男同free versios视频- September 24, 2019, by Taylore Bryant
start a small business at home
Been thinking about starting a small business but not sure where to start? Pulling the trigger on your side hustle can be a daunting task, especially if you’re alone. That’s why we put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to show you exactly how you can start your business for less than $1000.
How are we qualified to write this guide?
We’re Penji, a graphic design membership platform that provides unlimited graphic design at a flat monthly rate for thousands of small business owners worldwide. After designing logos, marketing materials, ads, and helping thousands of small businesses and startups get their business off the ground, we’ve seen just about everything.
We’ve witnessed massive startups with $242M+ in funding crash and burn due to poor marketing. And also have been along for the journey of a single-dad starting a small business in his garage with less than $1000 in his bank account, and later turning that into a multi-million dollar cash cow. We noticed a common thread among some of our most successful clients who had humble beginnings – they all followed a similar process. And we decided to document that process and write a step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to start their own business at home to follow.
Disclaimer: Please follow this guide with the following disclaimers in mind.
Plug: Penji is an on-demand graphic design membership trusted by thousands of small business owners. Membership starts at $369/m and gives you unlimited graphic design assistance. Try Penji today and see how much time and money you’ll save instead of doing it yourself.
Time: 1-3 months | Cost: $0 | Remaining budget: $1000
Why is this important? Would you want to spend 2 years building out your business and investing your savings account only to find out that nobody wants to buy your product? Or worse, your market is too saturated. By spending a few months doing market research, you save yourself a lot of time and headaches, and not to mention, develop more accurate insights into your industry. By the end of this step, you’ll know for sure if you should start this particular business, and how to position yourself.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! If this is your first business, you can’t afford to skip this step (literally). You may have a fantastic idea or your side hustle seems to be making money for someone else, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Testing your idea first, researching the market to see if people even want your product/services will save you years of frustrations and the small marketing budget dedicated to market research will pay dividends later.
Market research basically means trying to figure out if there’s even a need (or a strong ENOUGH need) for your product/service. And once you’ve identified that there is a strong enough need, the next step will be finding out the specific audience that is most likely to BUY your product. You’ll find out that just because someone is interested in your product/service, doesn’t mean they will buy or will be good customers in the long run.
Here are the 3 questions you’re attempting to answer when doing Market Research:
There are several strategies for going about your market research and getting your questions answered. The following strategies will apply to questions 1 – 4. Questions relating to your competitors you can simply spend a few hours on Google and take notes or hire an independent party to conduct the research for you. I recommend doing it yourself to get acquainted personally with your competitors.
Develop a list of questions to ask
Before you start talking about your product/service, develop a list of questions and stick to these questions in order to generate consistent results. You can certainly add more questions or modify them as you go, but be sure to ask the same variation of questions so you can easily and quickly blast away whenever you meet someone you want to ask questions.
Depending on your product/service, tailor your questions to uncover at least the following information.
Be sure to keep accurate and legible notes of each encounter so you can review them later.
Start by asking friends and family
Seems obvious, but it’s a great place to start. No need to go far, start by asking your friends, family, and people within your immediate network. Just pick up the phone, start texting/calling away or schedule a time to meet with them. But make sure to get started. This is your first big step. Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, don’t procrastinate it. Just get out there and meet your first potential customer (but don’t sell) and start asking questions.
Go to events/places where your prospects may be
Go online and search for networking events where your prospective customers may be hanging out. Go there, meet them, and schedule a time for lunch or coffee to grill them with your well-rehearsed questions.
Analyze your findings
After you’ve spent 1 – 3 months doing market research yourself, you should have a stronger understanding of product/service, the industry you’re trying to break into, and your potential customers. Review all of the responses from your meetings and determine if you should move forward or not. And should you move forward, how you would position yourself to have a competitive edge against all your other competition?
