Good startup ideas are everywhere. Nowadays, you can create a business in a matter of seconds. The internet helped companies expand their market and audience worldwide. Online companies have no limits. It looks more accessible than ever to plan your future business from your living room’s couch; however, there are some challenges you might not foresee. Did you ever think about all the challenges you could face when starting a business at home?
2020’s quarantines gave everyone plenty of free time. For many people, this meant the opportunity to create new business ideas for making a living. But even if your startup ideas are fantastic, there’s a big difference between having a great idea and building a viable home startup that’s sustainable over time.
According to a Fortunly report, 71% of businesses fail within ten years. You should know starting a new business is scary and dangerous – especially if it’s your first time. It takes hard work, willingness, some sleepless nights, and lots of planning. With that said, there are ten steps you can follow to start a successful business and bring your startup to life.
10 Steps on How to Start a Business at Home
This last year forced everyone into isolation, and time in solitude helps you have great ideas. So, why don’t you stop for a few minutes and start thinking about turning your ideas into reality?
1. First Great Idea
The first step to building a startup from home is to ask yourself the following question: what is a need that people have that no product satisfies?
Successful businesses come from ideas that satisfy the specific needs of their audience. That’s how they become essential for customers. But as easy as it may sound to think about a problem no business can solve, it’s pretty demanding to think of the solution. That’s why you’ll have to find a problem, create a solution, and test it.
Your idea doesn’t always have to be a new one. You can help your customers by creating a new startup out of existing products or services. You could add a new feature, improve the products’ appearance, or find other uses for people to try. There are no limits to the type of business you can create. But a good first step is starting with a great idea.
2. Have a Business Plan
Once you’ve had an idea, the next step is to create a business plan.
Preparing a business plan can often be one of the heaviest tasks of building a startup; however, it’s indispensable you take the time to do it to help your business’ progression and strengthening. Plus, you’ll have an official document that specifies your business’ operations in more detail.
So, what should this plan include? Your business plan will be the written description of your company’s future. The main aim is to describe what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. In it, you’ll determine your product and services in detail, including information on your industry, operation, finances, and market analysis. Ask yourself, where will you find the money to cover the investment you need to make?
According to a Small Business Trends repòrt, 36% of people who start businesses with a business plan obtain loans. That’s because banks usually give more loans to companies that can clearly explain how they’re using the money. So, keep this step as one of your top priorities since writing your plan down will help you finance it in the future.
3. Secure Funding for your Business
Did you know 82% of businesses fail due to cash-flow problems?
You don’t want to be one of them. So, first, you need a financial plan. It should include a balance sheet, sales forecast, and a rough prediction of profit and loss. With all these, you’ll know how much funding you need to start your business, and that’s when you start asking for help.
The costs of building a startup are much higher than people initially think (and different for every business owner). As a newbie entrepreneur, you may need a financial plan to secure funding and cover your startup costs. However, one of the advantages of building a business from the comfort of your home is that it eliminates office-related expenses. In some cases, this would mean an excellent cut on the initial investment.
No matter how expensive your startup becomes, you should always welcome financial help – from friends, angel investors, venture capitalists, or bank loans. Find the exact amount of money you’ll need through research and realistic predictions so that your financial plan is credible. This will increase your chances of getting people to lend you money or invest in your idea. And once you’ve secured your funding, you can proceed!
4. Find the Right People for Your Startup
Without the right people, businesses can hardly succeed. Employees are the driving force behind a company. Therefore, you should learn how to select candidates carefully.
The COVID-19 pandemic and technology’s continuous innovation helped the world establish remote work as the leading work modality. Still, many people remain unprepared to work from home. And let’s be honest, you wouldn’t want to hire unprepared workers.
For example, if you had a technology business, you would have to hire software developers. But if you don’t know how to evaluate candidates, how would you hire them? You could start by understanding the best strategies to employ and assess developers (as the problem is not often in evaluating them but in finding them).
It’s no simple job to find new employees. But when following remote hires, you’ll find several differences with onsite processes. Once you start your remote research, you’ll find several challenges on the way; that’s why you should learn how remote hiring works. You need to understand the theory to implement it in real scenarios.
So, focus on understanding every role you need. Set the job and its responsibilities so candidates understand what they should accomplish. Learn how hiring processes work and apply it to your searches to find the right employees for your new startup.
