Did you know some of today’s mega-corporations, such as Google and Apple, were started from home?
This has inspired millions of entrepreneurs like you to start small businesses from their garages and home offices, but there are resounding reasons to follow this path. Home-based businesses have lower startup costs since big expenses such as rent are eliminated.
However, there are major downsides. Home businesses usually have a hard time qualifying for financing and building a sizeable customer base.
In light of this, what are you doing to give your businesses the best chance of getting off the ground quickly? If you’re short on ideas, read on!
1. Establish Your Schedule
Running a business from your garage gives you great flexibility and convenience. You don’t worry about the hassle of a daily commute, and you’re in complete control of your schedule. You can report to “work” as early or late as you’d like because you’re your own boss.
Such a lifestyle may be good for your work-life balance, but it’s not good for your home-based business. Starting a successful small business, whether from home or commercial premises, is no joke. The odds of failing are high, so it’s important that you dedicate yourself to the business.
Establishing a schedule and sticking to it is one way to ensure you’re giving the business maximum focus. Ideally, stick to a 9 to 5 schedule like other businesses.
This makes your business look professional, and your customers will know when to contact you. If customers are always calling your business within normal operating hours and finding no one because you’re away, they won’t hesitate to switch to a competitor. Losing customers is the last thing you want when trying to get the business off the ground.
2. Don’t Wait Too Long to Build a Team
The vast majority of home-based businesses are sole proprietorships. Being in charge of everything is an effective way to keep your costs low, but as the business starts to grow, things can become overwhelming.
Some sole proprietors don’t know how to tell when it’s time to bring in a helping hand. Don’t make this mistake.
Building a team of workers relieves you of some duties, ensuring your focus is on the most important tasks. Bringing new people into your home can feel unsettling, but what options do you have?
Waiting too long to hire the workers your business needs will only increase the time the business remains home-based. Yet, the key goal is to generate enough revenue and relocate the business to a commercial location.
3. Get a Virtual Address
Your home-based business already shares a physical address with your home. Do you see anything wrong with that?
The home address works, but it doesn’t give your business a professional image. Imagine asking your clients to mail you checks only for some of them to call back to verify whether the address is correct because what they’re seeing is a residential address. Not a good impression!
The best way to solve this problem is to relocate to a commercial space, but there’s a solution that’s cheaper. Get a home office address online.
There are several companies offering virtual address services. These are real locations, which means your mail is sent to a real address. The company will collect the mail on your behalf and forward it to your residential address or any other address around the world.
A proper business address can make the difference between winning and losing a potential client. Some choosy clients will not do business with home-based companies simply because of the image.
4. Launch Online Operations
If your business serves customers physically, don’t hesitate to take it online.
Let’s say you run a home-based food business. You’ve done well to market the business around your neighborhood and you’re getting a good number of local customers. The revenue you’re generating might be enough to keep the business going, but to achieve faster growth, you need more customers.
Set up a website for your business and start making deliveries. This will open up your business to markets beyond your neighborhood.
A website also presents you with a good opportunity to elevate your marketing game. With a good digital marketing strategy, your website can turn into a lead generation and conversion machine.
5. Start Transitioning the Business Out of Your Home
The many benefits of running a home-based business can make you fall into a comfort zone. You have a steady revenue stream; there’s enough space at home to accommodate the business; why rush to relocate the business?
Well, the truth is a home business can only grow so much. Amazon wouldn’t be the Amazon it is today if it had remained in the garage for longer than necessary.
As such, know when it’s time to start kicking the business out of the nest. You don’t have to go all out at once and lease a commercial space. This will create a sudden jump in your expenses, and the business may not be able to meet its financial obligations if revenue falls – as is expected when a business relocates.
If the nature of your business allows, start by hiring a co-working space. This will allow some of your employees to decongest the home office. Your business will also have access to board rooms and other facilities where you can host partners and clients.
Use the transition period to scout for an ideal office space so that when the time to move comes, you won’t waste time hunting for a location.
Your Home-Based Business Deserves Growth
Starting a home-based business is a smart move, but the goal isn’t the keep it home-based for long. With the right strategies, it’s possible to lift it off the ground within a short time and grow it into a big company.
Find more business tips and insights in the business section of our blog.