By Gini Graham Scott
In these difficult times, more and more people are setting up home-based businesses. If you plan to so, here are some steps to do so to optimize your chances for success.
- Set up a dedicated space in your home for your work, where you can close the door, so you feel like you are going to work - and anyone else in your house will know this...
- Equip your work area with the necessary materials for your type of business. Visualize what you are going to be doing on a day to day basis, and create a list for what you need. Pare it down to the basic essentials if you have a limited budget. Then, when you go shopping, look for store specials, no-interest loans available from the store, discounts, and other retail incentives to keep down your costs.
- Create some boundaries with your family and friends, so they know you are working at certain times and don't distract you with non-work calls or questions. Explain that they should regard this work time and work space as for that purpose only, as if you were going to work in the office.
- Work out a schedule for when you will be checking your e-mails, such as every two or three hours, so you can concentrate on your work between making these e-mail checks. Let people know that if something is crucial and needs fast action to call you; otherwise they should contact you by e-mail. This way, you cut down on the distractions from too frequent e-mail checks and phone calls, so you have a solid block of time to work.
- Dedicate some time for marketing your product or service, including going to networking events. Allot about 2-3 hours a day for these efforts.
- Set up a Website for your business which looks professional. To keep your costs down, you can use a template service like Site Builder, where you can choose from several hundred Website formats; then customize it for your business. This way you don't have to start from scratch to build your Website.
- Feature the products or services you want to sell on your Website and make it easy to buy them, such as by setting up Amazon payments or PayPAl accounts, so people can easily click and pay. If possible, set up a merchant account with your bank, so people can pay you by credit cards as well.
- Create flyers, brochures, or catalog sheets about your products or services, and take some of them with you wherever you go, so you can give them out as appropriate to people you meet at networking events, business expos, or in your day to day activities.
- Look for opportunities to turn the conversation to what you are marketing; then if people are interested, give out your flyers, brochures, catalog sheets, or a business card, which includes your Website and email. You can order these materials inexpensively through a number of Internet companies, such as Vista Prints.
Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D. is the author of over 50 books and a seminar and workshop leader, specializing in work relationships and professional and personal development. Her latest books include Want It, See It, Get It and Enjoy! 101 Little Ways to Add Fun to Your Work Everyday, both from AMACOM
For more ideas on how to achieve what you want, you can see some chapters from my books Want It, See It, Get It (http://wantitseeitgetit.com). And to help you have fun doing this, see Enjoy: 101 Little Ways to Add Fun to Your Work Everyday (http://www.enjoythebook.com). Or you can order the book here