Many people dream of working for themselves, setting their own schedule and having the flexibility to work and live wherever they choose. If this sounds like you, a home-based internet business may be right up your alley.
Be warned, though – a fair number of internet start-up businesses will fail within the first few months if you’re not prepared. In fact, studies show that close to 90 percent fail within the first four months.
Like anything, success takes work. And for a home-based business, it’s going to take a lot of work.
You need to know what you want to do, how much money you’re willing to invest in your business, figure out how you’ll grow your business and most importantly, you need to work hard at it every day.
So what exactly are people doing from home?
Well, in all honesty, pretty much anything you can think of. There are freelance writers and editors, graphic designers, IT technicians, online store owners, blog writers, data entry specialists, social media experts and more.
Work-from-home jobs are becoming more and more prevalent, with one in five new grads expected to start a career in freelancing within the next few years.
If you want to be successful, you need to advertise your business.
While advertising can be rather pricey, it doesn’t have to be. The internet provides dozens of ways to advertise for little to no cost.
5 Ways to advertise your business
1. Post ads on free sites – Yahoo! Classifieds, Craigslist, Google Places, Yelp and more allow you to post ads for free. You can market your product or service to a wide variety of people – both locally and nationally.
2. Start a blog – What better way to get the word out on your business than with your own blog? A blog allows you to promote your business (whether it be an Etsy shop or a freelance writing business), gain followers, network with similar individuals and keep potential clients up-to-date on what you’re doing. You can host giveaways, write about fun happenings in your area; promote upcoming discounts on your products and more. Since it’s your blog, the options really are endless.
4. Create a brand for your business – Professional; successful companies – both large and small – have created a recognizable brand. This includes a business name, logo and company slogan. Put this on everything and make sure it’s consistent.
5. Get to know your customers – Referral business is huge for small, home-based businesses. Have a customer who consistently uses you? Ask for a referral in your next email or phone call. Also, always respond to customer questions, complaints or praises within a timely manner. Great customer service skills and a timely response time will set you apart from your competitors.
While starting a home-based business can be difficult, it’s not impossible.
Don’t quit your day job just yet, though. Consider starting your business on the side in addition to your full-time job.
If it takes off, and you have enough money saved up in the event of an emergency, you may be able to quit your regular, full-time job and focus solely on your business.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes for MediaShower.com on a variety of topics including small businesses, social media and insurance.