Time: As long as you need | Cost: $10 | Remaining budget: $990
So you’ve decided the market is ripe for you, you know who you should go after, and you have an idea of how to position yourself on the market. Now it’s time to pick a name. This step will teach you the process of choosing a name AND a domain name at the same time. Not all names are created equal. In this section, I’ll go over the key strategies on how to choose a name that will separate you from all of your competitors and give you the flexibility to scale when the time comes.
Why is this important? Don’t just choose a business name without making sure there’s an available domain name available to purchase right away. By doing both simultaneously, you save yourself the headaches of trying to secure a domain name later on.
Choose a short name (unless you’re an attorney)
The shorter the business name, the easier it will be for your customers to remember and recall.
It’s unique and easy to remember
Be careful with unique. If you’re going to make up a word, make sure it phonetically makes sense and easy to actually spell. For example, if you’re selling cupcakes online, a name like KupKakes is going to be difficult for people to find or remember. Being unique is good, only if people can actually remember it.
There’s an available domain available
I can’t stress this enough. I’ve seen so many companies choose a name first and then try to find a domain to match it. They end up with something like “Seymour-chairs-co.com” or worse “Seymourchairs1.com”. Would you want to shop there? To avoid this mess, research both the domain name and the business name at the same time and ensure you have both.
It’s either a .com or .co
Don’t buy .net, .org, .biz (dear god please don’t use .biz), or any strange extensions. There are exceptions to the rule of course. If your business has something to do with streaming or television, then a .tv extension can work for you. But for most people, just stay with .com or .co for convenience.
And when purchasing a domain name, don’t let the domain registrar company (Godaddy, Bluehost, etc.) scare you into buying ALL the domains for all extensions for fear your competitors will snag your name. It never happens. Ever.
It’s flexible and doesn’t lock you into any particular product/service
Your business may change. You may decide to shift your product/service into a new market later. And the last thing you want holding you back is your business name/domain name because it’s too specific to one area. JoesChainsawRepair.com can never sell cupcakes. Keep this in mind when choosing your name.
You like it.
Make sure it’s a name that you’re proud of. A name that has a special meaning to you (not mandatory, but neat if it does). It’s important that you resonate well with the name and can wear it with pride for years to come.
Time: 30 mins – 1 hour | Cost: $0 – $125 | Remaining budget: $865
Congratulations on getting your domain name registered! Now it’s time for us to take the next big step and legalize the business. Don’t worry though, registering your business isn’t as complicated as you may think. It’s usually just a quick online form that you have to fill out and pay a small fee. Afterward, they’ll send you an official certificate in the mail and you’re good to go.
Why this is important? Because you’re a law-abiding citizen who wants to stay on the right side of the law.
How do I register my business? This will depend drastically depending on the state/country that you’re in. It’s quite beyond the scope of this guide, however, there’s an abundance of resources online that you can access. What I can advise is make sure to do your research on how to register for a business SPECIFICALLY for your area. The entire registration process can be done online for most regions, and typically won’t cost you more than $125.
Which legal entity should I choose? Providing legal advise is beyond the scope of this guide. Choosing a legal entity depends on many factors. However, if you’re a first-time business owner just starting out, it’s just you and perhaps 1 other partner, and you’re NOT already a millionaire, then choosing an LLC will be your safest and most economical choice at this time. Again, please take that advice with caution and be sure to do your own research and seek legal advice where necessary.
Time: 1 week – 1 month | Cost: $0 | Remaining budget: $865
Now that you have a legally operating business, the next thing would be to spend some time to craft your brand messaging. Exactly how you will describe yourself, your business, your services/offerings, etc. You can go the long route and put together a 100+ page business plan, but that’s a bit out-dated. This method enables you to quickly put all of your ideas together and down on paper. And this document will be used on a daily basis and be something you can constantly improve upon as you go, unlike a formal business plan.
