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You might regularly dream of running your own business and being your own boss. Imagine: you have no one to respond to, you can make the decisions, and you benefit directly from the fruits of your labor.
Interestingly, this home work season could be the perfect time to start a side business. 65 percent of Americans say they are more productive and 27 percent say they work more hours from home.
Related: Convert Inquisitive Customers: How To Market Your New Business
This is great for employers, but it can also be great for employees looking to start their own business. When you work from home, you can manage your own hours without anyone looking over your desk. This means that you will save time commuting. Additionally, higher productivity can mean that you can maintain your job responsibilities in less time.
No longer have the excuse to say that you don't have the time to explore business ideas and get them off the ground. Working from home creates the perfect environment for the leap into entrepreneurship. On the flip side, starting a business that primarily confines itself to your home also has its challenges. Here are some tips on how to do it successfully.
1. Do user research in your spare time
As with any business idea, you want to research the market and customer needs. When starting a subscription wine business, you want to know how many consumers you can potentially reach and whether they really want your product.
Understanding the market size can come from internet research. However, how can you talk to customers when you are at home? In today's environment, you probably won't go to the nearby wine store and ask consumers what they think.
Instead, you can find target customers online. Ashwinn Krishnaswamy launched an alternative hemp-based cigarette called Oklahoma Smokes. To find customers, he posted interview requests on Craigslist and Reddit in exchange for his product. He also found potential customers on Instagram through direct messages posting hashtags related to smoking cessation.
In total, Ashwinn was connected to 300 potential customers. He learned in-depth insights into how potential users perceived his product and why, for example, oral restraint was important to them. This not only gave him ideas on how to build and position his brand, but also gave him the conviction that his idea could be successful.
Fortunately, this research can all be done in your free time from home.
Related: 3 Reasons a Strong Purpose is a Good Business Idea
2. Build with no-code platforms
With digital businesses, you might get stopped because you have no idea how to start building a product. Finding a tech-savvy co-founder is difficult, especially if you are only in the concept phase. Tech leads tend to focus on opportunities that have more traction.
Working with a development business is an option, but it can be expensive. Costs and scope can increase slightly, and ongoing logistics can then prove difficult. You might think about how to code, but like most skills, it takes time to become proficient. This can be unrealistic on top of your daily work and business planning.
Instead, you can use a no-code platform to launch an initial version of your product. You can open an online store using Squarespace of Shopify. With tools like AppyPie you can create a mobile app with features like user management and push notifications. Although these apps take time to learn, you can get your product to market quickly and inexpensively from home.
As a solo show trying to start a business on the side, there's only so much you can do. How do you conduct market research, find prospects, build a product, and produce marketing collateral while managing a full-time job? It is a difficult, if not impossible, task.
It's an option to use your savings and hire people to help make your vision come true, but it's expensive. More importantly, it is risky before starting your new business.
Fortunately, there are numerous marketplaces for finding freelance talent. In TextBroker you can join a network of writers who can help you create content, and in Upwork you can find everyone from virtual assistants to data scientists who can work on a contract basis.
If marketing is a challenge, consider hiring a marketing agency for a month. While you keep them, they can help you scale guest publishing efforts or get your product to market.
Working with a freelancer or agency requires some capital investment, but you have the flexibility to hire short term and remotely. In addition, you outsource your workload and acquire specialist knowledge.
Related Topics: Connect The World To Your Vision: 5 Expert Tips To Brand Your New Business
4. Strive for productivity
Starting a business takes time and commitment. Although you will have more free time while working from home exploring new business opportunities, it may feel like you never have enough time. There are always thousands of things to do.
To increase productivity, clearly schedule the time for your regular work, family life, and business endeavors. Mark on your calendar when you spend time on your normal job and new business. This will help you meet your family's expectations when you have to focus on work, and it will make you responsible for spending time on entrepreneurship.
Recklessly prioritize your work and your company. Keep your manager updated on your progress and priorities at work on a regular basis. That alone will make you stand out as a great employee. For your own business endeavors, focus on what is big enough to play a role. You can do thousands of things, but identify the ones that make a real difference.
You have nothing to lose
Working from home offers a unique window of opportunity to start a business on the side that will hopefully grow into a full-time position. There is little risk of trying while keeping your day job.
Use these strategies to get a simple version of your product into the hands of customers as soon as possible and start learning.
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