If you’ve decided to take the leap and start your very own business from home, well done! The decision to go solo and be your own boss is not a light one. But, despite it being a big decision, it’s one that provides the opportunity for both personal and financial freedom that you just can’t get working for someone else.
Whatever your motivation may be, starting your own business requires a bit of planning and preparation. Whether you want to offer your specialised skills as a service, or start making more money from your small-scale home production, there are a few steps to take into account to make sure your set yourself up for the best possible start.
Read on for steps on how to start your own business from home.
Define your idea
Whether the idea is front and centre, or you need to do some refinement to come up with the exact area you want to focus on, you need to define and set your idea before you go any further. Those who want to start their own business generally have a clear idea of where their competencies lie and how they want to make the most of them, but if you don’t you need to think about the following:
- What are your skills or talents?
- What aspects of these skills or talents do you enjoy the most?
- Can these skills or talents provide a valuable product or service to consumers?
Think about your skills individually, as well as your skills combined to assess and define how viable your idea is to launch on your own. Perhaps an area that you are lacking in, might be the perfect opportunity to bring in a partner for a stronger idea.
Once your idea is formed, right it down or digitise it to tick off your first step.
Identify your target customer or client
Once your idea is set, you can begin the process of identifying who might be interested in your product or service. There’s no point bringing your idea to market, if there isn’t anyone wanting or needing your solution.
Make use of community groups, pick the brains of your network and see who reacts best to your idea. Market research is the perfect way to identify your potential customer or client persona — from their age, to their gender and their wants and needs. You may just find that the future customer you had in your head was in fact someone else entirely.
Determine the value of your product or service
Once your idea is set and your target market is defined, it’s time to consider the value of your product or service, so that you can price it correctly when it goes to market. You don’t want to undercut yourself, but you also don’t want to overcharge and turn new customers away.
If you’re producing a product or offering a service, consider the cost of your raw materials or resources needed, plus the time it takes you to create the product or piece of work and work from there. It might take a bit of adjustment to get to the right pricing, but you will eventually get there.
Create a business plan
Now that your idea, target market and price points are set, it’s time to look at the bigger picture. What is your plan, from conception to market? This plan will not only help you explain your idea to potential investors, but also help you flesh out your process so that you can determine whether the plan does in fact have a chance of being successful.
You plan must include:
- Your business idea and why you feel it’s valuable
- Your ideal target market and customer personas
- Competitor research
- Your business model which breaks down how you will make a profit
- A marketing strategy
- Your manufacturing or production plan including timelines
Test your product or service
When it gets closer to taking your product or service to market, testing is vital. If you’ve been working on your business as a side hustle, you’ll be pretty confident about what works and what doesn’t. But if this is the first time taking your business seriously to market, you’ll need a few rounds of testing before you officially launch.
Not sure where to start? Leverage social media, expos and markets to encourage testers with discounted rates or freebies. The feedback you will get in your initial few rounds will be highly valuable to refining your product or service.
Build an online presence
You’re even closer to launching, which means it’s time for an online awareness strategy. From creating a business website, to launching a business email address and setting yourself up on relevant social media platforms, being online in a digital and cashless economy is vital.
Luckily, with DIY website builders readily available today, you can get your business website up and running in just a few days, using a package suitable to your needs and budget.
Start small, and scale up as and when you need it. Preparation is key but once the initial work is done, don’t be afraid to get going to see where your business will take you! Before you know it you’ll be headed towards company registration and employing your very own workforce to take your business to new heights.