Millions of Americans dream of becoming their own bosses and leaving the confines of a day job. Unfortunately, many of those people see the sheer number of obstacles standing in the way of realizing that dream and give up.
What you may not realize is that there are ways to get your dream business up and running without spending a fortune in start-up costs. The key might be to begin your business as a home-based concern on a shoe-string budget.
Your end goal might be to own and run a huge business empire, but there’s nothing wrong with testing out your idea on a smaller scale first. There are plenty of successful big businesses operating today that began life from a spare room or garage in someone’s home.
The best part about the advent of the internet is that it’s possible for almost anyone to set up a website and start operating a business from home. The most successful online businesses invest in a domain name and pay for the site to be hosted with a trusted web hosting company.
In the early days of running a home business, it can be tricky to find ways to keep the income rolling in. Your working day might be filled with working on building your fledgling empire, so it’s unlikely you’ll have a lot of spare time to devote to working for an hourly wage.
Fortunately, you can choose to take up some microwork. You can work on your own schedule whenever you have the time and you get to choose which jobs you do. Microwork is simply small, quick tasks that take a couple of minutes of your time. In exchange, you might earn a few cents up to a few dollars.
The income may not be great, but it’s still a helpful way to earn a few extra dollars while you’re building up your home business without taking the focus away from your dream.
Choose Your Business Model
Your eventual dream business might be a multi-story retail building, but there’s nothing wrong with beginning your venture as an online e-commerce operation. Launching a website and testing out your product line from an online retail outlet can be a great way to gauge the strength of your idea without spending a fortune.
You also have the opportunity to iron out any wrinkles in your business model and see if you really enjoy the industry you’ve chosen.
Besides, beginning your home business online helps build your brand recognition, gain loyal customers, and start bringing income into your fledgling enterprise. As your online venture grows, you can invest your profits into future business expansion.
Find Funding to Expand
The biggest hurdle most people need to overcome when starting a new business venture is finding the capital to get off the ground and pay for expansion as the business grows. Fortunately, there are plenty of sources of capital available to help you get what you need.
You could save money out of your salary to pay for your start-up costs over a period of time. Alternatively, you might seek funding from crowdsourcing, or apply for a range of government grants, or even submit an application for a business start-up loan.
If you choose to source funding from a grant or a loan, take time to learn more about the application before you submit anything. When you understand the criteria for each approval, you’re in a stronger position to put together a strong application that reduces the chances of being rejected.
Diversify Income Streams
Have you ever heard the saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in the same basket’? In business terminology, this is known as ‘broadening your debtor base’. Essentially, any successful small business owner understands the importance of diversifying the income streams coming into the business.
Your start-up online enterprise might rely on sales of your top-selling products. However, there are opportunities to increase your business cash flow by monetizing other aspects of your business.
There are plenty of online retail giants out there willing to pay you a healthy commission for referring customers to their e-commerce stores. For example, Amazon will pay you a commission if a customer clicks through on a link from your site over to theirs to complete a purchase.
If you don’t have the funding to get started with your own range of products, your business can still grow based on referring your customers to buy from trusted affiliate partners.
Your e-commerce website might be solely focused on your products, but almost every successful business also has a blog associated with the primary business site. The blog is intended to keep customers informed about your products and business services.
You can use your blog to announce new product launches. You might choose to use it to inform visitors about the benefits of dealing with your business as opposed to your competitors.
Blog posts can also be shared on your social media networks, which can increase the visibility of your content and boost awareness of your brand.
Your blog posts might provide links to individual products within your range, which can boost your click-through rate. You might choose to post reviews of various products or publish feedback or questions from previous customers,
Regardless of the reason, people follow good content that solves a problem for them. It’s also possible to monetize your blog and add to your total business income.
If you’re promoting affiliate links, you can place those in the sidebar alongside your posts. If you’re posting reviews, you can include your affiliate links within the content. Likewise, you can link directly to your own products.
Working from home offers plenty of flexibility and freedom, but it does offer the potential to become a profitable business enterprise. The key to building your dream business is to start small and keep building on your foundations until your dream becomes your reality.