Having a home business has a lot of benefits, but there are also some disadvantages. It’s difficult to get any work done when family, friends, and neighbors don’t understand that you are working because you’re at home. Young children need to be taken care of and it’s not possible to run a business effectively while taking proper care of children.
If you are running a home based business that involves sales, be sure you know and are comfortable with your product. You need to be able to answer questions from your clients quickly and correctly. Being knowledgeable and honest about your product will help clients to trust you, and result in repeat business.
Don’t try to over-extend your home business. Pick a focus that has a sizeable customer based, but don’t try to cover everything in that focus. For example, if you run a tutoring business, don’t try to offer grade school, high school, college, and business skills tutoring. Pick just one area that you care about and focus on that.
Know what your production costs are when trying to sell products you make to avoid losing money. Traditionally, a wholesale mark-up from cost is approximately twice the base cost. Retail is usually double the wholesale price. The price should be acceptable to you, as well as to your customers.
Keep home and work communication seperate. Don’t send work e-mails from your personal account. Consider getting a seperate work phone line. If that is not an option, get caller ID. Don’t take personal calls while at work. Don’t take business calls after work hours. Politely ask friends and neighbors to call before coming to your door.
Look for home business opportunities that target people who are looking for personal attention for some of their regular needs. For example, for many people who are frequently out of town, they would rather hire a pet sitter to watch their pets instead of boarding them in a kennel because they want personal attention for their pets. The key is to find a way to offer customized services that a larger company cannot offer.
Keep coupons with you at all times. Drop your product coupons off when you visit your doctor’s office, dentist, beautician, school, daycare, and any other place you frequent. If you trust these providers and know them well, ask if you can leave some samples for their customers to try.
Protect your privacy and your family by getting a PO box for your home business. Posting your home address online is risky and can lead to identity theft and burglary. A PO box is inexpensive, anonymous and ensures that you and your family remain safe while you are working!
Start a group, listserv or e-zine for your home business. If your home business is specific to a certain interest, a periodical can update customers on the newest trends while keeping them in touch on your most relevant products. It will build your image of expertise while reminding your customers of your business. It’s a winning equation.
Make sure that every customer that orders from you has a reason to order from you again. Put in a thank you coupon with a discount for future purchases. Provide an incentive for referring their friends to you by offering free or reduced services. Build loyalty with your customers and they will stick with you.
A great home business tip is to not get carried away with spending. You have an advantage over other businesses because you’re running your business out of your home. This means that your expenses will be drastically less than those companies. Keep your expenses down to save more money.
If you are an artist and trying to make your art a home-based business, there are several ways you can build your reputation. You should join a local arts organization, and have some solo shows. Have some postcards of your artwork printed up and distribute these, giving your contact information. Local libraries are a good place to put them.
A great tip for your home business is to choose something that you already do well. This is important because you will love your job. Therefore, the quality and quantity of work you put into it will be high. Sometimes people just do not consider trying to make money from something they consider to be their hobby.
Make sure to read about Search Engine Optimization of your home business website to ensure that you’re driving targeted traffic who will want to buy your product or services. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, hire an expert who will gain you more than you’ll have to pay him in fees.
You must be sure to check into zoning laws for your area. They differ by location and you can find this information at your local City Hall. There may be restrictions in place for certain kinds of businesses and you are going to want to be sure what you are doing is legal.
Have the owner of your home business write a blog on your company website. The content should NOT be personal, but he can include current events if they apply to what the company sells. For example, writing a blog about sending the blankets you create to another country to help people displaced by a recent earthquake will give your customers a good feeling about your company.
It is extremely important to set up specific space and time to work. When you are interrupted, you must maintain those work-at- home boundaries. With small children, child care is required as if you were not home. As the owner, you don’t have any benefits. Sick days, vacations, and paid holidays are a thing of the past.