media channels to target?
- Can you team up with local businesses to cross-promote each other?
- Will distributing flyers or taking part in local expos help you boost brand recognition?
A solid marketing plan will help you get your business off the ground faster than would otherwise be possible.
You don’t need to create a massive 50-page business plan at this stage. Instead, use a one-page business plan to focus on the most important aspects of your business.
3. Set Up Your Business Properties
Every single business should have a website. Use your business name as the website name if at all possible, and purchase a .com website domain. Select a reliable host for your site, make sure it’s mobile-friendly, and create a design that will appeal to your target audience. SSL security is a must if you sell goods/services on your site.
Next, set up business accounts on the social media channels most commonly used by your target audience. Add some content, telling people about who you are, what you do, and what sets your products/services apart from other, similar goods/services.
You’ll also need to work out logistics and product sources if you are selling goods made by a third party. Make sure you can secure the items you need at the right price and make an initial purchase. Decide if you will store items at home or use product fulfilment services such as that offered by Amazon. If you’ll be shipping items from home, you’ll need to purchase boxes and envelopes for shipping.
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Finally, be sure to procure the software and services you’ll need to successfully run your business. This includes database software for logging sales and client information and keeping track of inventory. Financial software will help you keep track of sales and expenses. Furthermore, you’ll need a credit card merchant account and PayPal business account to accept online payments.
4. Attend to Your Legal Needs
Research the legal requirements for setting up your business in your state. You may need a license to offer certain types of services. This is especially true if you offer medical services or care for children in your home. Selling food from home also requires a permit.
You may also be required to obtain certain types of insurance to cover your business and/or your employees. If you have a business vehicle, commercial driver’s insurance is a must. General liability insurance can be a good idea, as it will cover property damage and personal injury to yourself or a third party. Commercial property insurance protects the equipment you use for your business and can be a good idea if you use expensive machinery to create products and/or provide services.
Another legal requirement is deciding which type of company you’ll set up for your business. You could become a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each option has its pros, cons, and requirements, so consult an attorney if you aren’t sure which option is right for you.
Some businesses may need to patent their products/services to protect them from copyright infringement. If you have created a unique product or have a unique methodology, check copyright laws to protect your work long-term.
5. Design your Brand
Every business, even a home-based business needs to develop a brand. When you are starting out you don’t have to spend lots of money on this, but you do want to get the basics in place such as defining your brand personality, designing a logo and creating an on-brand website and branded social profiles.
Of all of the above, your logo will take centre stage.
If you don’t have design skills or much of a budget you can design a logo with a logo creator, you will get a professional-looking logo that will be perfect for your needs at this stage. Online logo services also offer a range of fonts, so you can pick a suitable one for your business name.
It’s important to make sure your new logo and brand design can be scaled on various platforms. You’ll want to use your brand design on business cards, letterheads, your website, social media channels, marketing emails, flyers, billboards, and more.
6. Implement your Marketing Strategy
You should have started creating a marketing strategy when drawing up a business plan for your new company. Even so, you’ll still need to decide which channels to focus on first.
There are an estimated 1.92 billion digital buyers, so you may want to start with online marketing in order to generate brand recognition and sales. Create a blog and social media marketing schedule and write winning content that will engage your target audience.
Reach out to potential clients on third-party social media groups, offering helpful information that will encourage them to want to check out your company. Set up a company profile on Yelp and open a Google My Business account to generate consumer trust and drive traffic to your new business.
Paid online marketing can be another asset to help your business get off to a good start. Well-made Google Ads or Facebook ads that target the right people can generate name recognition, boost website traffic, and help you make sales. As people see they can trust you to offer good products/services at a good price, they will spread the word and refer others to your company.
At the same time, don’t ignore offline marketing channels, especially if you are targeting people living in your town or city. Flyers, billboards, ads in local newspapers or magazines, or a booth at a local expo will help people get to know you and generate name recognition when individuals see your company brand in the future.
A Small Business at Home can help you generate income from the comfort of your home, enable you to choose your own work hours, and empower you to earn money while caring for children or furthering your education. Follow the tips outlined above Small Business at Home tips to help your business get started on the right foot, and regularly review your business plan to ensure your new company is as successful as possible.