Starting a home-based business is how a great majority of entrepreneurs got their start. No matter if it’s a household name like Apple or a regional design business, starting a company from scratch right at the kitchen table has been a tradition that’s been around for decades. And if you’re looking to join the ranks of those who started a business at home, we’re here to help break down a few helpful tips on how it’s done. Check them out below:
Know The Costs
One of the most common barriers that first-time entrepreneurs face when launching their home business is not knowing how to estimate the costs. According to the Small Business Administration, the estimated cost is between $1,000 to $5,000. Given that a lot of your overhead will be covered by current living expenses, that figure can be heavily contingent on where you live and how much time you believe it will take for you start garnering revenue.
List all the items you’ll need, from logo design to business licensing fees and anything in between. It’s important to note that certain upfront costs are well worth the investment later, such as quality branding to utilize for the lifetime of your brand. With a rough estimate in hand, always account for incidentals, as well as how much runway (the time it takes before you start making revenue) you’ll need to make this thing take off, as you only get one shot for ensuring your initial budget is in line.
Figure Out Your Market
With a budget established, it’s time to figure out where exactly you fit amongst your market. If you have previous experience in selling your product or providing your service, then you most likely already know who your ideal customer is; but when it comes to starting your own business, the strategy changes quite a bit as things like growth become a factor too. To run a sustainable company, you need market fit, which as noted by Entrepreneur, nearly 42 percent of businesses fail to develop. As you’re trying to avoid becoming another statistic like that, it’s imperative you start running through your market research ASAP.
When establishing your market, one of the first things you need to consider is where your ideal customer will most likely engage with you or your brand. No matter if you’re cold calling for design jobs or looking at products to sell online from home on Amazon, this research component will be a vital part of establishing your initial base of customers. Furthermore, it’s wise to set quantifiable benchmarks or goals to ensure that not only your business is performing well, but what might need to be improved upon in the future. Remember, market need is all about not only finding your ideal base but also explaining the need, which will also rely heavily upon your brand.
Establish A Brand
Your brand will largely be defined by the need you’re aiming to establish with your market. When executed correctly, your brand will be able to give people an idea of what your company does without having to say much to them. 48 percent of consumers report that they’re more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience than in any other moment, which goes to show that no matter if the interaction is online or in-person, it needs to be consistent every time. Before you even get to that point, however, it’s important to establish first your brand principles, as well as why someone would be willing to gravitate towards your business.
A smart way to think about branding is by first asking yourself what is it you envision this to be, including the name, logo, color palettes, etc. As silly as it sounds, write it all out on paper, highlighting the parts you consider the core aspects that identify its strongest. The more you’re able to give a writer or designer, the better, as their job is to help craft your vision. Don’t stress about making this perfect right away, but rather taking a little bit of time to develop your brand (if necessary), especially since this will be what represents your company everywhere.
Get Out There And Market Yourself
Finally, with the foundation in place for your company, it’s time to get out there and start marketing this thing to the world. Yes, no matter if you’re a b2b or b2c home business, now’s your opportunity to go after your target market, honing in on who is your most ideal customer. However, before you dive too deep into specifics, it’s smart to take a step back and look at things from a macro level all the way down to the microscopic.
Depending on the type of sales you’re trying to do, one of the first things you should look at is what type of customer you believe you have, as well as what are the most effective mediums for reaching them. For example, if I’m selling consumer goods that are popular with a younger demographic, then going after Instagram would be my best bet…why? Because as noted by Pew Research, approximately 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are on the platform; and from there, it’s all about honing in on the different subcategories of those (for example, if I was into fashion, urban, streetwear culture versus menswear culture). As your business is your passion, remember to trust your gut in some of these scenarios, because after all, you know your community best.
What are you most excited about in launching a home-based business? Comment with your answers below!