Starting a home-based business is no small feat. It requires dedication, an excellent workspace, and a little bit of creativity. With the right mindset, you can launch a business directly from home and enjoy all of the benefits – flexibility, unlimited income potential – that go along with it. Here are some tips.
Know your limitations.
First things first, you have to know what you can and cannot do from home. Be realistic and transparent with your customers regarding the products and services that you can provide. For example, if you custom-make furniture, pay close attention to the time it takes to complete an individual piece. Then, make sure that when you do get started, you do not offer more than you can reasonably accomplish.
It’s not enough to simply know what you can and can’t do. To enjoy the greatest success, you may need help with business development. Oasis Consulting Group can work with you to create a basic or advanced business plan so that you have better focus when it’s time to get up and running.
Choose your location wisely.
When you’re working from home, you have limited real estate from which to establish a workspace or office. Make sure to choose wisely. Among other things, you’ll want to set up in an area with lots of natural light and, most importantly for productivity, away from everyone else. In addition to choosing the right location, you must also set boundaries with your family and create a predictable work schedule. For example, the kids are not allowed to walk into your office unless the door is open and you commit to closing your virtual doors by 5:00 p.m. each day.
Decide on a business structure.
When you run a business, you have a few different options on how that business is structured. Many entrepreneurs choose a sole proprietorship. However, depending on what you do, it might make sense to form an LLC. This is a limited liability corporation and is an excellent way to protect your personal assets in case of professional failures. Further, there are some tax advantages to registering as an LLC but do make sure of the rules and regulations around the process in your state. LLC Made Easy notes that in Florida, for instance, those filing as an LLC must also have certain permits in place and choose a registered agent.
Learn how to grow your business.
Once your business is established, you will likely want to turn your attention almost immediately to growth. Bplans notes, however, that you can take simple steps, such as utilizing your existing network or speaking at community events, to help get your name out there. If you have a zero-dollar advertising budget, one innovative way to spread the word is to offer in-kind sponsorships to organizations and community events where your customer base is likely to be. If you are a pet grooming service, for example, offer to care for X number of new animals entering your local animal shelter in exchange for this organization giving you a shout out on social media.
Master customer service.
Once your business is on an upward trend, you must continue to pay careful attention to how you treat your customers. Never lose sight of the fact that they are your proverbial bread and butter; providing great customer service will keep them happy so that they keep your plate full.
The takeaway here is that launching your own business from home is not a one-time activity. Just like owning a brick-and-mortar location, you have to put work into it starting from day one. Whether you are determining the best spot for an office or networking within the community, do something every day to bolster the growth of your business. Doing so is the best way to make your bottom line your top priority.