5 Effective Tips to Launch a Successful Work-From-Home Business
Working from home can be an absolute dream. You don’t have to deal with a long morning commute. You don’t have to deal with a jerk boss. You don’t have to deal with annoying coworkers who create so much drama. All you have to do is get up, work hard, and complete your daily tasks.
At least, that’s the theory. The stuff you avoid is definitely true, but starting your own business requires more than just hopes and dreams. Forbes cited a study by Bloomberg saying that out of every 10 businesses that start up this year, eight will fail before they reach 18 months. There’s a host of reasons why this is the case, and below, we’ll discuss five tips you should follow to avoid joining the 80% of businesses that don’t make it past two years.
1. Know Your Customers in Advance
One of the biggest problems that new startups have is that they don’t understand who they want to sell to. Often, businesses open their doors and pray that people will find them. If you adopt this approach, you’ll quickly find your advertising money is gone and your business closing. Before you open your business, research who you want to sell to and what they care about.
There are two ways to do this:
This is research that you conduct yourself. This is you reaching out directly to people you want to sell to, and determining what they value most in life. You can create your own surveys, open a discussion in a forum, or have one-on-one conversations with your ideal buyers. Primary research takes time and effort, but it is the best way to manage your own criteria, get real-time information, and cater your research to your business.
This is research you pull that’s been conducted by others. This can be in the form of reviews, customer feedback reports, surveys, polls, and many other methods. When you’re just starting out, secondary research will probably be your preferred method. It’s much faster than primary research and far less labor-intensive. The drawback is that it is second-hand information, and may have been geared towards a different business or target audience.
2. Determine Your Value
When I say value, I mean what separates your business from your competition. Most people assume this means cost, but the value a business offers is far more than that. Do you work faster than your competition? Do you specialize where your competition generalizes? Wherever you feel like you bring value, it should align with the values that your customers prioritize.
3. Invest Heavily in Your Website
When you work from home, the only real impression most of your customers will have of you is your website, so it has to be a great one. Since you don’t have a brick and mortar shop, your website will often be your sales, customer service, and IT support representatives all rolled into one.
When you build your website, make sure you include both a search function and plenty of FAQs to help customers navigate easily. Have a design that allows users to know where they are at any given moment. Ensure that you register a domain that speaks to what your business is about and leaves a lasting impression on your visitors.
4. Set Up a Productive Work Environment
One of the biggest challenges of a work-from-home business is managing your time. Unlike most office environments, your home is host to a great many distractions. This includes things like:
● Your children
● Your pets
● The TV
● Your bed (because a nap will sound tempting)
● The household chores waiting for you
In order to overcome these distractions, you need to both give yourself a quiet space to work and abide by a strict schedule. If you know you need up and working by 7 am, then you have to be up. If your kids are screaming, tell them to be quiet and shut the door. It can feel very harsh, but it’s the only way to succeed.
5. Invest in Your Business
One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is not investing enough in their business. I know it’s tempting to keep as much of your hard-earned money for yourself as you can. After all, that’s probably a big part of why you went into business for yourself. But if you don’t invest back in your business, your growth will slow, and you will fail.