What is a Brand message document? It’s basically a document with a list of questions that you have to answer. Answering these questions will help you develop a brand identity. The completed document will contain every vital piece of content/copy/messaging related information about your business and can also be shared with others. You’ll find that you’ve already answered a lot of these questions while doing your market research, but you just haven’t sat down and written it in a clear and concise manner yet.
The purpose of the document isn’t just to answer these questions but to write them in a clear, concise, and professional manner. Whenever you need a slogan/description/tagline/quote, etc. you will revert back to this document and simply copy/paste.
Here are some of the questions that you must answer in your brand message document:
We also made a Brand Messaging template here just for you! Download Brand Messaging Template.
Time: 1 week – 1 month | Cost: $369 | Remaining budget: $496
With your brand document all completed, you should now be an expert at talking about your business. And you’ll also have all the vital information to explain to a designer exactly what you want your logo to stand for. Give yourself a round of applause. You’ve made it further than most people have! So far your business idea has been mostly inside your head and in cyberspace somewhere. It’s time you manifest it into the real world. It’s time for a logo!
Why this is important? You might be tempted to ask your friend’s high-school niece to help with your logo for $50. Or you might even be bold and try to design it yourself. Just don’t. Take it from us, we’ve seen many horror stories of over-zealous business owners who believe they’re saving a few bucks, only to later realize how ugly their brand is. The money you save isn’t worth it. Get your logo professionally designed, it’s one of the best decisions you can make for your business. And if you use Penji, it’ll only set you back $369.
Disclaimer: Ok we’re going to be plugging ourselves a bit in this section. You certainly don’t have to choose Penji to do your logo, but it’s the most affordable and best option for small businesses, and here’s why. Would you rather pay $300 – $1000 for a logo…and just the logo? Or would you rather pay $369/m and get your logo, business cards, flyers, T-shirts, brochures, marketing materials all done? Penji’s on-demand graphic design model is made for small businesses that are budget conscious and want the best bang for their bucks.
Yes, it’s literally $369/month for unlimited graphic design projects. That means anything and everything your new business needs, you can request from Penji for just $369/month. 15 day-money back guarantee. And you can cancel anytime.
How to get your logo professionally designed
Time: 1-2 days | Cost: $0 | Remaining budget: $496
You’re a fully registered business with a deep understanding of your brand. You’ve even got a kickass logo. The only thing you don’t have is an online presence. Listing your business online simply means registering your business on every social media and applicable websites possible in order to get your name out there and make it easier for people to find you. Even if your business doesn’t need a “following” to succeed, this step is crucial to develop an online presence and put your business on the map.
Why is this important? Makes it easier for customers to find your business and get yourself indexed online. The earlier you start this process the better. With enough patience, you can get through this in 1-2 days.
How do I list my business online? Have your logos, Brand messaging document, and an email (a regular non-domain email will do fine for now) address ready. Below is a list of all the websites that you should register your business on. The list is by no means comprehensive, so make sure to also do your own research and register your business on as many websites as you possibly can.
Should I pay to get my business listed? No. If a website asks for a fee, just skip and move on.
Business listing TEMPLATE (and how to use it): Here is a Template document with the list of websites you need to register your business on. When registering your business to these websites, they will ask for a lot of information. I’ve provided a template for you to use that should make your life easier. The top part of the template will contain all of your business information that you will need to copy/paste quite a lot. The bottom section will be a list of the websites to register. Fill it out as you see fit.
Find a mentor
Do not isolate yourself by working solo having your small business at home. There will be times you’ll need a professional to go to for some advice. Running a small business at home can prevent you from developing workplace relationships and doing face to face networking for new clients. Look for a mentor among your industry and make connections. Push yourself to get out of the house regularly for lunch or meet with prospective clients or mentors for coffee. Make it a point from time to time to make a phone call instead of sending an email or text. These relationships can take time to build, but it’s worth it.
