In the past year, the world’s economic state was in a dire place. Many people lost their jobs. Those who kept theirs were sent home to deliver their responsibilities remotely. Meanwhile, many brick-and-mortar businesses had to close up shop, either permanently or temporarily, because there was no one to do business with. People were quarantining to help curb the spread of a fatal virus.
A silver lining that happened throughout the past tumultuous months is how people’s entrepreneurial spirits seemed to have been awakened. That’s something we can ascribe to the power of necessity. People needed a source of income. They had to improvise, find ways to profit off of anything marketable.
If there’s something we’ve proven, it has to be this—business from home is a practical idea. But you need to get it right from the get-go. Here’s how.
Recognize where your talent and skills lie
This is prevalent business advice. Just because it’s common does not make it cliche. It’s common because it works. For example, you cannot pursue a pastry business from home just because you’re Facebook page is inundated with posts of people baking and selling their goodies if you’re not in any way inclined to baking. Or if you can’t even accurately measure ingredients because you’re math-challenged.
Stick to your strongest suit. Are you a gifted artist? Why not sell shirts printed with your own graphical designs? For this, all you need is a laser printer and a supply of plain shirts. You may sell your products online.
Determine the level of business complexity you’re ready to take on
Maybe you have a friend selling home-made vitamin supplements, and they’re selling like pancakes. The bulk of their investment went to test equipment, and it’s worth every penny. You find the whole business model inspiring, so you’re also thinking of a home business in line with health and wellness. Before putting all of your eggs in one basket, first, ask yourself if you’re ready for the complexity of such a business that probably requires expertise in chemistry and nutrition.
Keep in mind that you will be investing time and money in your business. If you end up leaving what you started halfway because you realized you bit off more than you can chew, you are wasting valuable and irretrievable resources.
It does not hurt to think of a simple idea at first. From that, work your way up to bigger plans.
Assess your target market
After you determined that product or service you want to offer, one that’s aligned with your talent and skills, the next order of business is determining whether there’s a market for your idea. While it’s tempting to believe that if you build it, they will come, in real life, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you need to know someone will come before you do the building. You do not want to end up with a full inventory with no one to sell to.
If there is a market, look into the current players in that market. Who will you be competing with? What gives you an edge? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you gauge how modestly or aggressively you can approach a business idea.
Create a business plan
All successful businesses start with a business plan. This is where you itemize all of your goals and the specific sets of actions you need to accomplish to reach those goals. This is also where you come up with a detailed assessment of your target market.
Even if you are only running a small business from home does not mean you can wing it. Again, remember you’re investing time and effort. Those must be rewarded.
Assemble the right people
You might be tempted to tap the easiest targets. In this case, your family. While that makes sense, sometimes you need to carefully assess whether it’s the smart move. Or if you’re better off pooling together a small group of people, you’re not related with. Family dynamics can either complicate or ease business processes.
There is one promising thing we can all look forward to once this pandemic is officially over. That’s the emergence of small businesses that boost local economies. We will be less reliant on multinational companies to provide for our needs. After all, we can produce those products on our own. That’s something we’ve tried during this past year of intermittent lockdowns. We’ve realized we have the capacity for creativity and innovation. And once we’re freer to move than we are now, the possibilities are endless.