So you’ve got a business idea and you think #momboss has a nice ring to it, right? You’re excited to bring it to fruition, and there are so many ideas swimming around your head that it’s hard to keep them organized.
That was definitely me. I had started a blog once before, but this time I was finally ready to move out of the hobby phase.
Figuring out what your next step should be can easily turn overwhelming. Soon, you start to ask yourself if you’ve got what it takes and if others will even find value in your business.
Sounds like you? Here are 8 things you need to do to finally start a small business from home.
Determine your purpose
We all have lightbulb moments, but the light flickers and fizzles out just as fast as it pops on. Know what I mean?
IF that light keeps buzzing then you may be on to something. Before you make your next move, figure out the purpose of your business. Why do you feel like this is a great idea? How did the idea come about? What does this mean to you? What problem is your business solving? Who are you trying to reach?
Knowing the purpose of your business is essential for developing a clear vision and effectively strategizing how to make it a reality. You wouldn’t walk into an interview and say that you applied simply because you need to make money, so don’t do it with your business. No one is going to buy into your idea if you don’t!
Research the market
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where there are so many people doing the exact same thing that there’s no room for you to be successful. Without properly researching if there’s a real need for your products and/or services, all of your hard work can be a waste.
Scope out your competition to see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Just because someone else has a similar idea, doesn’t mean that you have to completely scrap yours. How can you stand out and speak to a part of your targeted audience that the others may have neglected?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that there are a butt ton of mom blogs and a few dedicated to helping women manage their finances. However, not many were combining motherhood with careers and finances. I thought, Here’s my way in!
Although tempting, don’t burst into tears because you assume there’s a lack of market for your business. Think better, smarter, and faster.
Find a hole in the market, and climb through.
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Your business idea is kind of like your kid. You feel like it’s perfectly crafted, can do no wrong, and you don’t want anything messing with it. Truth is, it’s a dog eat dog world and you’ve got to stay ready for change.
Life as we know it is evolving at a rapid pace. Although it would be nice, technology and other advancements aren’t going to slow down and give us time to keep up. It’s vital to your success that you remain innovative and not get too attached to the “good ol’ days.” You’ve got to move with the cheese sister.
Take Apple for example. Sure, there are a lot of other technology companies that sell whatchamabobs, but far and few are as successful. Why? Because Apple is continuously evolving. They look for ways to be better, faster, and smarter, all while keeping their products user-friendly.
Apple stays ahead of the curve and takes their gadgets to a whole other level. I mean, we’re talking through watches now hello!
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Evaluate what is and isn’t working by testing different strategies. Your idea may have to be modified six times before it’s officially launched, but that means you’re learning and progressing.
You know when you think something is such a great idea, but when you run it by someone else they’re like yeahhh, no?!
Getting feedback adds tremendous value to your business, especially in the early days when you’re just trying to figure it all out. Others recommend things we may not have thought of and help us to fix what isn’t working.
If possible, try not to use your mom or your BFF who can’t bear to tell you something isn’t good. Get feedback from those who fit into your targeted audience and from those who can lend their expertise.
You want someone that will be brutally honest so that you can understand what works and what doesn’t. It may sting a little, but it’s only helping to fine-tune your business.
If you have products, use a small test group in which you offer your products in exchange for feedback. Do the same thing with your services, then evaluate the feedback you receive.
Were there any similarities amongst them all? What did they respond to the most? Did anything go unused?
Do a test-run before you hit the market so you are at the top of your game when you launch.
Evaluate your skill set
Evaluate your skill set to see which skills you possess and which skills you lack. This may require you to break apart your business to see what is needed to carry out each function.
For example, with my blog, I have to write and edit posts, promote them, take photos, create graphics and so on. If I completely sucked at creating graphics, I would employ the assistance of a graphic designer or take the time to work on improving those skills.
Don’t panic if you don’t have all of the skills you need. Successful businesses are made up of teams with various competencies. Determine if it would be best to outsource a pro or learn how to do something yourself.
How much time will it take?
Many of us moms already stretch ourselves thin, but trying to get an idea off the ground can turn you as flat as a piece of notebook paper. Don’t wait until your waist deep to realize that you don’t have the time you need to put into your business.
Instead, make determining how much time your business will need to be successful one of your first steps.
How long will it take to create your products? How much time do you need for your services? How is your schedule now and can you make any adjustments to fit in a new business venture?
With any business, you’re sure to have expenses and there are a number of different ways to find funding.
Personally, I’m using my own money at the moment which is called bootstrapping. I recommend starting out this way because you don’t have to worry about paying back any loans or proving to a lender that your idea is profitable.
If your own funds just aren’t going to cut it then taking out a loan is a popular option. Make sure you’re fully prepared to apply since your business is new. This means checking your credit score, gathering your bank statements, etc.
There are also small business grants available, and sites like Kickstarter allow entrepreneurs to raise money from supporters for their startups.
Click here to find more ways to fund your business!
Make it official
The most exciting part is making your business “official”. It really takes it from idea to reality, but you may be envisioning mounds of paperwork behind the process.
I was too, but I’ve learned that the process is pretty simple.
Get your business license and/or permits. Depending on your type of business, location, and needs, you may need a business license and/or permits.
Register your business name. To prevent anyone from using your business name, you’ll want to register the name of your business.
Open a business bank account. It’s important to separate your business and personal funds. Opening a business account will also make it a lot easier to prepare taxes and is great for keeping your business records organized.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to your business for identification purposes. This is not required unless you’re an LLC, corporation, form a partnership, or have employees. Otherwise, you can just use your social security number.
Believe in yourself!
Moms want to start a small business from home for a number of different reasons. Maybe you want the flexibility that comes with running your own show, or you’re in dire need of a creative outlet to offset the corporate world ????.
Whatever is lighting the fire beneath you, just remember that the first person that has to believe in you is yourself. We may all (including me) have to fail a few times to get one big win, but what’s life without lessons?