Starting a home business is incredibly exciting and equally scary, particularly when you are just starting out. There is so much information available on the do’s and don’ts of starting a business you may at times feel like you are driving down a long lightless tunnel. However, you don’t need to feel like this. Consider these ’13 essential tips for a home business start up’ as you embark on your home business startup and go get that lifestyle you deserve.
If you are still wondering whether a home business is right for you it may be worthwhile reading a post I wrote earlier in the year Starting a home business in 2016.
13 essential tips for a home business start up13 essential tips for a home business start up #WFH #Homebusiness Click To Tweet
1. Do something you love to do
Why would you consider starting a business doing something you don’t enjoy? This is your time so use it wisely and do something you truly love, that doesn’t feel too much like work and something you can see yourself doing for the next five years at least.
2. Don’t listen to startup failure statistics
You have probably heard the statistic that 50 percent of businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within five years? Don’t listen to much to this statistic, aside from being truly depressing is it really true? Sure lots of businesses fail early on but that doesn’t mean you will. After all you are unique so why compare you and your ideas to others?
Starting a business is tough and things go wrong but anticipate this and have a plan. Once you have an idea about what it is you would like to do I would recommend writing a business plan. I won’t go into this here but check out my post why write a business plan for your home business
3. You can’t know everything
You won’t know everything in fact you probably won’t know anything about some areas of business such as accounts or law. If you need advice ask a professional, you may even get some of it for free, for example an accountant will often provide free advice to you around important areas such as how to structure your business.
Consider joining a business support group, if you are in the UK you may find joining Enterprise Nation beneficial, its not expensive and there are lots of tools, support and meetups throughout the year.
Another alternative worth checking out is Meet Up. It’s not all about business and there a wide range of topics people get together to discuss. If there isn’t a group for home business owners in your area you can even start one.
4. Hire an assistant
It’s really easy to get sucked in to non-essential tasks that take you away from your key objective, which is of course to profitably grow your home business. Consider hiring a virtual assistant. They don’t cost much at all (some are less than $200 a month depending on the number of hours you need) will allow you to get more work done without the need to worry about mounting administrative tasks and allow you to focus on the high-value tasks that only you can do.
A couple of books I have read really major on the benefits of using virtual assistants, particularly to free up your time. If you haven’t read them already I would definitely suggest reading:
Word of caution though, it may take a while to find a good virtual assistant. Many sites offer a free trial though so you can experience the service before you subscribe.
5. Cut down on social media
This was a real issue for me, checking my facebook feed on my phone was an automatic habit which used to suck up so much of my time. If you think you have a similar problem ask yourself do I really need to look at pictures of my friends dog, holiday or drunken night out? Every time you get the urge to engage in social media make sure it is on your social channels first and restrict your time.
It’s possible to even block certain websites and social media channels to help you kick the habit, such as Cold Turkey. If you have decent will power just use a browser during the day that doesn’t have your social channels in a favorites bar and therefore no automatic sign in. If you get tempted then hopefully the fact you will need to sign in will activate your conscience and go no further.
6. Outsource logos, business cards, stationary templates etc
Unless you are a professional designer leave this to someone else. I used Fiverr for my logo and it cost less than £5 and was delivered in a few hours. If I’d have attempted to do this myself it would have cost significantly more than this in lost time and revenue alone so glad I didn’t even try it.
Fiverr has lots of areas you can outsource for little cost including a wide range of graphic design, digital marketing assistance, copywriting etc. So if there are any areas you aren’t an expert in it may be worth checking out.
7. Focus on revenue generation
Hopefully this is obvious but useful to remind yourself of this. You are your own boss and you need to pay the bills first so focus on doing that, make a list of everything you can do to bring in revenue for your home business. Once you know what your revenue generating tasks are break them down into a value for example if you have a product where one sale or one client can cover a large proportion of your monthly expenses do that first.
8. Get knowledgeable on digital marketing
The more you know about digital marketing the better. I appreciate I said early consider outsourcing areas of your business but the best person to influence the marketing of your business is you.
If you have ever dealt with digital marketing agencies you will know how expensive they can be and how much time it can take for them to understand your market and your requirements. If you have a good grasp of the basics you can undertake a lot of the simple tasks yourself and become a more educated client for the more sophisticated outsourced marketing tasks.
If you search for digital marketing information or courses online you will be blinded by the volume of results, some of which may not be current or useful. Instead I would recommend the following:
Invest in this book SEO 2016: Learn Search Engine Optimization. It is simply the best book on SEO and the easiest to understand. You will learn a lot quickly and be able to implement your own SEO strategy for your home business.
Consider taking both of the following courses provided by Google for FREE:
Google Partners provides two extensive courses written specifically for small business owners on Adwords and Analytics. They are well written with a multiple choice exam at the end. Once you have completed a course you will get a certification from Google.
