Written by Amy Collett, bizwell.org
If you want a fulfilling career, running your own business is hard to beat. Yes, it’s challenging. Yes, it requires hard work and—sometimes—long hours. But being the captain of your own destiny and enjoying the fruits of your labour can make the challenges well worth it.
One thing to consider if you decide to start a business is where you’ll work. Many entrepreneurs are choosing to use their homes as their business headquarters because of the many advantages it offers over renting an office space (e.g. no commute, less overhead, more flexibility, etc.). However, when you run a business out of your home, it’s critical to approach it the right way. From developing your first business plan to working with a content management service, here are a few essential tips for setting up a home-based business that flourishes:
Come up with a plan
Once you have a business idea that you want to pursue, one of the first things you should do is create a business plan. This document should contain your primary objectives for the company, as well as how you plan to accomplish those objectives over the next one to five years. Developing a business plan will help you to structure your ideas, identify obstacles to your goals, create a budget, secure financing, and much more.
Prepare for long-term success
No one starts a business in hopes of it failing in the first three years. Yet that is what happens to 60% of new businesses in the U.K. Lack of long-term planning is the main reason for this. Creating a realistic business plan is a big part of planning for the long term, but it’s not everything. You also have to be strategic with the types of funding you pursue. For example, if you go with venture capitalists, angel investors, or a bank loan, you must be confident that you can pay your bills on time. Otherwise, you can end up in a bad financial position, which is another common reason for new businesses failing.
Set up a work area
Dedicating an effective workspace in your home is paramount for ensuring productivity on a daily basis. And if you’re running a business, you will probably need a home office rather than a simple desk in the corner of the living room.
You should choose comfortable, attractive furniture so you look forward to your tasks. Find decorative storage solutions that will hold all of your belongings and tie into the overall design of your office. Paint the walls, replace the flooring, and make any other upgrades necessary to turn the space into somewhere you will want to work every day. And set boundaries with your family members so that you can minimise distractions.
Focus on marketing
Marketing has never been more important for businesses. It’s also never been more affordable. Social media with interesting content and email marketing are two of the most effective ways to promote your brand and expand your customer/client base.
Social media, in particular, provides many features for small businesses that are either free or inexpensive. For instance, an effective ad or post on Instagram that encourages your followers to share content with their followers can quickly result in hundreds—if not thousands—of people seeing your company’s content.
Keep up-to-date on the tools available
Last but not least: There are a lot of apps and tools on the market that can help you run your business more efficiently, boost sales, and gain customers. Research the various tools that can improve your communication, time tracking, project management, accounting, and other processes to figure out which ones can help you the most.
If you are planning to start a home-based business, I can help to ensure that you get off to a strong start. Along with implementing the tips listed here, keep learning about how you can set your business up for long-term success. That way, you can avoid your company becoming a statistic after the first few years.