So, you’ve decided to start a home-based business. Congratulations! and welcome to the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship. While there is a lot to learn, your effort will be worth it. The thrill of growing your business, the freedom and flexibility to set your hours, and the possibilities of ever-increasing financial rewards are all excellent reasons to start your home-based business.
Now that you’ve decided to start your business, you might be wondering, “How can I get it off to the strongest possible start?” These seven tips will help:
- Set up a separate working space in your home. It doesn’t matter if this is a small bedroom, one part of the garage, or a living room corner. The important thing is to have some space that you can designate as your working area. This will give you the freedom and room you need to craft your dream.
- Stock your working space with materials. This sounds essential, perhaps, but one underlying element of success is that you have easy access to the tools, materials, and other resources you need. Gathering everything close by also keeps you from wasting time searching for it, so this step can also be considered a time management strategy.
- Speaking of time management, your third step is to define the parameters of your business. What days and hours will you work? When will you market? When will you provide services or products to clients? How will you keep all this straight?
- Balance action with planning. One of the most common pitfalls to successful entrepreneurship is getting too caught up in acting without planning. Stated another way, this means that you confuse “being busy” with “working on important projects.” The best approach is to plan your next couple of goals and then work backward to create step-by-step action plans to reach them. Once you have the program, then it’s time to act.
- Network like crazy. One of the fastest ways to grow any business is to make connections with other people. Be sure to share your passion and enthusiasm with others at every opportunity. Let people know who you are and what you offer. Remember, people can’t buy if they don’t know you’re selling.
- Present a professional image. If you want to be treated professionally, present a professional image. Set up a separate bank account for your business. Install a separate phone and fax line. Create professional marketing materials. Be courteous and pleasant in all your customer-facing interactions. Be someone people want to do business with.
- Automate your business as much as possible. Granted, you are just one person (right now) and might have a lot of extra time to take care of all the details. This might work for now but won’t work into the future as you get busier and busier. It’s best to set up automatic systems and processes right from the start to free up your time to concentrate on the most profitable activities.