- The Adwords courses will guide you through the process of PPC (pay per click advertising) and the Google Display Network. Once you have completed the course you will know a lot about advertising with Google, how to create your own highly effective advertising campaigns and measure their results.
- The Analytics module covers basic digital analytics and how you can use the Google Analytics dashboards and reports to gain true insight into the performance of your digital marketing such as how many visitors you have, how long they stay on the site, the pages they are viewing etc.
Google Digital Garage is another free course and is much broader than Google Partners. It enables you to create a learning plan based on your requirements and enables you to tailor your learning in the following areas (you will still get a certificate too), here are some of the key modules:
- The online opportunity – learn about online trends and what to expect.
- Your first steps in online success – how to promote your business online and how digital channels work
- Build your web presence – understand the many options you have to grow your business online and create an action plan
- Connect through email – how to grow your customer relationships and convert new prospects through email marketing
- Get started with Search – discover how search engines work and how crucial they are to your online success
- Get discovered with search – an introduction to SEO.
- Be noticed with search ads – obviously complements the Adwords training I mentioned in the previous course.
- Get started with analytics – again complements the previous course
- Help people nearby find you online – This is going to be crucial for most home business and simple to implement
- Get noticed with social media – discover the various ways you can use this to grow your business
- Discover the possibilities of mobile – the mobile web is crucial to your online success. This module will show you how to use the mobile web and apps to reach the right customers
- Advertise on other websites – understand how to use the power of the Google Display Network to learn how to advertise on relevant websites to your niche.
- Make the most of video – understand the powerful possibilities of using video to reach and interact with customers and grow your business.
Once you have completed these courses you will have far more knowledge of digital marketing than most people and will be a great foundation for expanding your digital marketing skills in the future.
9. Read a lot
This is really important, you need to keep your business mind sharp and up to date with the latest thinking. I make a point of reading one good business book per month specifically in an area where I want to either learn something new or take my knowledge to the next level.
If you need some help finding a good book here is a list of the books I have read over the last 6 months:
- The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters – learn how to control the negative voice in your head and use it to your advantage. Brilliant book and an essential read for anyone.
- Search Engine Optimization by R L Adams – as I mentioned earlier, this is the best SEO book suitable for both novices and people with SEO experience.
- How to start a business without any money by Rachel Bridge – an interesting read based on Rachels real life experiences. Easy to read and packed full of ideas that you can implement in your home business
- Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestly – The rules of commercial success has changed. Daniels book will open your ideas and challenges for you to use right now. It is a book that you will probably refer to often.
- The 4-Hour Week by Timothy Ferris – is a must read for anyone who wants to escape the 9-5 and have the freedom to enjoy your life whilst running your business. Again a book you will probably refer to often.
- Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi – one of the best books on content marketing written by the founder of the Content Marketing Institute. The them is around how entrepreneurs use content to build massive audiences and create radically successful businesses. Content marketing is a very useful skill to have to grow your home business and this book will show you how to do it.
If you don’t have time to read then consider listening to audio books. I often do this on train and lengthy car journeys or even whilst at the gym. Check out audible, they often do a free trial and costs the equivalent of a couple of Starbucks coffees per month.
10. Get up early
This is something you can do right now even if you aren’t a morning person. Just imagine what you can do with an extra hour in the day.
I get up at 5:30am every day and use this extra time to set myself up for the day. I go to the gym three times per week which is a great energy boost and on my rest days I use this time for personal development such as reading and online courses.
If you need some convincing try reading The Miracle Morning: 6 Habits which will change your life before 8am by Hal Elrod.
11. See things through to the end
This is a curse I still suffer from time to time but I’m working on it (no one is perfect?). I love to work on new ideas, you wouldn’t believe the number of domain names I own…
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as all good entrepreneurs will be bursting with lots of great ideas, some of which will probably work out and make a lot of money. However, it doesn’t mean you should go for all of them, pick one and pursue it with relentless enthusiasm until it either makes you rich or the idea dies. If it is the latter don’t be afraid to let go, do it quickly, learn from it and move on.
12. Don’t quit your job too soon
I’ve covered this on previous posts so won’t labour the point, don’t quit until you know your home business is ready to bring in some income. You may be able to run the two businesses side by side for a time just check your contract of employment as you may need to declare what your doing to your employer.
13. Family comes first
In my view spending time with your family should always come first, after all this I assume, is one of the reasons for setting up a home business i.e. to spend more time with your family?13 essential tips for a home business start up #WFH #homebusiness Click To Tweet
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. Do you have any additional tips you’d like to add or something you’d like to expand on? Please leave your comments below and lets start a conversation.
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