Sunday, January 17, 2010

What You Need To Know To Avoid Failing In A Home-Based Business

When you decide on starting a home-based business you need to have a working knowledge of the difference between a business and a hobby. You will pursue a hobby for pleasure or relaxation with no intent to make a living from it. You start a business to make a profit.

  • To make a profit requires that you have a business attitude and run your business as a business. Decide whether you want to engage yourself as a full-time worker or a part-time worker. As full-time worker, you will need to put in at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Being your own boss doesn’t mean you should work any less than when working for someone.
  • If this is your first time starting a home-based business, you will notice how quickly and easily your business and home activities can interfere with each other. To prevent this from happening, create a comfortable working space where you can go to focus on work, free from distractions. Provide your working space with all the stationary and equipment you need, so that you don’t have to frequently leave your work to search for stationary or equipment you might need.
  • Develop a time schedule that works for you, your family or partner and your business. Let those who have a claim on your time, such as your children and husband be aware of the hours when you are working and cannot leave what you are doing, except in an emergency. Your schedule should not be overly ambitious or rigid in order to allow you time to engage in family and social activities. 
  • Create a concise one or two sentence description of your business that someone can easily say to describe your business to family and friends. A unique tag line will also help immensely to promote your business. Something like this is a good example: Ezy Net Articles: get only the facts, no fluff.
  • After you select the product or service you wish to sell, spent some quality time on gathering information about it. Find out how the product will benefit the buyer, how it is made, where it is made, what is the price of the product, can your target buyers afford the price, are there lower priced substitutes to the product in your target market, is there an existing demand for the product? Know your product ‘inside out’, and if you provide quality information to your customers, you will become their preferred supplier.
  • When satisfied that your selection is the best product for your target market, the next step is to introduce the product to your customers. Since you may not want customers to come to your home to do business, an Internet presence will provide a space where you can introduce your product: its benefits and features, prices and discounts, how to order and pay for it, the method of shipment, your returns policy, and after sales services.
  • You may already know that to create a website you need to register the domain name of your business with a reputable registrar like GoDaddy, or any domain registrar of your choice. You will be provided with a URL, which is your business’ website address. With the URL, your customers can access the website for information about your product.
  • Because there are millions of websites on the Internet, nobody will know that your website exists unless you tell people about it. You can do so either by word of mouth, or by free and paid advertisement. After a few weeks on the Internet, you will find that the quickest way to bring visitors to your website is through paid advertisement like Google Adword or pay-per-click (PPC). You will need to know about keywords, keyword phrases and search engine optimization (SEO) in order to benefit from pay-per-click ad.
  • Once your business is on the Internet, your computer becomes the lifeline of your business. You need to protect it at all times to maintain communication with your customers. You will need a virus scanner, personal firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware and preferably an email scanner with the ability to delete spam email from the server before it is downloaded to your computer. Reputable companies like Norton and McAfee are two of the best in the anti-virus and computer protection field.
  • When you begin to sell your product, and the money starts rolling into your bank account, find a reputable accountant to advice you on good record keeping practices and on your tax obligations. Relying on your own knowledge, or on your cousin Joe to perform these professional services is the surest way to financial ruin and problems with the IRS.
Of course, before you decide on starting a home-based business you would have thought about where to obtain the initial capital to finance your business. For some useful information on business loan application, read my articles: 9 Tips To Maximize Your Chances Of Obtaining A Small Business Loan.  

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