In today's interconnected digital world, more people than ever before are walking away from traditional nine-to-five jobs and opting to take a shot at entrepreneurial success. For some, this means opening a small store or other similar venture. For an increasing number of Australians, however, that's not a good fit.
Instead, many are starting home-based businesses, in the hopes of building their own personal brand and achieving economic freedom. The proof is in the latest available statistics, which indicate that there are almost one million people already running home-based businesses in Australia, with more joining them every day.
Starting a home-based business isn't a walk in the park, though. There are plenty of things that any would-be entrepreneur needs to get right, and even more that can go wrong. To help those considering making the leap to running such a venture, here are four crucial tips on launching and running a successful home-based business.
Choose a Market Wisely
The first thing that an entrepreneur must do when seeking to build a home-based business is to conduct thorough research to figure out if there's even a market for the kind of product or service they aim to provide. For those moving from an existing career into a related consultancy, this is often a simple matter. For those starting completely from scratch, though, some caution is advised. A good first step is to look into existing proven work-from-home opportunities to get an idea of what's possible. Then, try to devise a unique angle that will set the business apart from existing competitors. If this proves difficult, consider another type of business.
Mimic A Conventional Job
Although most people choose to start a home-based business in an effort to escape the trappings of their previous job, they shouldn't do away with most of their old routines. As it turns out, the one thing that tends to kill many home-based businesses before they can take off is a lack of structure. It's all too easy for a new entrepreneur to get absorbed in whatever project they're working on and then neglect the nuts-and-bolts tasks that building a business requires. To combat this, it's vital to devise a daily schedule that includes set times for every necessary business task. For example, set aside the first hour of the day for answering customer queries and following up on new business leads. After that, make time for marketing tasks, accounting tasks, and any other day-to-day necessities. Only then will it be possible to really get to work doing what you love.
Work Hard to Stay on the Cutting Edge
One of the big advantages of working for a larger organization is that it's far easier to get exposure to and experience with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in your industry of choice. Running a home-based business, by comparison, can rob you of such opportunities. For that reason, it's necessary to invest in continuing education to stay abreast of the latest knowledge in whatever field the business specializes in. It's also a good idea to connect with local small business organizations and to make time to attend industry seminars and gatherings whenever practical. These are the best ways to keep a home-based business relevant and up-to-date, especially in industries that feature larger competitors.
Don't Fear Outgrowing Your Home
In the life of a successful home-based business, there may come a time when the business grows out of the confines of the home it began in. Many first-time entrepreneurs, though, worry about expanding their home-based business into a stand-alone office or commercial space because they believe that the company will become too unwieldy and more likely to fail. On the contrary, however, it's important to recognize that when a home-based business outgrows its home – it's a sign that the founder has done a great job of building their business. When this happens, it's a good idea to embrace the growth instead of resisting it. Consider moving to a co-working space to keep costs low, but if the business needs its own office, don't fear making the move to one.
Onward and Upward
If you're one of the many Australians considering starting a home-based business, you should now have a pretty good idea of the common problems you may encounter along the way. This is not an exhaustive list, though. As your business grows and changes, you'll face innumerable challenges and tough decisions. If you keep the above tips in mind, though, you should have a solid base to work from and stand an excellent chance of succeeding in your market. Above all else, remember: a home-based business is no different than any other small venture – if you work hard and do your work well, there's no limit on how far you'll go.
About the Author
Andrej is a dedicated writer, digital evangelist and a freelance writer. He is a contributor to a wide range of business and technology-focused publications, where he may be found discussing everything from neural networks and natural language processing to the latest in smart home IoT devices.