Having a home-based business can be a path to freedom. That doesn’t make it less stressful than any other form of entrepreneurship. Owning a home business comes with a unique set of benefits and challenges. Here are six strategies for making the most of your home-based business.
- Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your market is critical to success in any business. There is a variety of ways to do market research. You can use quantitative strategies like looking at demographics and polling results. It’s good to use qualitative methods as well. These can take the form of focus groups and simple surveys on your website. A range of automated digital tools can help you glean this information. Google Analytics, for example, can help analyze web traffic. Search for answers to questions like “What is a customer data platform?” or “How can algorithms cut market research costs?” The better you know your own goals, the more effective your marketing research will be.
- Choose Legal Structure Wisely
Deciding on a legal structure for your business is critical. Many business owners start as sole proprietors, but remaining as such can leave them open to legal trouble in a worst-case scenario. Switching to a structure like a limited liability company (LLC) or S Corporation can offer protections. It’s also advisable to check with your local zoning commission to confirm that you can run a commercial enterprise from your current location. Tax obligations vary by municipality as well. Run the numbers and get sound legal advice before launching your venture.
- Organize Your Office Space
Research shows that people who work from home are generally 13% more productive than their office-bound colleagues. A prime reason is that they tend to work harder and can build schedules that suit their unique strengths. That’s why organization at home is so vital. Streamline your office space by removing distractions. Sort items into boxes and label them. Consider purchasing ergonomically-designed chairs and workstations to maximize comfort. Think about investing in scheduling apps and project management software if you work with a team. Efficiency is the key to lasting success.
- Have a Memorable Online Presence
Most companies have at least some online presence these days. A web presence is especially pertinent for home business owners since they typically engage directly in e-commerce. One common mistake is to have a website that looks obsolete. Flashing banners and hard-to-navigate sites drive customers away. The color scheme and text layout you use play a huge role in conveying the vision and purpose of your company. Another error is failure to be consistent. Having great content is necessary. Posting it in a timely and dependable manner communicates professionalism.
- Focus on Customer Experience
The lifeblood of a company is customer experience (CX). Studies show a direct correlation between employee attitude and customer satisfaction. If you’re the only point of contact between your customers and your business, that puts the CX responsibility square on your shoulders. Be courteous and professional to everyone. Customer service is generally one of the biggest drivers of CX. Give customers multiple options in this regard, including live chat, email, and phone service. Remember that the perceived value of your offerings also plays a massive role, so keep your products consistent and reflective of the expectations of your target market.
- Take Care of Yourself
Many entrepreneurs underestimate the effects that stress can have on health and productivity. The two are very closely linked. Prioritize your wellness and that of any employees. Get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables (pay close attention to your allergies, of course). It’s often beneficial to include nature in your office as well. Studies have shown that incorporating plant life into an office and letting in daylight can be powerful productivity boosters.
Starting a new business can feel intimidating. It’s good to know thousands of people are doing the same thing and enjoying success. If you keep an eye on the details and learn the right skills, your business will benefit.