Give your small business at home a shot at success. Many small business owners succeed because they’ve identified their talent or skill in a particular department to cover that market. This may sound easy, but for most people, this is actually the hardest part. Think of a concept, product or service that will generate a steady stream of income. You should create a plan that puts your knowledge, experience and skills to use in the most profitable way possible. Once you settle on an idea, research the marketplace to see how similar businesses have managed.
Conduct market research on your industry and talk to your target customers to find out your small business at home’s potential. Ask experts questions about launching a small business at home. Reach out to professionals that can help you with certain areas of business.You need to know your target market before you try to sell to them. This is an important step in any advertising strategy whether it be on or offline. Define an aspect of your brand that you can keep referring back to, to study the needs and wants of your audience. The right placement of your ad is just as important as purpose. Knowing when your audience is most receptive to your ad campaign will save you time, money and energy. Again, this may involve research and digging in to your target demographic. Ads aren’t just pretty writing, they involve planning.
Entrepreneurs may differ on the importance of a business plan or on what form it should take. But a good business plan is key to your small business at home success. Profit is the ultimate goal of any successful small business. You should examine your small business’ expenses and then figure out how much you will need to sell to cover those costs and start generating a profit. This is known as a break-even analysis. Now that you know where you want your goals to take you, writing a business plan will help you get there. Your business plan will also help you refine your mission, vision, and direction before you become focused on day-to-day business operations.
Once your game plan is set it’s time to add up how much it will cost. Factor in every business expense necessary to be up and running. It’s better to be over prepared than short on funds when the invoices start rolling in. When you are thinking of the cost to start a small business at home, don’t forget about your home budget. Lay your expenses out in order of which ones you must pay, like your mortgage, to ones that can slide if the money runs out, like miscellaneous bills. Once you have a grasp on all your expenses, start to create a business budget. Before anything, go over all of your options before putting your money into your small business at home. Make sure this is something you can financially pursue.
There is no longer a need to open a store to reach retail customers thanks to the world wide web. Your site should be a space that welcomes customers, whether they are existing, new, or potential. Showcase the value of you of what your small business at home can offer potential customers. Visitors to your site make judgments on your business within the first few seconds of arriving at your website. Vibrant colors, imaginative designs, and even spelling and grammar impact impressions of your small business at home. You should devote a portion of your marketing budget to hiring a graphic design service to create the visuals for your home business’ website.
Search Engine Optimization is a major key element behind every winning marketing for your small business at home. Generate beneficial backlinks by working with news outlets and similar brands to share links to your product via reviews. Use a free SEO plugin with your content system to help guide you to optimized web pages including headlines, meta descriptions, and photo tags. These tasks are absolutely free to you or your small business at home. They help your business acquire new customers looking for terms related to your product or services.
You must be disciplined. Never blur the lines of your home and your business. It’s easy to get drawn into work filling every waking hour. Manage your time well and be a self-starter. Running a small business at home is one thing, but to run a small business at home is a different challenge itself. Set daily work hours and do your best to adhere to them. That’s easier said than done, but burnout will do nothing to boost your business.
With any small business at home, comes a plethora of risk. It’s best to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. Consider keeping your job and main source of income until your business can replace that, or ensure you have enough savings to cover any gaps in income you may experience. Create a sizable nest egg of several months of your basic living expenses is a good guide to follow. Take your monthly cost and multiply it by six to figure out what needs to be saved. Now is the time to sit down and make a rough estimate. Many new businesses take longer to start and cost more than anticipated. This is why it is essential to make a real commitment to your small business.
The first year of your small business at home is critical. You must find ways to adapt as the business grows and take on new challenges. Prepare yourself for the time that growth requires you to move the business out of your home and into an office space. After the rush of a small business at home launch and the initial influx of curious customers, many small businesses don’t expand anymore than where they are. Any business, big or small, must constantly adapt to changing market conditions. New small business at home tools and sales opportunities will appear in order for your business to continue to grow and prosper. The only thing you have to do for your small business at home is keep up.
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