Author: Amy Collett
Do you find your current job to be boring or unfulfilling? If you find yourself craving a career that blends creativity with freedom, one that allows you the flexibility to work from home if you want to, then starting your own business might be a good option for you. If creativity is something that comes naturally to you, you might start out doing freelance graphic design work for your friends and family. If you enjoy mathematics, you might launch a business as an accountant. Whatever your interests are, entrepreneurship offers a little something for everyone.
You don’t need a lot of money or even a college degree to start your own business. Anyone can become an entrepreneur, although it takes a lot of patience, passion, and drive. From market research to business plans, there’s a lot to consider when starting a home-based business.
Here are a few tips:
Boost your savings
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You should expect to devote a lot of time and finances to growing your business. As you are thinking about launching a home-based business, start adding money to your savings account. This will help you cover unexpected expenses (expect for everything to cost twice as much as you budget!) and create a cushion for the periods when income from clients may be a little slow. Check out Radius Bank’s high-yield savings account. Not only is it super easy to set up an account (it’s all online), but they have one of the highest APY rates on the market.
Using Technology to Stay Productive
There’s a lot that goes into running a home-based business, as you might imagine. One of the most difficult lessons to learn as a new business owner is how to track your time. Time management can be tricky for anyone, even those who don’t own a business. When you work from home, however, there are more distractions. It’s harder to get on a productive schedule when you have full flexibility and control over your daily schedule - and when you’re at home, on the couch, in your pajamas, within close proximity to a television, or surrounded by your children.
Luckily, all entrepreneurs can take advantage of modern technology to help stay productive when you’re growing a business from home. Some home-based business tools are simply indispensable for entrepreneurs. For instance, to save time on invoicing, you might use Square’s top-rated free invoice app, which will let you send unlimited invoices for free. By invoicing clients easily and using programs like Square, Toggle, or Paypal, which have apps that let you invoice (and perform other crucial business duties) directly from your smartphone, you’ll save yourself time and set yourself up for success.
Getting Your First Customers or Clients
One of the main things people start to worry about when starting a business is where and how they will get their first clients. The truth is that there are many ways you can get your first customers. Some of the most straightforward and sober advice comes from business coach Rebecca Tracey, who recommends telling “as many people as possible” about your business just to get your name out there. The people who you tell could be friends, family members, former colleagues, your social media followers, or anyone else you can think of who might be interested in your products or services. Even if the people themselves aren’t in need of your services, they might be willing to pass your name on to someone they know who could use your help.
Having trouble getting that first client? If you’ve tried everything you can think of and still haven’t had any success in obtaining those crucial first projects, you might try offering pro bono or volunteer work. Although it seems counterintuitive to do work for free, especially when you’re first starting your business, pro bono or volunteer projects can help you learn more about your industry and get more experience through working on real projects. These projects look great in a portfolio and, best of all, if your pro bono clients are happy with the work you provide, they may pay you for future projects or recommend you to connections who will.
You Can Do This
The tips in this article will help you find success as a business owner. Sure, starting a business isn’t easy, but it’s certainly something that many people can accomplish. Have faith that you can do it, even if you don't have a college degree; even if you aren't tech-savvy or have never owned a business before. Be willing to take risks, try new things, and take advantage of business technology, and you’ll be on your way to creating a rewarding career while working for yourself.
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About the author: Amy Collett is creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. She is author of the upcoming book, You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life. When she isn’t helping clients boost their careers or businesses, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and training to become a yoga instructor.
This post is sponsored by Radius Bank.