5. Surround yourself with the right people
Not even the most intelligent person in the world could build a business from scratch on his own. Creating a new startup from home is challenging, and you cannot do it on your own. People need help to bring projects to life. Employees can help you once the company is already on track. But what about the previous months until you establish your startup?
You’ll need to surround yourself with good people – besides the employees you hire. People’s advice is crucial to help you handle the risks involved in building a new startup. That’s why you need advisors! Advisors will guide you through your new path, and they’ll help you distinguish good choices from bad ones. But you’ll have to trust them.
The “right people” can be attorneys, certified public accountants, insurance professionals, and bankers. Look for trained people to fill these roles. And try to avoid selecting friends or family to deal with these issues. It’s best to keep only professional relationships when it comes to business issues.
6. Analyze all the Legal Steps
Building your dream business can be a lot of fun. But before you start coordinating the pleasurable stuff, you’ll want to ensure your success through the proper legal steps, including:
- Applying for a business license
- Registering your startup’s name
- Getting a federal tax ID number
- Filing for a trademark
- Creating your business bank account
- Getting to know industry regulations
- Setting contracts for employees, clients, and others you plan to work with
Focus on getting all these steps right to prevent regulations from creating nonsense problems.
7. Create an Online Presence
Traditionally, you had to establish a physical office or space where all your employees could work daily. But the world has changed. Now, businesses don’t need a shared space to work successfully.
A businesses’ online presence is more important than ever. Every startup that aims to perform successfully worldwide needs to build a reliable online company and – in many cases – an e-commerce platform to reach many customers.
Think about it this way. Where would you look for a new product or service you need? Of course, the internet! Websites benefit businesses in many ways. With a website, your company is available 24/7, on weekends and holidays; it can reach customers worldwide. Clients can leave their reviews about your service to help you understand your weaknesses and improve upon them.
8. Create a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is crucial for your new startup since you’ll need it to advertise your business’ products or services. It can help you determine your target market, how to reach them, and what price point your product should be sold.
There are many advantages to building a marketing plan. It will help you establish a brand identity in the market, create different ways to stand out from your competitors, and build loyal and trustworthy relationships with your customers.
Social media platforms should be your starting point. These are a great way to engage customers. When creating your marketing plan, you can include different content in your social media profiles and reach more people. It can also help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, which is an excellent way to be recognized as a reliable business.
Find more online home business ideas to grow on marketing here.
9. Build a Customer Base
A customer base is the group of people who will repeatedly purchase your product or service. They are your primary source of income for your business. So, you’ll have to keep them engaged.
Building a customer base is the step where you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of your previous decisions (or previous actions if you followed this guide). And the truth is, your customer’s needs are your top priority. Through fulfilling them, you’ll be able to grow your business and its audience.
But how can you retain them? Here are some ideas to help your customers engage with your new startup:
- Look for ways to attract customers regularly. People love innovation. So, avoid sticking to a strategy over time to prevent customers from getting bored. Constantly create new ways to market.
- Build a culture. Determining your business culture and beliefs could help your audience understand your identity and connect with it.
- Build a strong customer service team. Your customer’s success depends on you. So, build a strong, qualified team that can deal with any kind of customer.
- Ask for feedback. To improve, you need to know your weaknesses. So encourage people to tell you how they feel about your business. As Ken Blanchard once said: “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
Ready to Start Your Business?
You’ll have to face the ups and downs when starting a business from home. Once you insert yourself into the entrepreneurial world, you’ll have to prepare for everything. And mistakes are inevitable, so don’t be too harsh on yourself and stay away from guilt if you plan to become a business owner.
Employees come and go. Focus on building qualified teams to carry out the business with you. Build strong relationships that can help your startup perform successfully and attract customers. Imagine customers can see everything that happens on the inside of your business.
Take this journey step by step, carefully and in detail. There’s no rush. And remember, the more you get things right from the start, the less you’ll have to improve in the future.
Abril Lombardi is an SEO copywriter and content editor for DistantJob. Based on her studies on communications and her passion for real-life stories, she became a journalist and an expert on experienced-based reports. As a brand-new remote worker, she focuses on online work guides and digital nomad´s lifestyles.