In years gone by, the term ‘start a business’ would bring thoughts of thousands of dollars, people in suits, and having some sort of reputation in the niche already. Today, it’s an opportunity available to absolutely everybody. What’s more, it can be started as a one-man band with nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection. Today, we’re going to break down the steps and show you how to start your own online business from home!
Step #1: Appreciate The Journey
Before we launch into the advice we have here today, we first wanted to quash the rumor that making money online was easy. Sure, starting your own business is easy and could actually be the easiest step in the process. However, making money and finding success is another beast altogether.
Throughout this journey, you’ll need to work hard, commit, stay motivated, get yourself out of bed in the morning, treat your challenge like any other business, and overcome failure. If you give up after the first knock, you won’t find success so recognize now that this will be tough. As long as you have the passion and determination, it WILL be possible to find success.
Step #2: Fill A Need
What business do you want to start? In truth, we could provide a whole host of tips within this corner of the business world but there are some key points to remember. Firstly, there needs to be a demand for your products/services. If you find an untouched niche (what is a niche?), this could be a goldmine or it could be untouched because there’s never been a need for it. Secondly, this needs to be balanced with something you would enjoy doing and can do to a high standard. For example, there might be a need for hand-sewn toys but we wouldn’t recommend starting this business with no experience in sewing.
Therefore, balance is often the key to finding something you’re passionate about while still having some customers to target. Often, people enter the business world too quickly and they don’t fully consider everything so we urge you to take your time. For many years, you’ve been working a regular job so a few weeks or months extra isn’t going to cause any harm. If you get the niche right, you’ll find it easy to hold off procrastination and you’ll want to progress your business as much as possible.
At the start, grab a piece of paper and draw three columns. With ‘Passions’ as one heading, the next two can be ‘Skills’ and ‘Demand?’. After making a list of your passions, fill the next column with a list of your skills. From here, you can use the demand column to find business ideas that allow you to utilize two from the previous columns. For example, you might have wedding planning and organization as a passion and skill respectively. If there’s a demand for this, there’s an opportunity to do something you enjoy while also being good at the profession.
Step #3: Get Started
At this point, this is where the guide becomes somewhat generalized because the advice we provide would be different from a wedding planner to a dropshipping business (what is a dropshipping business?). However, regardless of the business you’ve chosen, make sure you spend some time researching your niche before then getting started. To help, here’s a checklist of things you might need;
- Social Media Profiles
- Home Office
- Storage Space (for Products)
- Shipping Labels
- Marketing Material (Leaflets, Posters, Business Cards – Only If Local Business)
- Online Store
At the start, these are the basics and you might need to take some other steps depending on your industry and niche. While on the topic of getting started, we can offer a few tips including branding. Often, home business owners mistakenly think they don’t need a logo or any formality with their branding but this is wrong. From your website to your Facebook profile, everything needs to correspond and this allows potential customers to recognize you in an instant.
When operating online, you should also;
- Post regularly on your blog
- Use SEO when writing any content online
- Answer all questions from potential customers
- Make yourself available wherever possible
- Take part in discussions in Facebook groups
- Make sure your contact information and business hours are available everywhere
Ultimately, you need to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you and get in contact. If necessary, set up a mailing list so you always have an audience for blog posts and you could also appear on the blogs and websites of others to further expand your reach.
Before we move on, we should also mention the legal bits of your business because this will be important. While registering your business, you’ll also need to register yourself as self-employed and this will allow your taxes to be under the right filing.
Step #4: Listen to Your Customers
In the early stages, listening to your customers is a key part of the business. Often, they’ll provide advice on what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right, and where you could improve. Although it’s tempting, don’t just listen to the positive feedback because the negative feedback will normally be more valuable.
Step #5: Be Willing To Adjust
Following in the same vein, you should always be looking to learn while feeling happy to adjust. Not only for the sake of your customer, but also because the technological world is ALWAYS changing. If you’re stuck in the past, you aren’t going to see success and many experienced this when they weren’t willing to make their website accessible on mobile. At all times, you need to be aware of what’s happening so you can stay ahead of the competition rather than falling behind.
Furthermore, many home businesses get too comfortable with their business they aren’t willing to expand and this is a fatal mistake. Instead of working longer and longer days until the days and nights roll into one, be willing to expand your business. These days, this could mean a whole manner of things whether you need to automate some processes or even outsource some parts of your business. If you’ve done both and you’re still working 20 hours a day, it could be the time to hire.
Step #6: Constantly Assess And Reassess
In the business world, you absolutely NEED a plan to survive. Nowadays, it seems as though you’re going to come up against some heavy competition no matter what so pair your plan with some goals and you’ll be taking the right steps. Without goals, how do you know where you want to go? Without a plan, how are you going to get there?
As time goes on, track your goals, complete them, set new goals, and keep adjusting your plan whenever necessary. If you do this, you’ll already be ahead of the unprepared home businesses!
Step 7: Enjoy Success
As mentioned already, success will be hard to come by but it’s much more possible than ever if you’re willing to work hard and learn how to invest your life while still keeping a strong work/life balance.
- Fill A Need
- Plan And Set Goals
- Register Your Business Legally
- Set Up A Website
- Create Content
- Become A Force In The Market
- Automate As You Go
- Spend Your Time Wisely
- Outsource (If Necessary)
- Don’t Be Afraid To Grow
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about how to start your own online business from home or want to leave your own personal experience, leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!