In the current economic climate an increasing number of people have opted to go self employed and work from home. The number of successful ecommerce entrepreneurs suggests that there is little truth to the theory to the fact that running a business from home is too difficult and complicated for most people. If you have a product that you think will attract a particular segment of the market then the time to start out on your own is now.
Do you have what it takes?
When running a business from home, you have to keep to keep yourself focused on the job in hand. At home, there are many more distractions that could disturb you. Starting your own business can be a profitable venture, as long as you remove these distractions and keep your mind on the task at hand.
Developing an action plan of what you hope to achieve (and when) is a great way to keep on target. You might not always hit the target you’ve laid out in your plan, but as long as you’re not wasting time you will have achieved something along the way.
Starting up a Home Business
If you want to start your own ecommerce business then once you have your product sorted out you will need a good website. Your website should say who you are, what you are offering, and what the benefits are to the customer. If you can afford it, get your website professionally optimised for the keywords and search terms you have identified for your target market. Once you have a product and website you need to establish how you are going to market your business and present your product to the general public. Social media sites such as Face book, Twitter and Linked in are good places to start your marketing campaign, you may also want to try direct and email marketing to let people know about your product.
Before you have your first buyer you will also need an online payment system and a way of getting the goods to your customers. Distribution is a complex process which you can outsource to specialist companies with the ability to store, package and dispatch goods to your customers. In the early days many people opt to do the storage and packing side of the business themselves but this may become problematic as your business grows. You will also have to have a returns policy and means of giving customers their money back if they are not satisfied.
Finding the Right Help
A growing number of home business owners find that storing sufficient stock and dealing with customer orders becomes too much for one person as the business grows. When you work from home you probably can’t or don’t want to employ someone else to help with the day to day running of your business. Many successful business owners have solved their problem by getting the help that they need from one of a growing number of internet fulfilment services.
What are Internet Fulfilment Services?
Online business can take advantage of outsourced Internet fulfilment services, which deal with warehousing, picking, packing and delivery services – they may even run your payment system for you. What you need for your business will depend on a number of things, including your budget and how much external help you really want. There is no getting away from the fact that an internet business has a much wider reach to potential customers than the local corner shop – which means that ecommerce business people need the right kind of help to deal with the extra work that this entails.
While your client base is small and providing you don’t have too large a product, you can do everything. Once your customer numbers increase you may find it difficult to cope with the extra workload. Fulfilment services are the best way of enabling a thriving home business to become really successful in reaching a wider audience.
Running a business from home is possible for anyone when thought through and planned properly. Having a good and clear website is key – as is a secure and safe system for people to pay. A refund policy for people to send items back is equally as important.
Internet fulfilment services are a really great idea too, as discussed before, allowing you to free up your time for running the business and dealing with customers instead of packaging and sending off items yourself.
With your time better spent running the business, your home run company may eventually move further up. In the future you could end up hiring staff and possibly moving into your own offices.
Jon Platy writes for Principal Homebuyers and runs their blog. They help connect sellers and buyers for quick sales of houses, homes and commercial properties.