You’ve been laid off from work and you have decided to start-up a home business. You have done the research and you are fairly sure you can make it a success. Why not be 100% sure of your success with your home business? Follow these six simple steps and make your business soar.
Step 1: Talk It Up
The first phase in realizing your vision is to share it with friends, family, and other people whose skills and savvy you respect. Why? Because feedback strengthens your idea and makes you more likely to see your business adventure through.
Here’s how to accomplish this: At surveymonkey.com, you can create questionnaires about your potential business for friends, acquaintances, Facebook connections and anyone else whose opinion you value. Then e-mail the survey to your contacts and reap the benefits of your own market research for free. You might learn that your assumptions about the going rate were off the mark, or that people would pay more for the product or service.
Step 2: Locate Your Customers
No matter what your area of expertise may be, if you can define your potential clients and identify where to find them, it will be easier to get your product in their hands.
Here’s how to accomplish this: If your town has an online message board, check groups and discussion threads for customers or use physical bulletin boards at coffee houses and community centers. Meetup.com can help you reach people with mutual interests. Search google groups for a community related to your product.
Step 3: Check Out Your Competition
It’s better to know before hand if the town you live in has three of the same business you are wanting to build. Identifying businesses like yours not only gives you an idea of the market and pricing, but it also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitiors.
Here’s how to accomplish this: Be your target customer and call similiar businesses to ask about their prices and services. In stores, don’t be afraid to ask about the quality and popularity of different products. Online, use google.com to get an idea of how many local businesses exist within your area.
Step 4: Set Your Price
Figuring out how much to charge takes trial and error. The trick is to determine what customers are willing to pay without undervaluing your costs in materials, time and skills. For instance, if it takes you six hours and $5.00 in supplies to make a craft that your selling for $15.00, then your price would be too low.
Here’s how to accomplish this: Pricing is more an art than a science. Use the free time-tracking program downloadable at timeedition.com so you know how many hours you spend on each project and then bill your clients accordingly.
Step 5: Spread The Word
Advertising is key to connecting and making the sale. Try several different methods and media, offering frequent promotions and news to keep your product on the buyer’s radar.
Here’s how to accomplish this: Nothing sells as well as you can, so print business cards and pass them out to everyone you meet.
Locally: Get involved with your chamber of commerce and attend events to build a local reputation. Advertise in newspapers and school newspapers, on craigslist.org, and on bulletin boards.
With your own blog: It’s simple and free to set up a blog at wordpress.com, where you can post updates and photos and links to a shopping site. Another way to jump into the blogosphere is to link to other blogs, they might return the favor.
Step 6: Mind The Money
Staying on top of your expenses, invoices, income and deductions is essential to building a successful business. Create a simple way to track paperwork regulary and designate a folder to collect receipts. If your business starts to take off then consider hiring an accountant.
Here’s how to accomplish it: Outwright.com makes expense and income tracking a breeze (free for 30 days, then $10 per month).
With these six simple steps, you could possibly have your business a complete success. Follow these steps but it also helps to have some expertise and enthusiam.