Have you ever been at work and thought, “What’s stopping me from giving up this job and starting my own home business?” Most likely, what’s stopping you is fear and uncertainty. Moving from working in an office to running your own business from home is a big step. But the best way to overcome your fear of the unknown is to gain knowledge.
1. Assess Your Skills
Take several days to consider what you know and what you can do. Are you good at math or English? Are you organized? Are you outgoing? Virtually anything you’ve learned or any talent you possess can be turned into a profit-making enterprise.
List your attributes and think about jobs where those traits are most useful. Consider unusual angles or combine the list items in imaginative ways to create a distinctive offering.
2. Fill a Void
Examine businesses with the same offerings as what you plan to sell. Look for similarities and differences between those businesses and yours. Most importantly, when you stack your business and their businesses together, what holes remain unfilled? A great place to focus your effort is to fill any voids you find. You don’t have to provide something completely new to fill the empty spaces. Offering a speedier service or higher quality goods will also fill a niche.
3. Figure Out Your Costs
Many businesses require specialized equipment. This area is one cost that everyone considers when planning the budget. But you have to consider other costs as well. Do you need training? Will you hire people? How do you plan to advertise? These questions must be answered early in the formation of your enterprise. Also, you have to plan ahead for taxes. The IRS may require you to estimate your future earnings and pay throughout the year based on your estimates.
4. Seek Help
One hurdle to starting a home business is that it’s impossible to know everything, especially business-related laws. Although you’re aware of your skills, you probably don’t know how to market them.
Fortunately, government agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration can help. Some businesses also provide great information. One such source is Amway, a multi-level marketing company that sells health, beauty, and home care products. Amway Connections offers educational suggestions for people planning to work from home, and you can find other professional associations to gain access to expert advice and specialized job lists.
5. Determine Your Profitability
It’s crucial to think realistically about what your ongoing costs will be. After you have an idea of what you’ll be spending to stay in business, you need to anticipate how much revenue you require to be profitable. You can measure your profitability in several ways. When you have determined the best method for your business, you can set your prices. This process can be tricky because you have to be accurate in your estimates, and your prices have to be competitive.
6. Dive In
What may be the hardest part of starting a home business is mustering the courage to simply do it. The fear of striking out on your own can be daunting. But beneath that fear are other feelings: liberation, confidence, and pride. Focus on these positive sensations to find the courage you need to take the first step. After all the preparation is behind you, the time comes to shake off that shackling trepidation and act.
Working for someone else generally has a measure of security to it. However, you know what you want to do and you know a need exists for what you’re offering. You’ve done your research, gathered your resources, and made all the necessary professional connections. It’s time to put your fears aside and act. No sense of pride or accomplishment you gain from working for someone else can ever come close to comparing with those feelings when you begin earning them for yourself.