Starting a home-based business is not easy. Though the beginning part can be exciting, there’s a lot of things that you need to learn in order to achieve success. Every good business has one thing in common – a business plan. Without this, you will likely experience failure and lose everything you invest; time, money, and efforts. There are many businesses opening every year and almost two-thirds of them fail the following year. How did this happen? The answer relies on your foundation. If you don’t know what road to take, you can simply get lost.
To avoid common mistakes and pitfalls on starting your dream business, we have outlined helpful tips that will guide you to overcome challenges.
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Assessing Yourself and Your Ideas
- Skills and Attitude
What are your strengths and skills? Do some self-assessment and ask yourself if you are knowledgeable and confident enough to jump on a business venture. This requires proper attitude, motivation, initiative, and the ability to adapt in different situations.
Determine if there is a great amount of demand for your skills. This is your primary asset and you need to continually hone it every day. Use your talents and skills to generate profitable business ideas. When putting together with a perfect plan, you have wider opportunities to win.
- Profit Angle
Every business is aimed to gain profit. If you think that your skills will cost you so much time to get the income stream going, you might consider other skills that you can study and learn. For example, if you are doing handicrafts and it consumes a week to create three of them, you need to consider other business ideas such as pet sitting, virtual assistance, bookkeeping, or babysitting.
Creating a Business Plan
Now that you have ideas in mind, let’s put them into paper. This will serve as the blueprint of your objectives, goals, marketing plans, and how you will put them in work. Basically, a business plan consists of the following:
- Executive Summary – this shows an overview of your business
- Company Description – describes what your business offers to do
- Market Analysis – illustrates the ins and outs of the industry, target market, and competitors
- SWOT Analysis – explains the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your business will encounter
- Service or Product – tells about the products or services you are catering to your prospect customers
- Organization and management plan – a summary of the people involved in your business and their roles. You should also inform if your business is LLC, sole-proprietorship, partnership, etc.
- Marketing and Sales – details your marketing and advertising strategies, pricing model, sales plan and sales plan.
- Funds – one of the most vital parts of a business. In this section, you will tell about your cash flows, breakeven analysis, income statement and request for funding. You may look for financial institutions and moneylender to seek loans and investment to fund your business.
- Appendix – includes all the supporting documents such as resumes, market research, case studies, permits, and others.
Upon writing all the above details, let’s discuss the primary steps in planning your home-based business.
- Conduct Research
Everything is not magic. You cannot make results overnight. Research your industry and spend as much time as possible. A common mistake is jumping onto business without evaluating future circumstances. Ask yourself what can you provide to your audience? Would they be interested in your products and services? If so, how high is the demand, how many are your competitors, and how would you approach your target customers?
Research everything. Once you get a good feeling that there are great opportunities for your business ideas, only then you can make your decision. Don’t take risks blindly but rather know how deep the water is before you decide to jump.
- Determine your Objectives
Your business should reflect your goals and aims. What do you want to achieve? Here, you need to provide value to your potential clients. What is the purpose of your business? Allowing people to know the nature of your business builds trust and reputation. Be clear and concise when stating them. It serves as your pitch so make sure that you are able to capture the attention of your target audience.
- Identify your Niche
Based on your research, you will see that there are many businesses competing for the same products and services. It will be difficult for you to squeeze through the growing competition. How can you stand out? You can answer this by examining the data you gathered from your research. A useful tip is to identify people’s problem and proposed solutions with your services.
- Create a Marketing Plan
Not because you are great at what you do, people will come to avail what you offer. Without marketing, they will not hear that your business exists. Promote your business locally and start from your neighborhood. Explain why you care and how can you provide solutions to their needs. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. By showing value to people, you can get referrals and expand the reach of your business.
In these days, most people are using social media and many of your possible clients are there. Establish an online presence and engage with your followers. You can start it by creating a simple website and setting up social media pages for your business.
- Set up a good home office
Your personality reflects how you treat your business. You cannot keep your business going if you are not organized. If you have an extra room, try to convert it into a dedicated home office. Through this, you can focus on your work and become more productive.
- Establish Self-discipline
Though you can work on your pajamas, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to set working hours. An effective business owner always acts like a professional. Create a schedule and stick to it. You may say that you are your own boss but remember that the customers are the ones who keep your business moving.
- Anticipate the future
Be ready to uncertainties. The next month will not be the same as the previous month. You will face different challenges along the way and if you are not ready to meet them, your business can easily sink. Develop your business plan and continue to learn new things related to your industry. The reason why businesses stay afloat is they always prepare for the unknown, adapt to changes, and innovate new ideas and concepts.