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Starting a Business from Home: Things to Think About

Many people dream of setting up a home business that not only allows them to carry out work they’re interested in, but also gives them flexibility of location and more control over their career.

While setting up a home-based business can require a lot of upfront work, it’s by no means impossible. With the rise of remote work and more opportunities to work from home, more and more people are looking into setting up their very own business from home and looking at ways of marketing a small business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a variety of different things to think about when you’re starting a business from home and some of the ways you can go about marketing your small business.

Let’s get started.

Pros and Cons of Home-Based Businesses

Whether you’re thinking of setting up a home-based business as a full-time business or a side hustle, there are pros and cons to be aware of.

Setting up a home-based business requires discipline, hard work, and an honest assessment of the skills you possess and the skills you want to develop.

Some of the cons of running a home-based business include the need to convert a space in your home to run your business from, filing your own taxes, finding/managing a client base, pricing your services, and even what products to sell.

Despite these challenges, home-based businesses provide flexibility, a better work/life balance, the opportunity to sell products locally or internationally, potential tax benefits for being self-employed, and more control over your time.

What Traits Are Common in Those Who Run Their Own Home-Based Businesses?

Before we take a look at what you need to think about when setting up your business, it’s good to know the kind of personal traits those who run successful home businesses possess. You may be able to spot similar traits within yourself.

Here are four common traits that successful home business owners and entrepreneurs tend to have in common:

Drive

Many of those who start and run a successful home-based business are driven to succeed. It takes drive to appraise your current skills, think of a business idea, find clients, and set yourself up to run a home-based business.

Passion

When you’re setting up your own home-based business, you’re going to need a degree of passion to start your business and for it to succeed. Passion will get you through the inevitable tough times you may face when you’re in the early phases of setting up your home-based business.

Adaptability

Ask any business owner about their experiences when they were setting up their business, and they’ll be able to tell you about the challenges they faced. Setting up a home-based business requires you to be adaptable to the challenges you’ll inevitably come across along your business journey.

Discipline

Whether it’s hunting for clients or getting into a routine, discipline is one of the most important traits needed for a successful home business. If you’ve worked a traditional job in the past, then you’re probably used to working set hours and on a set schedule.

When you start a home-based business, you’ll be responsible for setting your own hours, so try to get into a routine and stick to it. Having a routine will help you prioritize your workday and ensure you’re using your time productively.

If you’re interested in learning about more common traits that business owners share, check out this post from The Balance.

What Skills Do You Already Possess?

One of the first steps to take when you’re thinking about setting up your own home-based business is taking stock of where your existing talents and skills lie.

Begin by writing out an inventory of your existing employable skills and talents. This could involve taking a look at your resume, your past jobs, the responsibilities you had in prior roles, and any professional or educational qualifications you’ve obtained.

Writing down these things can help you come up with ideas about the type of business you want to run and the kind of services/products you’ll want to offer.

If your strengths lie in creativity, then you could consider starting a home-based business such as freelance writing or freelance graphic design. If you’re a more detail-driven individual, then skills such as bookkeeping or business consulting could be an option.

If you already enjoy your current profession and it gives you transferable skills, then you may be able to take that skill and reach out to similar businesses to see if you can provide them value.

For more potential options, check out this list of 37 home business ideas.

Businesswoman Working
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Is Your Business Idea Profitable?

After you’ve considered the type of business you’ll want to run, it’s time to take the idea to market to see if it’s profitable or not. One of the great things about a home-based business is that the overhead to run one can be very low, so you may not have to spend a lot of money to test whether your business idea is profitable or not.

If you’re looking to test out a business, consider starting it in your free time before committing to it full time. This could involve finding one or two clients that you can work with around your day job or setting up an online store to begin selling products in your spare time.

If you can start your business in your free time and make it profitable, the transition to leaving your full-time job for your home-based business will be much smoother. However, if you have enough faith in your business idea and enough savings to support yourself, you can take the leap and start running your business full-time from the start.

Identifying Your Target Market

Part of finding out whether your business will be profitable or not is making sure you know your target market. You may already know the exact type of customer or industry you wish to work with or sell to, but if you don’t, then there are steps you can take to identify who your target market is and where your ideal customer can be found.

One way of doing this is to create a customer persona. According to Hootsuite, a customer persona can be identified as a ‘detailed description of someone who represents your target audience; this person is a fictional person who embodies the traits of your ideal customer’.

When researching your customer persona, consider prospect demographics such as :

  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Interests

Understanding your target customer will help you identify their pain points, what they’re looking for in a product, and their buying habits. This information will make it easier for you to position your products/services as the solution to your audience’s particular problem.

If you’re planning on running a client-based business, then try and think about the clients you want to work with. This may involve picking a particular niche, a particular industry, or a specific type of person. After you’ve got an idea of what your ideal customer looks like, you can begin the process of reaching out to them.

For more tips on working out who your target market is, check out this guide from the good folks at Wordstream.

Research Your Competition

Setting up a home-based business will involve researching the competition in your particular field. Researching your competition doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or time-consuming; a simple Google search should bring up any relevant competition relating to the business you’re setting up.

For example, let’s say you’re setting up a Graphic Design company. A simple Google search of the ‘top graphic design companies in <city>’ will bring up the competition in your local area.

Take a note of the top 5 companies that are listed and see where your competitors rank in the search listings for any search terms related to the particular industry your business is in.

If your website is already live and you’re looking for ideas on what kind of content you should create, you can look at the websites of your competitors to see what kind of content they’re creating and begin coming up with ideas for your own content.

You can also search for local competition on Facebook and Instagram to check out your competitor’s social media profiles. If you’re in the process of setting up social media profiles for your business, you can look at your competitors’ social media profiles for some ideas on how to set up your own.

Have a Comfortable Home Working Space

If you’re setting up a home-based business, it’s important you have a comfortable home working space set up. Keep in mind the following tips when setting up your home office:

  • Ensure your home office space has enough natural light.
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair to keep your back supported.
  • Invest in the right technology.
  • Stock up on stationery supplies.

For more tips on setting up your home office, check out this in-depth guide from Computerworld.

Is a Home-Based Business Right for You?

The tips in this article should have given you plenty to consider if you’re thinking of starting a business from home and enough to get you started on your business journey.

Setting up a home-based business can give you greater flexibility and control over your career. While setting up a business from home can require a lot of upfront work, the rewards for doing so are more than worth it.

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