Some of the most well- known companies all started as home-based businesses. Probably the most famous of all companies started from home is Apple, which was started in Steve Jobs garage in what is now Silicon Valley. In fact, many Silicon Valley giants also got their start in garages, including Google, HP and Amazon.
Silicon Valley giants are not the only successful businesses started from home either. Mattel, Disney, Harley-Davidson and the Yankee Candle Company all started out as home based businesses. In fact, 69% of entrepreneurs start businesses out of their homes. If you’re looking to start a home based business, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Start With The Right Space
There is a reason that some of the most famous companies all started in garages specifically. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of starting a home based business is creating a dedicated space that is used solely for business.
Not only will you need a space that is free from the distractions of your personal life, but you may need space for inventory, samples or other materials you need to get your business up and running. Depending on the type of business you are starting, you will need office equipment and furniture, as well as a place to meet with potential clients, distributors, suppliers or other people you hope to do business with.
2. Make a Schedule and Stick To It
One of the great freedoms of owning your own business is being able to set your own schedule, but it’s also imperative that you do so.
While perfect work life balance may be an impossible goal to achieve, creating concrete delineations between the business and the personal in both time and space will help. Remember that building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
There are always going to be pressing demands on your time, but you also have personal needs and people in your life that need you as well. Working in an office can be like working in a fishbowl, but it also serves to keep you focused, on task and productive. At home, you have to create plans to help you accomplish the same things.
3. Let Technology Help You
From social media marketing to video conferencing to cloud storage, technology may be the best friend of entrepreneurs and home-based businesses. Social media marketing allows you to target your product, brand or service to a specific market segment for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
Cloud storage not only allows you to store all of your documents online where you have access to them while traveling, it allows you to more easily collaborate with others, which is a key part of building any business. Expense tracking software is a particularly good tool for entrepreneurs to have, since you are responsible for your own taxes.
4. Do What You Do Best – And Let Someone Else Do The Rest
Outsourcing is one more way in which technology has become the best friend of home based businesses. No longer do you need to actually physically bring a person into your office to perform a wide variety of tasks. You can contact them online, deliver them any files or documentation necessary to perform the required tasks and have the results delivered to you digitally.
No matter what kind of business you run, there are always going to be things you are great at and things you hate. You can outsource all the projects you hate or are not good at, which frees you up to focus on the things you do best. When you are able to devote the majority of your time to the things you do best, you will probably stand the very best chance of building a successful business.
5. Marketing Matters
Whatever kind of product or service you offer, you will need clients or consumers. You will never have clients or consumers unless people become informed about the product or service you are offering. That is marketing.
Keep in mind, marketing is different than sales, but you won’t have one without the other. Marketing is not about selling your product, marketing is about making sure people know there is a product or service to be bought, used or consumed. Good marketing must do more than just inform, however, it must compel. Hundreds of people can walk by a store, but good marketing will get them in the door. Once they are in the door, then you can sell them your product or service, but you have to get them in the door first.
Building your own business might be more the American dream today than owning your own home. Thanks to modern advances in technology, it may also be more achievable than ever before. That doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t take a great deal of hard work and personal sacrifice. But put in the time, do the work and the dream can definitely become a reality.