First and foremost, this topic has never been more relevant than it is now.
Up until recently, starting a business from home has been more of a lifestyle choice, as opposed to a necessity.
However, what we are seeing now with Coronavirus is that if you want to start a business at all, it has to be from home, and therefore your strategy needs to be adapted to cater to this new reality.
Taking that into account, I’ve put together my top 5 strategies for starting a new business from home, that you can apply to any new venture you are working on.
Tip 1: Select a Mandatory Industry
Now more than ever, the industry you operate in is crucial.
As you can probably see, some industries (like Travel) are really being hit hard by the pandemic, whereas other industries (Food Delivery, Home workouts) are booming.
Therefore, the key when launching a new business from home in the current environment is to select a mandatory industry where demand will be high whether the economy is up or down.
This includes things like:
- We need to eat
- We need to stay healthy
- We need food to be delivered where possible
- We need to stay hydrated
- We need access to clean water to stay healthy
- We need somewhere to live
- People spending more time at home and need extra stuff (like fitness & entertainment)
- Physical health like workout gear
- Nutritional health like supplements & other biohacks
- Mental health so meditation etc…
- Ways to track/ optimise all of the above
- Financial planning
- Investment advice
- Refinancing etc
- Cash flow management
You can always branch out afterwards, but in an environment like this, it’s key to stick to these kinds of industries – especially if you’re relatively inexperienced in business.
Tip 2: Understand Your Target Market
This is something you should be doing regardless of the type of business you are starting, but I have still included it here because it’s so fundamental.
The key thing here is to understand what problem you are solving.
What is causing your customer enough pain or discomfort that they would be willing to part with their hard-earned cash to do business with you?
Returning to the food delivery example; if people can’t eat out because restaurants are closed and the supermarkets are too busy, they are far more likely to order in.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to find a brand new problem nobody has solved yet. Don’t be an innovator!
Competition is good. It means there is proven demand and a baseline framework you can improve to give yourself the advantage.
Also, make sure you make a good estimate of how big your market is, and how much you expect your customer to spend.
This way you will be able to have a good estimate of top-line revenue based on your share of that market.
Tip 3: Understand Your Customer
Before you get started, make sure you do research on your main competitors.
Again, this is something you need to do regardless of if you are building a business from home before you start actually implementing your vision for the company.
Questions you need to answer include:
Who are they?
What are they selling and at what price?
What do their websites look like?
What is their advertising like?
How do they package their offers?
All of these things will help you understand best practices in the industry, as well as identify any areas where your competitors may be lacking that you can improve on.
Tip 4: Get The Right Systems
This is where you really need to pull out all the stops if your business is going to be run purely from home.
Fortunately, we now have the technology to communicate & deliver services remotely in an effective way. When I first started, we certainly didn’t!
The systems you need vary depending on if you are launching a physical products business or a service-based business.
For example, with a physical product, you will need to automate fulfilment using Amazon FBA or some other 3rd party.
However, if your business is a consulting agency you need to be able to seamlessly book meetings, so you’ll need something like Calendly or Zoom.
If you want my full list of essential tools, you can download them for free here.
That will give you everything you need to get started and operate without ever needing to leave the house!
Also, building a remote team is critical.
Despite all our technology, you still need people to deliver certain skills like customer service, design, marketing etc…
Fortunately, tools like Upwork and Fiverr exist, which mean that you can easily pull together a remote team of freelancers with very specialised skills at a fraction of the cost of hiring full-time staff.
If you’re unfamiliar with these platforms, I recommend that you test them out for yourself!
Tip 5: Allocate Your Time Effectively
A major mistake I see all new businesses make is setting unrealistic expectations where they have not considered how many hours they need to put in.
A good rule to live by in business is that everything takes twice as long as you think, and costs twice as much.
This is especially difficult if you are starting a business from home for any other reason than Coronavirus.
For example, if you have health issues that stop you travelling, or you have a new baby to look after, then you need to work out realistically how many hours per day you can allocate to the business.
Then extrapolate that out across time until you think you’ve put in enough time to meet your first milestone.
Then double it, and work out how much money you will need during that time.
Allocating time like this will give you enough runway to make corrections when things go wrong (which they will), and when deadlines get pushed back.
To round off then, my top 5 tips for starting a new business from home are:
- Pick a mandatory industry
- Understand your target market
- Understand your competition
- Get the right systems
- Allocate your time effectively
That should then give you a solid foundation to build what will hopefully become a thriving new business.
If you enjoyed this article, and are interested in learning more about how to start & grow a business, you can download my business resources completely free below.
Also, if you want to work with me directly and see my business growth blueprint, I encourage you to join my programme Business Mastery where I walk you through my proven process and guide you each step of the way.
Ideal Customer Worksheet