All you need to know when starting your home business
If you work part-time or flexi hours, or even if you simply find yourself with some free time outside of your day-to-day job, you might well be able to turn it into a lucrative business opportunity. In today’s online world, it’s easier than ever to advertise yourself, find customers and source the tools needed for whichever avenue you wish to pursue, be it artistic, practical or client-centred. Here are some key things to consider so that you might invest your time and money wisely for the best possible economic and aspirational return.
Identifying your customers
It’s very important to know before you begin that there is a demand for your craft. It might be as simple as recognising a need for babysitters, dog-walkers or tutors in your town through online forums (or even good old-fashioned noticeboards), or realising that you have a talent which you feel has a unique appeal. The beauty of starting a home business is that you can test the waters without having to risk too much – remember, you have another job to fall back on so don’t be afraid to do something very different. Believe it or not, chances are you probably have either skills or assets that are of great value to someone else. But if you aren’t yet convinced you have anything that someone, be they stranger or friend, will want to buy, the internet has a wealth of information and ideas for starting your home business.
Finding your workspace
If you’re thinking of selling your paintings or crafting jewellery, do you have a suitable place to work efficiently, without disturbances? You could consider converting a spare room, an attic or even a shed to make room for a workshop. You can even use the house itself to make money, renting out rooms or possessions. If space is in short supply, do not despair, for there are plenty of jobs that require only a laptop. For example, selling advertising space on your blog or becoming a virtual assistant are possible providing you have an internet connection. For those who spend more time outside, you could grow vegetables, flowers, or even your own gardening skills and use those green fingers to rake in some extra income.
Building your brand
If you are venturing into a highly competitive industry such as baking, you will need to identify your unique selling point (like cat-themed cupcakes or dairy-free deserts). Etsy can be a great place to research the artistic market and find out what is on trend. To sell goods or services nationwide, you will need to set up a website, which is now easier than ever, with a whole host of free templates available from hosts such as WordPress. Create something that stands out, and don’t forget that social media apps such as Instagram are incredible marketing tools, especially for visual content. Alternatively, if you want to start up a local business, you are essentially selling yourself, so make yourself known and make the most of your pre-established network as well as seeking out new customers.
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