Have you dreamed of leaving your 9 to 5 job and starting a home-based business? There is no better time than the present.
The Internet has provided more opportunities than ever before for “making a living from your living room”. The choices are limited only by your imagination but planning and research are the essential elements to begin. One of the most difficult steps in starting a business is finding that niche that will blossom into a career that fits your lifestyle. Before jumping in with both feet, do your homework and develop a clearly defined vision. The extra effort will pay off, saving you time, money and frustration by adding some key knowledge to your toolbox.
1. In developing the direction of your business, choose an area that you know and enjoy. Conveying your passion for your service or product is projected to others if you feel it yourself. Buying decisions are driven by emotion. Believe in what you do and that excitement will be evident and help sell your product.
2. You can offer advice, promotion, products, services, entertainment or any number of things. Do the research and test the waters to see if there is a market for your business. Do try to distinguish the hype from the facts. Use known, reputable sources for your information. Keep your eye on the trends that are emerging and weigh your product’s usefulness in the future. You may want to conduct a survey to your market segment to see how well your idea is received. There are a number of online resources that can provide this service at minimal cost.
3. Know your product inside and out. Study everything you can get your hands on. Go to other sites that offer similar services and get a feel for how they present their product offerings. Take note of the descriptive language and the buzzwords that are used in the industry.
Write them down for later use, when you will be creating ad copy, content, and keywords for search engines.
4. On the heels of knowing your product comes knowing your market. Define the demographics of your potential client. This will provide relevance to all the decisions you make in packaging your product and building your site with effective content. The more you know about the interests of your prospect, the more you can target your services to meet their needs. There is plenty of competition on the Web and the extra targeted services you offer will go far in differentiating you from the masses. Define the needs of your prospective clients and work to fill them.
5. Beware of promotions that may come your way offering the latest get-rich-quick schemes. Be cautious and do your research before accepting any offers. Get all the details about the company, their payment process, and the legal requirements. The Web is like any other business. It requires a great deal of work to start a successful business. Any company that offers claims to the contrary is a company to be wary of.
6. Join social networks, groups and forums that are related to your business. Social networks are numerous, with the most well-known being Facebook. Twitter and image hosting sites such as Pinterest, Instagam, etc. offer opportunities to be seen and create powerful networking relationships. These groups will provide a targeted resource for news and information. You may choose to have it delivered to you by email for convenience. Forums are a great resource for useful information and promotion. Industry professionals are happy to provide resources and answer specific questions. They realize the power of this type of promotion for their own ventures. By giving helpful advice, they are seen as a knowledgeable professional in their field, which builds the trust needed in online services.
When posting on these sites, always have your site information in your signature to give others the opportunity to visit your site, and they will, as you become known on these sites. There is nothing like personal interaction to spur interest.
Once you have done your research and chosen your direction, it is time to start putting your knowledge to work by creating your business plan. Going through the process outlined above will provide the foundation to create your plan and take the next step in making your entrepreneurial dreams come true.
About the Author
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Kathy Coulston is an author, artist, and entrepreneur, with 15 years experience in corporate communications and graphic design. Her writing works include helpful articles and tutorials, personal life stories of humorous evolution, and business collateral content. She is the owner of the http://www.stressbank.com community forum.