With the advancements in cloud technology and the sheer capabilities of the everyday tech that we now have in our homes, it makes sense that remote working is going to become more popular. With remote working becoming more accessible, the next logical step is that starting and managing a new business entirely from scratch is easier than ever.
You don’t need up the start-up cash that you would do to rent an office. You don’t need to pay huge sums of money setting up your business. So, as long as you take your time and start your new business as a side gig until you get on your feet, you can start a very successful business right from home.
If you have always wanted to be a business owner, but never knew where to start, or worse, how you were going to afford it, put all your worries aside and instead follow this guide:
Hash Out Your Business Idea
If you are lucky, you already have a winning business idea that takes your current skills into account and lets you be your own boss. If you want to be a business owner, but don’t have that one business idea in mind, then there are several great options that are available to you. These options can typically be split up between two categories:
Use Your Skills
Even if you are fresh out of uni, you have skills that set you apart from your peers. Use these skills to build a business model around the product that is you. Your business model will be a service one, where you look for clients that will hire you to get a certain job done. This is an easier business model to follow than selling physical products, as the start-up costs are cheaper.
Sell a Product
There are two subdivisions to consider when it comes to selling a product rather than providing a service. You will either need to come up with a great prototype and secure the necessary funding to create the product (even if you can do most of the labour yourself), or you will resell the product.
In both instances, you will need to be very confident in your ability to sell. You either need to sell to stockists of your product in order to get it into shops and in people’s hands, or you need to be able to sell your product to the people at large.
If you have sufficient start-up funds then it is a better choice to become a stockist. In some instances you don’t even have to manage the product at all, and instead you will sell another company’s products for a portion of the profits. The other company will handle everything after that point.
Create a Business Plan
Once you have a business idea in mind it is time to create a business plan. A business plan is best created when you draw from a great wealth of knowledge. Research your industry, your competition, marketing tactics, business tactics, sales tactics and so on.
If you need help there are business courses and workshops that you can take to give you a good grounding. Otherwise, simple research using books, the internet and free online courses will help you to learn what you need to successfully run not just any business, but your business.
Use this knowledge to create a plan that is actionable and realistic. This is your business plan.
Even small businesses at home require some upfront costs. You will need a website, marketing materials, and in some cases, a business licence and other legal certifications. Know what your costs are and find funding through the following:
- Personal savings
- A loan
- Borrowing from friends
You don’t want to owe any one person too much money, so a good option is to opt for a mixture of all of the above. While using your own savings seems like the most obvious place to draw on in the first instance, it is important to remember that you should never dip into your own emergency fund.
You should be able to cover all your family outgoings for at least three months, just in case your business fails or you lose your job. Don’t touch this money. Anything above it can be used towards your business.
Alternatively, you can look at short-term loans, business loans, bank loans, investments, or even just borrowing money from friends or family. If you are borrowing from people you know, it is a good idea to create a written contract so that they have the assurance that you will pay them back; you could set up a direct deposit for a monthly amount right then and there, therefore ensuring that your relationship is protected.
Create a Home Office
Now that you are closer than ever to actually being able to launch your business, it is time to designate a specific area in your home to your work. Working in your bed, in the living room, or anywhere else in your home is not acceptable. It will mean that you’re not just taking work home with you, but that you can never untangle the stress of work from your home life.
That is why you need to either convert a room in your home into a designated office, or have one built for purpose. Consider the following options:
Convert a Room in Your Home
If your home has a small bedroom that no one is using then this is the perfect opportunity to remove the bed and install an office. You will need to be careful with the space, however. You don’t want your work to spill out into the rest of your home.
That’s why it is a good idea to have a custom shelf system installed that can help you house everything that you need for your business – especially paperwork.
Install a Garden Office
If you don’t have a spare bedroom that you can convert then the next best solution is to look outside. There are some incredible garden offices for the home that you can have installed on-site and without planning permission. This means that you can finally get more use out of your rear garden, and enjoy having a private, quiet place in which to get work done, day after day.
Having a separate garden office can even help to promote your work/life balance. By leaving your home to go to work – even if it is just a few metres – you can designate a place for work and any related stress, and a separate place for home and relaxation.
With double-glazing and proper insulation, these small garden offices can easily be heated in the winter and can open up and let the sun shine through in the summer, making them a great choice for anyone who works from home.
Know How to Expand
Even when you have everything ready to launch and a place to call your own, there is one more point that you need to be aware of – know how to expand. If you don’t have this in mind when you launch, you will cripple your business. This doesn’t mean that you should start bigger than you’re able to handle, just that you should know who to outsource to, which programs to use, and what the laws are as you grow.
You want to succeed, which means that you need to facilitate the growth of your business naturally and seamlessly. By knowing how to expand before you launch, you can expand.
With everything ready, your business is finally ready to launch. Create or hire a marketing team to create a buzz for your new business before you go live, and commit yourself to your new business every day, even if you also keep your old job. Success is on the horizon, but it is going to be a long – although rewarding – uphill hike to get there.