Many people desire to work from home and become their own boss. The challenge is figuring out how to go about this without wasting too much money and time. To assist with this search we asked some of the top bloggers in the Home Business niche in question.
What are your 3 top tips to build a profitable home business or side-business?
The responses we received provide a great deal of insight into what it takes to building a successful and profitable business from home. Below are their responses for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.
Merle from Don’t Give Up Your Dream
“1) Research thoroughly any opportunity you are looking at to make sure they have a good record, good compensation plan and good support.
2) Be prepared to work very hard for possibly 3-5 years to build a profitable business.
3) Don’t rush things, take it step by step. Don’t run before you can walk.
Simon from The Escapologist
1) Be Unique: you’ll make more money No matter what kind of business you want to set up, have a good long think about your competition.
How many competitors will you have? How established are they? What’s good about them? What’s bad about them? What do they charge? How are their businesses doing? Can you REALLY expect to compete with them? How will you get an edge over them? How will you crush them?
This is a brand new world for you. And it’s cutthroat. You’re the new kid in town. Your competitors will eat their own livers before they’ll give up market share to you. So start off on a war footing. Think about how to out-maneuver them. Don’t play nicey-nicey. This is your livelihood too.
Do something they aren’t doing. Offer something they aren’t offering. What’s your Unique Selling Proposition? What differentiates you from the other lot? Why should someone pick up the phone and call you instead of one of your competitors? Is it price? Service?
You have to have a point of difference. Be unique. Be memorable.
2) Start small; scale up
I assume you’ve got *some* start-up money, right?
Right. Well, don’t blow it all upfront on renting a flash office in the CBD, hiring four new assistants, then saying ‘screw-it I need a company Beemer and a new wardrobe and a new nose’. The minute you start hiring, renting and buying, you start spending (and, typically, start borrowing) It’s a gamble.
Remember the simple maths: every dollar you spend has to be replenished by a dollar in sales just to break even.
My advice: start small. Start from home. Use your existing car. Build a good client base before you start flashing the company credit card around. When you’ve made a little money, think about scaling up (or ‘up-scaling’, whatever).
How would you scale up? Depends on your business. But one of your biggest revenue constraints is your own time. Hiring an assistant can mean twice the clients for relatively small outlay — as long as the business is there.
3) Don’t give up too quickly
At times this endeavour will feel like the stupidest decision you ever made. Why did you give up a steady job and a regular wage for this? Where are the customers? When will you get a day off, etc…
Don’t give up. Nothing worth anything ever came without hard work, sacrifice and a great deal of self-doubt. Power through it. See setbacks as challenges. Remain cheerful and optimistic. The minute your head goes down, the game is up.
Here’s a story you probably already know, but it bears repeating here: In 1975, Sylvester Stallone was a virtual unknown, struggling bit-part actor with $106 to his name.
He wrote the script for Rocky in three days. He spent months hawking it around movie studios and was rejected by everyone. Finally, United Artists agreed to greenlight it…as long as either Robert Redford or James Caan played the lead role.
Stallone argued like a red-headed teenager. Eventually, United caved and gave him a shot. Rocky won best picture at the 1976 Oscars. Stallone went on to become the rubber-faced uber-omnipotent action juggernaut we know and love today.
Moral of the story: even when you think the gig is up, believe in what you’re doing, give it every ounce of energy and don’t give up. You’ll get your shot. Just stay off the HGH.
Ramsay from Blog Tyrant
1) Make sure you really know why you are doing it. Working for yourself involves a lot of late nights and hard work (at least initially…) and if you don’t have good motivation/passion you are going to run into trouble early. Being able to say, “This stress is worth it because I’m spending 10 more hours a week with my kids,” is very important, for example.
2) Make sure you have a good web presence and start marketing yourself early. I recommend everyone starts their own blog and learns about posting photos, content, etc. as a very effective way to tap into local and overseas markets and attract attention. It’s vital that you have a place online where people can find you and recommend you to their friends.
3) Think about outsourcing tasks as early and possible and see this as an investment, not a burdensome expense. There’s no point spending five hours tinkering with a spreadsheet when you could pay an accountant/bookkeeper to do it in 15 minutes. Your time is best spent on the things that grow your business.
Melissa from Empowered Mums
1) Choose a micro-niche. Too many people think their product is for everyone.
E.g if you do movement and meditation classes for children, perhaps niche it down to children on the autism spectrum, aged 5-13 years, who live on the Gold Coast.
2) Have a solid foundation and create your business model with various offerings. e.g. your free opt-in, to your e-book, e-course, group coaching, one on one coaching, annual expo.
3) Write your Operations and Procedures Manual. Create systems in your business. i.e. Record every process and the tasks to complete each process. This may take you around 3 months to complete your manual as some tasks are not every day or every week. This will allow you to grow your team and take time off.
Susan from Growing Your Biz
1) Be very clear about what your goals are. Before you even start your business, you need to be in touch with the big picture of where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, and most importantly why. I know that this may seem unoriginal, but the reality is that in business there will be many ups and downs along the way. If you don’t “keep your eyes on the ball,” then you can easily get thrown off track or discouraged or both.
2) Be prepared to tweak those goals as you go along. The circumstances of your life, your business, and even the market can (and often does change). So, even though you need to keep the big picture in mind, you also need to have a little flexibility.
3) Don’t go it alone… especially if you work from home. Find a genuine community, such as forum (yes, they still exist), online group, mastermind, or even a blog that you can turn to in order to ask questions and get support. Even better, try to get an individual mentor. I can’t stress enough how important this is! The reality is that just because you are on social media, it doesn’t mean that you are truly connecting to other people who understand you and your struggles. Most of social media these days is automated anyway. One really good, supportive place for home business owners to check out is Firepole Marketing (http://firepolemarketing.com) (I’m not affiliated with them, but I am a fan).
Denna from Founding Mums
1) Surround yourself around like-minded individuals. Especially if your family and friends question what you are doing, and don’t seem so supportive. So be open to new friends, and find new support avenues if necessary. This could be online or offline. Learn to love business networking, and make time for it in your schedule. Network with a purpose, and seek business groups or business organizations that attract your target market. For example, if you are an entrepreneurial mum in business, check out The Founding Mums!
2) Authenticity is crucial. If you aren’t being true to yourself, and your values, your potential customers will be just that… potential. No one trusts imitators. Be the best version of YOU. If you aren’t so sure who YOU are prepared to grow within yourself. Want to grow a successful business, work on yourself. Success in business owners aren’t afraid to embark on personal development.
3) Confidence. Consistency. Commitment. Successful business owners share these three traits. Confidence within themselves, and with their products and services, consistency over time with their actions, and a commitment to themselves, and their customers to deliver a high standard of products or services.