Making Business More Personal
But many people are reasoning that they would rather start a home business than work all day for minimum wage. For the work-at-homeschool mom, or any stay at home mom caring for small children, working outside the home is out of the question. But the pressure of trying to live on one income in these challenging times could drive her to explore setting up a home business. That's why I did it, and the times are even more challenging for young families financially than they were 15-20 years ago.
However, a home business is not just like setting up a lemonade stand on the front porch, which is now such a hassle anyway because of burdensome state regulations, newly enforced by officials with too much time on their hands. A regular home business takes work: hard work, and lots of it.
If you are serious on starting a business at home, there are certain skills you need to master for the successful operation of your business.
Before we get into that, you should find out if you even have what it takes to start a home business. Attitude is everything, and if you do not have an entrepreneurial bone in your body, it is just not ever going to work for you. Some people just want to go to work and go home - with work being a means to provide the funds for the rest of the things you want to do in your life. And that's OK! But it is important to know if you are one of those before you invest a lot of time and money in developing a business.
Here is a test you can bookmark that will give you an idea of whether you are cut out to have a home business. It is a pretty comprehensive set of questions. If you are not even willing to complete the test, you may want to rethink starting your own business!
A core skill that is essential for successfully running a business is planning. Before doing anything or going into the business, you must have a concrete business plan. Think of it as building a house. The business plan is the blueprint of the future of your business. Include all your objectives, steps on how you'll accomplish them and your time frame.
If you are serious about having a business, it is also essential that you do market research. You may think your business is a great idea, but market research will tell you if anyone else thinks so, too. This is even more important for the work-at-homeschool-mom. You already have two full time jobs that you need to fit this home business into. How tragic it would be for you to start a business selling a product or providing a service no one wants.
There are ways to have a home business that do not require this kind of elaborate planning. If you have a few hours in your day (HAHAHA) that you can devote to a business, you may want to look into affiliate marketing, or multi-level marketing. Don't roll your eyes. Yes, there are many scams. But there are also many legitimate MLM and direct sales companies you can connect with.
It has been said that a salesman has only one product: himself. Although not all businesses directly involve selling, almost all businesses have some form of selling, even if it is selling yourself as an expert, or a service provider, or a trustworthy individual who has a trustworthy product. If you do not understand how to sell your product, you will have a great product that no one knows about.
Investigate your competitors and see what they are doing. You can tailor your own selling approach by studying their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your target market is vitally important. Know your customers needs' so that you can reach out to them.
The marketing plan is always vital to a business. Notice that this is distinct from "selling." Effective marketing is generally the key to your business success. Start with giving out business cards to your friends, family members and acquaintances. Make sure that people are aware that you have a business.
Fliers are also a good idea. Hand out fliers around your neighborhood. Post them on bulletin boards. Remember to include on the flier the essentials about your business.
Make time to learn some internet marketing techniques, and don't forget to take full advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (I can help you with that. Fill out the contact form if you want to learn about how to use these to launch a business!)
If at all possible, "do what you do best, and hire out the rest." Do not allow your business to take precedence over your responsibility to care for your children or, if you are home schooling, your commitment to take responsibility for their education.
These three skills are the pillars of a good business. Remember to get support from your family members and friends - but remember that family members and friends can be dream killers. If you don't get their blessing, but you are sure you have a dream and the determination to realize that dream, DO IT ANYWAY. Get the necessary permits and licenses and procure the necessary equipment for your business.
Starting your home business will not be an easy task, but mastering these three skills will help you to maximize your business growth and profit.
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