Home businesses are the best way to gain control of the hours you work, that isn’t to say it is easier or the hours are shorter, in actual fact you will find you work much more, the difference is that you choose when you work rather than being told to by someone else. You also gain much more control over how you want your business to be run, rather than being annoyed at decisions being made by managers you are your own boss and directly determine what direction you want the company to move in. One of the hardest parts of starting your own business is initially getting it off the ground, the marketing is where most new business owners really struggle as they don’t have a very big budget for it and they aren’t yet actually getting any money in. It is a real temptation to try and cut corners at this stage but you must resist and spend as much as possible.
Firstly, it is important to set out a plan i.e. where you want to do your advertising, how you want to do it and how much you want to spend on it and then once you have the plan make sure you stick to it. The one time that you really have an advantage is when you first open especially if you have a shop front on a high street. Spend the week or so before putting some real effort in and hand out flyers, putting up posters, making the front of your shop stand out by putting balloons up and offering brilliant deals and special offers to entice people in. If you are an online business then perhaps consider investing in a PPC (pay per click) advertising campaign on Google for the first month, it guarantees you visits as every time somebody clicks on the link to your site you pay money but that person is already on your site so you effectively pay for guaranteed leads.
Online companies such as VansA2Z who offer the latest news and van reviews often spend plenty of time promoting their business in the ‘organic’ rankings on Google as well i.e. not paying for their Google position but ensuring their site is good enough to make people want to visit it on their own.
Another important aspect for home businesses is social media, in particular Twitter. Twitter enables you to reach a large audience who are directly interested in your sector, you can follow them and communicate with them directly. It is a great way to both promote your business with the latest deals and special offers as well as communicating with customers in a customer service role. You can sort out any problems and find out what people opinions are on your business and how they would change them.