Here’s a great guest post written for my by Julia over at Outspiration. Check the bottom for her bio.
Make Your Money Work For You — From Home
There are millions of home-based businesses across all industries in the United States. From the freelancer looking to supplement her family’s income to the CEO of an online company, homegrown success can be found in all 50 states. If you are looking to carve out your own piece of the American pie, launching your own enterprise from your home office is a great first step. Here are a few quick pointers on how to grab the business world by the horns and carve out your own path to success.
Know your resources.
When it comes time to start your own business, it’s easy to feel as though you have to do it alone. You don’t! There are plenty of resources, from Square and Fiverr (as recommended by Dr. David Powers) to your local Chamber of Commerce. You can also look online for resources from the SBA to your particular industry’s trade groups. Something else to take advantage of is e-learning. Taking classes, courses, or certifications online can help you learn valuable business skills that you may not realize you need, such as customer service, accounting, or inventory management.
Business owners are rarely exactly alike, but most possess a few common traits. These include the ability to fail and learn from the experience and to see opportunities where others see obstacles. Evaluate your personal traits, which includes acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. You can take an online personality test to identify everything from your temperament to entrepreneurial type. While quizzes aren’t always 100% accurate, they can serve as a starting point as you begin to recognize what you are and aren’t on track to accomplish on your own.
Establish a business structure.
Skipping ahead, you know your resources and you’re ready to get going. Ostensibly, you know what you want to do — you already have experience doing it. It’s time to establish your business structure. For most small business owners, forming an LLC is a smart move. An LLC will help to protect your home and other valuable personal assets in case of an unfortunate legal issue with your business down the road. You don’t have to hire an attorney for the process, but you do need to do your research. Each state has different regulations, so practice due diligence before you file.
Find your customers.
For many, branching out into the world of marketing is a daunting task — it’s not always comfortable to talk about yourself in a sales pitch. But as American Express points out, there are many ways to acquire new customers that don’t require you sounding like a walking infomercial. First, decide who you want to sell to and where they are likely to hear your message. You also want to make sure that you are an absolute expert in your field. You can use social media, networking, and even direct response marketing — the last of which includes things like referral programs and mail.
Once you start to gain momentum, don’t let yourself get too far ahead of the game. Sustainable growth is crucial through all stages of a business’s development. By increasing your customer base slowly and steadily, you’ll enjoy higher customer retention, better engagement with your community, and be able to quickly recognize and rectify mishaps or missteps in your operation.
There are many other steps on the path toward starting your own business. Those mentioned above are just the ones that are most often overlooked. From evaluating yourself to forming a business structure to maintaining sustainable growth, everything you do now matters. Don’t be afraid to start your own business, even if your office is a back bedroom. You never know — you may be the next home-based business success story.
Julia Mitchell, Career & Finance Writer at OUTSPIRATION. Live it. Love it. Let it Out. See what we’re all about at outspiration.net. Contact our writers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. David Powers is a skilled inspirational speaker, adventurer, author, and master of his own world. See how you can work with Dr. Dave to enrich your life and business.
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