So you’re thinking about a home-based business? Tired of dreaming about it, and you’re going to take the plunge. You’ve picked what you want to do, where you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do it. Now what? Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from enjoying the process. Here are some things you need to know about running a business from home.
Network marketing business? There are several types and different ways to run them. Be sure to get as much help from the company as you can. You basically are a promoter and marketer, so don’t reinvent the wheel. They’ve been there, done that so to speak, so let them guide you. Try to find out who’s rocking their business and pick their brains. Truly successful people love to share how they got there, and love to mentor. It’s their way of giving back.
Don’t miss any event offered if possible. They provide training for a reason, get as much as you can. Take time out to go to seminars on your own, this will provide a fresh prospective. There are certain things that all business people have in common, and are universal. Invest in your business and in yourself.
Selling a product or service? Get to know your local Chamber of Commerce. Become a member, and network. Business cards are a must, and don’t have to be expensive. They provide credibility. If you don’t have a website, it’s time to come into the 21st century. People are on search engines all the time looking for products, it’s a passive form of advertising, but it works. Promote yourself and your product whenever possible. It’s hard to run a business that no one knows about.
Get to know social media intimately. There are new sites coming up daily, so stay aware. Don’t forget free samples whenever possible, this works. Letting people experience your products is tangible and will peak interest at the very least. For services, how about offering the first session for free? This will help you build a list of clients to choose from and referrals.
Working directly out of your home? Designate space. Really, people don’t do this, and it will hurt your bottom line. Your home office, is your home office period. Even if it’s only a small little nook in a closet, or a small table with a laptop somewhere. Let it be for business purposes only. There’s nothing worse than trying to work on business related things, and you can’t find what you need. Find out tax-wise how much of your home can be written off as a business expense.
If your using your home as a place to meet with customers, research the zoning laws in your area. Too many cars can spell trouble if you aren’t zoned for it. Your neighbors might not like you using the street as your own personal parking lot. The same holds true with your living space. If you’re going to bring home clients, you may not want them rooming around your home. Pick which restroom is available, and rooms where the clients have access to.
Will you be working primarily outside of your home? Reliable transportation is a must. Will you be using your vehicle to advertise? Keep it clean with business related materials available at all times. You never know who’s going to be interested. Having a brochure, business card, or sample is a great opportunity to meet new clients and get referrals. Do you know where you’ll be meeting? This is a big one. If you do business causally then a coffee shop or trendy eatery will do. Breakfast and/or lunch meetings should be at nice restaurants where there are table clothes and real silverware.
Impressions are everything, so make a good one from the start. Will you be using Wifi? Make sure you have a Hotspot or any other device that will give you internet access anytime, anywhere. A data plan can be a write off, so check with your provider. Will you be using a laptop, iPad, or Notebook? If you have kids, make sure you have one that use for business purposes only. There’s nothing more unprofessional than having one of your kids crazy pictures come up during a presentation or while you’re trying to help a customer with an order. Finding places to meet that are both professional and relaxing should be researched thoroughly. Consider price and location when choosing.
Is your family or significant other on board? This is something that you need to consider. Many businesses fail because of a lack of support from those closest to you. They have some skin in the game, but if they’re against it, that’s the first hurdle you need to jump. Many spouses feel threatened by a new business. Why? Because it excites you and takes away time and attention. If they don’t want to be a part of your vision, don’t give up. Ask them what they would need from you while you’re launching. Solid communication will help you with this.
A spouse that’s adamant about you not starting a business may have a hidden fear that you’ll want a more successful person. Or, may fear your success will make them look bad. Reassure them that you’re doing this for everyone involved, and that you want to improve the family’s lifestyle. An insecure spouse just need to to know that you are going to be there for them. It may take a while, but if they can see that you aren’t going anywhere, most will come around. There are the rare few that don’t, but that’s almost assuredly a deeper issue on their part.
An immature or selfish spouse won’t come around, so just keep on working. Either they’re in, or they’re out. Don’t let them stop you from working towards success. If the money, a better lifestyle, successful spouse and more freedom doesn’t win them over in the end, nothing will.
Are you making sure you’re learning constantly? A business can come and go, or come and grow. It’s all up to you. No one knows everything, so you might as well learn all you can whenever you can. Technology is always moving and changing. People have the attention spans of 5 year olds. You have to be be consistent in a constantly changing world. Some things will stay static, and others will turn on a dime.
Read materials from successful people daily. Watch podcasts from the best in the business. Seminars, webinars, conference calls can be done on your own time. Conventions, groups, coaches, whatever and whomever you can learn from. Don’t stop. It’s a process and a journey. If you fail, read books on people who failed and come back. Receive emails with messages from the best. You’d be surprised how much information comes in the emails that you ignore, and for the most part it’s free. Good advice is good advice, no matter what the source.
Do you have the right mindset? No matter what anyone tells you, there is a certain amount of mental fortitude that you have to have to run a business. You have to be mentally strong. Be an optimist in the face of adversity, mocking, sabotage, and failure. If you can’t stick to something, this is the time you will have no choice but to learn. For every opportunity there is a chance to succeed. From every failure a chance to grow, and you will be forced to grow. Setbacks are the norm and will happen. Opportunities present themselves constantly, so you have to be willing to switch gears.
People will be obstacles or open doors, so you have to be able to discern which is which. Quick decisions may bring more success or failure. You’ll have to take chances. Risk is part of the game, are you up to the challenge? If you’re a people pleaser, you may have to get used to certain people not being happy with you. All part of the process. Are you making sure you’re in the right frame of mind? Some people will be on board with your vision. Others may try to talk you out of it. Are you ready to take a stand?
A home-based business gives you quite a bit of control over your own life. You will have to make the necessary sacrifices, and it will take some time to get launched. If you have the drive, initiative, patience, open mind, flexibility, support and encouragement you already have what it takes. A home-based business can help your family become closer as a result if they are willing to support and help you with your business. It will grow with time and thrive. Believe in yourself, stay positive, and work hard. Making money from home has never been more accessible with the internet and other resources available. So take the plunge and go for it.