Working From Home
Anyone can start successful new home business, although you need to do some research to see what works and what does not. It is important not to have dreams of making a fortune in the first twelve months as in most cases this will not happen. All new businesses take time to grow and take a lot of patience. Good marketing, cash flow and many hours of hard work on your part will make it successful.
First, you have to decide what type of business you wish to start. I would suggest choosing something you have previous experience with, like a hobby or previous job. Do your research and learn everything about your intended type of business. Work out how much everything will cost, within reason. Include electricity, postage, telephone calls, internet, computers, paper, ink, supplies and advertising. Each type of business will need different equipment and encumber various expenses.
Research and Planning
It will not happen overnight unless you have come up with a brilliant unique idea that no one has tried. Many small businesses fail before they start, because they do not do their research. No business will survive without thorough planning and good cash flow management.
Whichever type of business you choose, check out similar businesses and look for ways to improve what those businesses offer. Look in other districts for similar businesses and see how they work. Use a notebook and write down everything as soon as you walk outside, so you do not forget the important facts.
First Impressions Count With Customers
Things to look for:
- Outside presentation of store or business
- Outside advertising on business premises
- Marketing and display of products inside
- Check local papers and see how they advertise
- Flyers - waste of time and paper (in my opinion)
- What incentives do they offer their clients?
- Do they offer good customer service?
- Stock control - rotate stock
- Cleanliness and professionalism
- What type of clients do they target, can you increase the number?
- Which ideas would work for you and which ones should you avoid?
- Learn from other people's mistakes, and try new fresh ideas of your own
- Do they have specials on things not selling to increase cash turnover?
Cash flow is a very important part of starting any business. You will not survive without it. Simply, because all businesses have to pay things like rent, electricity, gas, wages, advertising, insurance, and unexpected maintenance repairs.
If you start a business without enough capital to pay six months of these expenses , do not start or it will fail. It is the expenses you do not expect that cause problems when starting out. In fact, you may have to survive without any income for yourself in the beginning. Keep this in mind before you begin operation of your new business venture.
Home Business Versus Commercial Business
A home business will cut many of those expenses like rent or lease agreements, office and building presentation and large advertising. The other things will still apply.
Marketing Your Business
Look After Your Customers
Importance of Customers – Greet each customer by name and look after them. Treat them with respect. If you have a bad day, do not blame them. Never offer products that you cannot supply, if deliveries have not arrived, offer them a discount if they have to wait and tell them when it comes in.
Promoting your products - Offer your local sporting clubs a basket of goodies, or a particular product to raffle for special events to raise money for their club. This is good advertising.
Advertise your services on notice boards - Community, church, library notice boards, word of mouth will spread the good news. This will increase your customer relations and create advertising at the same time. Offer free deliveries to the elderly or disabled people.
Help from friends - Friends can help with spreading the kind of business you are operating. Encourage and reward their help with discounts.
Email your customers – Ask your customers for their email addresses, if they agree you can use this to tell them about new products available or discounts and specials. Offer discounts for referrals to new customers. Put your signature on the bottom of all emails with both your telephone number and business address.
Word of Mouth – Bad news always travels faster than good news. Therefore, if a client or customer becomes upset for any reason, be sympathetic. Customers are not always right. Instead of arguing, be diplomatic, listen to their problems and show you care.
Talk to an upset customer, this customer will be able to spread the news about how helpful you are. Whereas, a disgruntled one will turn business away and do more harm.
Business Cards - You can print your own business cards or have them made professionally. Include your phone number, fax and email address.
Make sure stock is easy to reach, allow for the shorter person. Keep shelves well stocked (this will depend on your type of business). You can order some products and parts in as you cannot stock all types of mechanical parts nor all brands of expensive products.
Check that everything is well presented and clean. Presentation and promotion is everything. Learn from the best marketers of all times; look how the supermarkets display tempting products to the young child or impulse buyer.
Make Your Business Grow
Once started you have to concentrate on the products that make you money. Yes, you need the smaller less profitable products to keep customers coming back. Although, you have to promote the proven good selling products so your profits will increase, leading to more success. Set goals, you have to improve your turnover every week, without fail.
If your profits start regressing, then work out why. Did you have a shorter week, or was there another reason. If necessary, reduce the prices of older stock, creating more cash turnover to buy fresh, new products to keep your clients coming back for more.
Run a professional home business. Make sure your friends know that you cannot stop every ten minutes for a chat or coffee. Set guidelines and stick to them.
Work out a system – So children understand when mum or dad is working, that they do not interrupt. or use a part-time babysitter that can help with other chores while looking after the children.
No one wants to see children running in and out an office putting sticky fingers on the résumé you just typed up for them or a product they paid good money for, so use common sense where children involved.
Keep Accurate Records
All businesses need records of everything bought and sold. You may not need to buy the most expensive bookkeeping software. In the beginning, you can do it all with a spreadsheet. As long as you have, complete records of each product bought or sold, plus records of their names and addresses for future reference.
Profit and Loss
This is another important factor to remember. You have to know how much profit or loss you have made during the year, although you can use an accountant for this.
Look for Improvements
Never settle for what you have. From time to time, walk outside and look at your business, as a stranger sees it. Look for ways that you can improve or add that extra something. Like better presentation, more marketing ideas, improved customer service and free delivery.
Always look for new and creative ways to make more profits. More turnovers mean more profit. Never lose sight of your goal to become the next entrepreneur in your town. Anyone can and will succeed if you continue to do the best you can, and never give up. If one idea does not work, learn from your mistakes and try other home business ideas.