Working from home is the dream of millions of Americans. Over the past few years, that dream has become a reality for many. Though it comes with plenty of opportunities, owning and growing a home business presents its own unique challenges. Here are seven tips for getting the most out of your home-based company.
Shop for Custom Applications
Advancements in cloud computing and automation have made available a range of new applications for startups. These developments are partly due to low code programming, which has made it easier for non-experts to build applications. Custom apps can help organize customer data to fit your company’s unique needs. They can also streamline many other business processes. Look for what works for your company.
Optimize Your Office for Efficiency
Some office designs generate productivity. Others don’t. A cluttered workspace leads to distraction, and this is especially true at home. Make sure that equipment and files are stored unobtrusively. Choose a color scheme for your office that puts your mind at ease. Another good idea is to create an ergonomic work environment. Ergonomic furniture and workspaces are designed to conform to the body to reduce stress and fatigue. The strengths of working from home are flexibility and personalization, so build your space accordingly.
Revamp Your Web Presence
Another drag on productivity might be your website. Outdated blogs and landing pages can damage the impression of your legitimacy with consumers. The same is true of clunky, hard-to-navigate websites. Be sure that your text is readable and that the layout of your site is intuitive for new customers. Endeavor to update your content often and on a regular schedule, especially on social media pages. Doing so will send a powerful message about your dependability and professionalism.
It might be tempting to do everything yourself, but research shows it’s not the best move. The “70 percent rule” in management says that if you can pay someone to do a task at least 70% as effectively as you can perform it, delegate that task. In this gig economy, you might also want to consider hiring freelancers. There are multiple benefits to hiring freelancers. Freelancers aren’t salaried and can be hired for single projects. Laws regarding hiring freelancers can vary, so make sure to research your duties and liabilities before expanding this way.
Prioritize Customer Experience
Research also shows that giving an excellent customer experience (CX) is critical to generating repeat business. An effective way to create a winning experience for them is through high-class customer service. Many home business owners lack a brick-and-mortar storefront or call center infrastructure. This truth creates a golden opportunity for owners to personalize customer service. Personalized service is overwhelmingly preferred, with live service via phone or text with a human operator being the most popular option, according to a OnePoll survey. When customers know they matter, they come back.
Reward Loyal Customers
One powerful way of ensuring customer loyalty is to make it pay off for them. Consider starting a rewards program for repeat shoppers. Having a subscription service could also help keep customers invested in your offerings. Referral programs are another productive way of building word-of-mouth buzz. A recent study showed that 92% of consumers trust the advice of family and friends over any corporate advertisement source. It’s the best way to turn customers into active brand advocates.
Build Your Network
Another effective way of getting the word out is through networking. Your town’s local chamber of commerce is a great place to start. Attend networking events, either in-person or online, or host a meet-and-greet for others in your industry. Create guest blogging opportunities on your websites. Support other local small businesses, either in word or deed. All of these actions will help build your brand and forge lasting connections.
Nurturing a successful home business takes the same skill set as managing a traditional company. A combination of learned techniques and well-honed intuition can carry you to success.