Guest post by Amy Collett
Starting a home-based business can be incredibly empowering for many people: not only will you be your own boss, but you’ll also have much more freedom to chase your passions and structure your life in a way that suits you. It takes time to build a successful business, from building your customer base to collecting the necessary tools to do business efficiently.
Finding your first customers
Starting a business requires a lot of administrative work, from registering your business to learning about taxes and establishing an online presence. Once you’re up and running, you’ll want to hone in on ways to find your first customers or clients.
One of the best ways to reach potential customers is through word of mouth. While marketing is important, people tend to place more trust in personal referrals more than companies they find online. You should also lean on your networks; join events or seminars that will allow you to connect with potential customers.
Another great way to find new clients is by offering discounts or incentives to new customers only. Be sure to keep track of customers who take advantage of the offer, and craft marketing messages to build trust and loyalty.
Becoming a consultant
If you’re an expert in your field, becoming a consultant is a great way to start a business. Once you’ve decided your particular niche, determine what certifications or licenses you may need, as some states require those for consulting work.
As with starting any business, networking is key. Attend events relevant to your field, present yourself with confidence, and always carry business cards. Have your “elevator pitch” ready for new connections, and follow up with individuals who might be future clients.
How to stay productive
When you first start building a business, momentum is usually strong. However, there will be challenges along the way that will force you to dig deep for motivation. Remember that you’re probably going to make some mistakes, and that’s okay. The important thing is to learn and grow with every challenge and find the silver lining as you move forward.
One common issue for people who work from home is fending off distractions. Fast Company notes that there are ways to mitigate this, such as setting boundaries with your family about interrupting your work and situating yourself in a low-traffic area of your home. Set regular hours for your work, and remember to take your time off seriously.
Remember that self-care is vital if you plan to have a successful business. This includes striking a good balance between work and personal time and exercising daily. You’ll be more clear-headed when you work, and productivity will skyrocket if your mental health is strong.
If you’re struggling, Work-from-Home Depot recommends looking for ways to optimize what you’re doing. Refine your work schedule, contemplate marketing solutions, and explore the many tool options available.
As you build your business, remember to find the right tools to help you be successful. Along with a laptop or PC and internet connection, additional technology such as printers and an extra monitor can help considerably with productivity. Bookkeeping and accounting software is also essential to help you stay on top of your financials, and don’t overlook communication tools for connecting with both clients and peers.
And lastly, don’t overlook the importance of adding a few luxuries to your workspace. Whether it’s some essential oils that keep you focused and relaxed, revamping a window for more natural light to help you stay productive, or perhaps even upgrading to a new home that will better accommodate your lifestyle, make choices that will fuel your growth. If you need assistance with the latter, connect with Krispin Watson, Realtor at So Lux Life, for finding that perfect new abode.
Many new businesses benefit from seeking out financing to help with cash flow. Funding can help in a number of ways, whether it’s hiring additional staff, buying new equipment, or increasing your inventory. You can apply for government options such as SBA Express Bridge Loans or Main Street Business Lending Program, or seek out non-government funding options through private companies such as Amazon.
When you’re ready to set up your home-based business, remember to use your network to find your first customers. Be sure to get any necessary certifications or licenses if you’re starting a consultant business, and build a strong online presence. Set boundaries with your family to stay productive while working from home, and keep self-care in mind. And, if you need financing to get the ball rolling, consider applying for small business grants and loans.