More and more people are setting up their own businesses. With opportunities to run ventures from home offering flexibility and scalability, many entrepreneurs start their journeys at a dining room table or a desk in a spare bedroom. If you’ve got an ingenious idea, and you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here are some tips to help you launch your new home business.
Creating a business plan
Even a simple setup requires careful planning. Before you invest time and money into a new business, it’s wise to consider how you’re going to monetize your ideas and start generating an income. Think about how your operations will work and carry out research to see who is already offering similar products, how much they sell for and what your competitors offer in terms of a USP. One of the most important points to think about is who you want to sell to. Once you have an ideal buyer in mind, you can utilize market research and analyze trends and data to get to know prospective customers better and plan how you’re going to package your products, create your brand image, set your prices and market your business. Another crucial aspect of the business plan is funding. How are you going to fund the business? Are you able to use your own savings, or you are looking to take out a loan, to get investors on board or to try and crowdfund to get started? Explore your options and make sure there is a demand for the types of products or services you’re selling before you invest money.
Product development and logistics
If you’re selling a product, or you have grand plans for a fabulous new product range, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to develop and produce the items and then how you’re going to sell and distribute them to customers. You’ll need to work with other companies and agencies along the supply chain to ensure a seamless process, which will enable you to take orders and make deliveries in a short space of time. At every point, be prepared to negotiate to get the best deal. When you’re talking to businesses about shipping, product development, supplies and warehousing, make sure you get a good price. For large parcel delivery and frequent orders, look for a delivery firm that has an excellent reputation. Check reviews, look through portfolios and client testimonials and compare prices. The service a customer receives in terms of the delivery can impact how they perceive your brand, so it’s crucial to make the right choice.
Spreading the word
You’ve got a brilliant business plan and you’re almost ready to start accepting orders and enquiries. The next step is to spread the word. Use your market research to determine which methods and platforms will be most effective. Use techniques that will resonate with your target customer and think about who you’re aiming to reach. If you’re selling clothing or accessories online, and your ideal buyer is young women, it’s a great idea to make sure you have a fantastic website, to optimize content for SEO and to show off your products on social media apps such as Instagram. If you’re offering services in the local area, for example, language or music tuition, consulting, physical therapy services, graphic design or roofing, window cleaning or dog walking, post flyers through doors, advertise in the local press and optimize your web content for local users searching for services near them. Over 85% of smartphone users contact or visit a business within 24 hours of conducting a local search.
Once you start getting customers, ask them to leave feedback and reviews and use email marketing, social media and your website to stay in touch and encourage them to choose you again and to recommend you to friends, family and online followers. More than 90% of people read reviews before buying and a positive rating can make you much more appealing to consumers. To attract the best feedback, go out of your way to make each customer feel special. Even simple things like including a note to say thank you with each purchase or offering a discount on a customer’s birthday can set you apart from the competition and boost client retention rates.
Have you got a ground-breaking idea for a new business, or have you come up with a solution to one of life’s many dilemmas? If you’re looking to convert ideas into an income, hopefully, this guide will point you in the right direction. Good luck!