Making the decision to start a business is easy. The challenge lies in what you are going to do next. There are a number of important issues that you must address as a home business owner if you want your business to have a chance to succeed and turn a consistent profit.
Some of what a business must do is obvious, other things are often not realized until too late after time and money have been lost.
Whether you are just starting out, or simply not yet getting the results you’d hoped for, start by answering the following questions to help you think through how your home business will operate and succeed:
1. What are you going to sell?
An obvious question, but not an easy one. One minute you are declaring, “I want to be a business owner!” and the next minute you are asking yourself, “But what business should I start?”
Anybody can sell anything, potentially, but what are you actually qualified to sell? What knowledge do you have, or can you get, that relates to your product? Why should people come looking to you for it? What do you really want to do?
2. Who is going to buy It from you?
You don’t just sell to ‘people’. You cannot sell to anyone and everyone. You sell to a target audience who is interested in your product and has the means to pay for it. Not everyone will be. How will you identify your market? How will you separate them from the crowd? What do you call those who would use your product? Where will you find them?
3. How will You Contact Potential Customers?
All marketing plans require a vehicle to reach potential customers. What form of advertising will you choose? How will that reach your market? What resources do you have for advertising? Will you pay to contact others’ lists or create your own list of potential buyers? How will you attract others to you?
4. How Will You Present Your Product?
Even after you attract others to your business, you still need to present your product to them. Just because they are there does not guarantee they will buy from you. What benefits are you offering them? What problems does your product solve? How can you showcase these benefits and solutions? What can you do to associate with your potential customers and gain their trust? What will make them want to buy products from you?
5. How Will You Follow Up With Your Contacts?
Great! People have looked at your product. How will you follow up with them from here? Can you automate that process? Can you offer more than one way to follow up with them? What incentives can you offer for potential customers and even current customers to stick around or buy from you again? What can you do to create a lasting interest?
6. How Will You Take Orders?
Will you get your own merchant account, or use third party billing services? How will you deliver your product to people? What guarantees will you offer? What confirmation will they get after purchase?
7. How Will You Handle Customer Support And Service?
After the sale, what are you willing to do for your customers? Do they need follow up support on your products or future updates? How will you handle refunds if necessary? What systems are in place for them to contact you with questions or problems?
Too often inexperienced home business owners start out without covering each of the seven areas listed above. Taking the time to answer each of these questions with regard to your business positions you in reach of your ultimate goal — consistent profits.
For more information, read the following:
- 80 Business Challenges Facing Small Businesses
- 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business
- Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a Business
- How to Build an Exceptional Business
- 10 Key Questions You Need to Ask Before Starting a Business