At this time of year especially, our thoughts can often be centered on change. Changing your job and career perhaps, getting a better balance of work and home life, or even contemplating setting up shop on your own. All of these things can be daunting and overwhelming in their own way, but starting your own business will always be the most scary and overwhelming option to take. However, it could be one of the best decisions you make.
Having the initial thought of starting your business can get all of those creative juices flowing. The excitement can build as an idea enters you head and you nurture it, but what next? So many people are capable of setting up on their own but are just never sure on the right steps to take or how to even go about it. Perhaps through fear of losing a stable income or putting their family in jeopardy. However, some of the best things in life take a leap of faith. So I thought I would share with you some of the things to consider when setting up your new at home business. I hope it gives you the inspiration to take that leap of faith yourself this year.
Think about the type of business you want to create
First of all, you need the idea. A great place to start would be to think about your current job role and the skills you have. Could those things be turned into your own business in some way? Perhaps offering up the same service you do now but on a freelance and self-employed basis. Could skills that you have now be able to create a business? The idea doesn’t even need to be directly to do with anything you have done before. Some of the most successful business people created businesses out of an idea they had or a niche in the market that they spotted. But often drawing upon your own skills can really help.
Do you have funding or investment to get going?
The next key area to think about would be whether you have the funding and investment to actually start. Many people save for a while to be able to start off without borrowing money or looking for investors. Others head straight to the bank with their business plans to discuss their options. There will always be investment options to consider. A quick look online will identify things like government schemes or investors that specialize in small businesses that are ready and waiting to help bring your idea to life. The key is to having a well-researched and informed business plans that can help banks and investors see that any money invested into your idea is likely to be returned. You also need to consider who you are and whether you as a person are investable, so a good tip is to get your own financial situation up to scratch. For example, paying off personal debts etc.
Be a hero locally
Now you have your idea to investment, now is the time to advertise. A good area to focus in is your local community and town. So many people are wanting to support local and smaller businesses these days, and if you are the only one in the area, you could be on to a winner. Be involved within your local community. Go to forum meetings, sponsor local events and be part of the community. You will see that this sort of advertising is a great way to boost your business profile locally, which could then move on beyond as you spread the awareness further afield. Another tip would be to get involved with local charities and events that they hold. Sponsoring a charity benefits them, but also helps you in terms of advertising.
Branding is key
Before getting to this stage, you might need to spend some time on branding and your business profile. A good idea would be consider the logo you want and the branding that could surround it. This will then be incorporated on to things like your website and even your social media platforms and profiles. However, creating something like this is easier said than done, so you may want to enlist the help of an agency who specialize in logo design and branding process to help bring your vision to life. You really need to be careful with your branding, as this is your chance to make a first impression with your brand new business. Consider what you use, should be eye catching and striking and certainly memorable, without over complicating things with heavy straplines or complicated images. Sometimes the simplest brand is the best, like Apple, for example.
Be clever with your marketing
Marketing is so important for your new business. This is one of the ways you are going to be able to get sales into your business for the products you supply or the services that you offer. Consider things that are a little different. Good old fashioned mailshot in your local area could help you create a better outlook locally and drum up some business that way. Advertising online or using online influences like bloggers could also be a good way to go. They could review your products and services and share their thoughts with their audience. You may need to give the product for free, but the exposure on the right sight could be more than ample pay off for it. The best advice is to try and stick away from hiding in the background and really shout from the rooftops about your business and brand.
Use social media to your advantage
Social media is a great way to drum up business these days. So many people spend their spare time scouring their newsfeeds on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to see what people are up to. Having a business profile means that if your page is liked, you can then have people like and share your business pages which will help you get more eyes on your business and ventures. You could also pay for advertising within the social media platforms to help boost your presence. It can cost very little per day, but the exposure could be more than worth it. You need to be consistent online with what you share and how often you upload. Making sure that you are also sharing quality content.
Could a business blog help your website be seen?
These days, to get your business website seen, you really need to invest time into things like SEO. It is all well and good ensuring that you have the relevant keywords on your website but you also need some decent backlinks to encourage your page to be shared higher in search engine results. A great way to do this is through a business blog. This is working for you all the time, as the extra visual for keywords will help your website be seen more. Many people offer a blog either separate or as part of their business website. There are plenty of ways to do and lots of information online to help you get started.
Having the right product range or offering the right services
Finally, having the right products in the range or offering the right services is essential to ensure your business will be successful. A great idea is to do a little consumer research. Speak to people. Be that friends and family, or even conducting a bit of market research in local towns or online. Scope out competition and really decide on the best areas to focus your energy in your business.
I hope that these tips will help you set up a successful at-home business.