Having a great business idea beforehand is not always necessary to consider starting your own home based business. In fact, for many people entrepreneurship starts as a wish to work for oneself, to enjoy a better life-work balance by working from home or to pursue the dream of being their own boss. For many others, starting a home business is a way to get out of unemployment and take control of their career even on times of economic downturn and job instability. So, if you have decided you want to run your own business from home it’s time to decide what type of business is good for you.
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The first thing you should do when considering working for yourself is deciding what are the things you do best, your weaknesses and most importantly, what do you enjoy doing. If you have a passion for something don’t let lack of knowledge stop you from considering it as a career option. You just need be prepared to learn and spend time training yourself, or even invest money in courses and certifications prior to starting a home based business. There are many easy home business ideas that don’t require specialist skills to get started, and often you can get great results by learning to delegate and offsource.
Evaluate Your Resources
What resources do you have? Pay special attention to those resources that can help you overcome your weaknesses. For example, you may love web design and be very good at it, but if you hate selling and marketing you’ll have a hard time marketing your new business. However, if your partner is actually a people’s person maybe you can start a business together and share responsibilities. If you know your resources it will be easier to find a business idea that you can actually implement.
About Money and Fundraising…
As usual, money can be used quite effectively to compensate for lack of particular business skills, but it is very important to remember this: It is hardly ever worth it getting into debt to launch your business. There, I said it. Mortgaging your house, using up all your savings, cashing in your pension account or asking for a huge loan that will make you stressed and unhappy in order to start your business can be too risky. One out of 10 start-ups fail, and those which don’t fail take a while until they start actually being profitable.
There are many ways to bootstrap a home based business: keep a full time or part time job and launch your business on the side, go to market with a minimal set of features and monetise as soon as you can, or even crowd-found your new idea to success. But don’t gamble your financial stability because you will need all your wits around you to make your business succeed, and worrying about keeping a roof over your head will most likely not help.
Brainstorm Business Ideas
Make a list of things you enjoy doing, and what they require, and match it with your existing resources and skills. Keep in mind that you are starting a business to make a living, so you will need to assess the viability of your business ideas before committing. You can use the Internet to find easy business ideas and what other people have discovered about them, such as new avenues to marketing it, or low cost tools you weren’t aware off. There are simple ways to know if a business idea is likely to work, or how to adapt one’s plans to make success more likely.
Starting a Home Business With a Business Plan
Once you have decided on a list of potential business ideas it’s time to choose the ones that best suit your lifestyle, personal needs and key abilities. But don’t just forget about all your other ideas! In the future they may be worth pursuing, and most entrepreneurs find out that they actually love starting new business and are pretty good at it. Nobody said you cannot have several business at the same time! It’s important at this stage to make a business plan, even if it’s just a very simple one stating what are your goals, how are you going to get there and what difficulties you expect to find on the way. This step may cause you to reassess your business idea, and maybe even discard it, which is why having brainstormed first comes in useful.
Start as soon as possible
Once you have decided on a business idea you should start working on it as soon as possible. Even if you cannot fully dedicate yourself to it right away, make a plan to start your own business with clear deadlines. This will keep you on track, and avoid your new business idea being left for later until it’s forgotten. Some things you can do before leaving your current job are:
- creating a website
- marketing your services
- finding clients
- working part time to get those first referrals from happy clients
- establish passive revenue sources
All those things can be done even if your business’ income doesn’t cover all your bills, and it will allow you to focus on growing your business instead of finding ways to pay the bills.
Keep Your Costs As Low As Possible
The road to profitability can be a long and challenging one, and it doesn’t help when you spend money on things that aren’t necessary but sound cool and “business-like”. It can be easy to burn through your start-up money when starting a home business, because most people don’t have financial training to identify the ROI of their business expenses. It is better to start small, save money when possible and secure your position in the market before you start looking at investment or business banking loans in order to growth even more. Make a point of always choosing the right tools for the job and making purchases based on ROI. For example, you can save serious money on business software, or use smart co-working spaces instead of renting a full office for yourself. This will make your business look more solid once you start looking for extra funding, as potential investors will see you have a good grasp of profitability.
Working from home for a business that you love and control is great, but it is something most people will never do out of fear. In fact, it is not so difficult and it can be a risk worth taking, provided you go into it with your eyes wide open and a serious business plan to keep you on track.