After a careful search I’ve come to realize that the dream of many of us who are online is to be self employed. We want to escape the office politics. We desire freedom to do our own thing and succeed doing so. Though many of us have this dream all along, the advent of the internet and the economic reality around the world today has made this dream of self employment a thing of urgency.
I don’t know about you but this is the reality for me. That is why I’m always seeking to understand what it takes to make this dream a reality for me. Already, the Small Business Administration (SBA) reports an estimate of 580,900 new small businesses being opened every year. Of course, this number does not include the self employed one-person entrepreneurships that pop up all the time, mostly online.
From their records the SBA, reports that two-thirds of these estimated 580,900 new businesses being started every year, survive at least two years and 44 percent survive at least four years. And of course the two key factors responsible for this survival and ability to thrive is the owner’s education level and reason for starting the firm in the first place. I do hope you’ll mark that!
Now, there are definitely thousands of legitimate home based businesses that any one who wants to be self employed can choose from. But the truth told is that your success in working from home does not depend solely on the home business opportunity you pick. This can be seen from the SBA report. You may have been told it is the best opportunity ever. But your success depends mostly on one person and that is YOU!
This therefore shows that if you must succeed as a self employed entrepreneur, there are specific steps you must take to realize your dream. This does not mean you’ve to understand everything before stepping out to start your own business. All you need is the basics and as you go along you simply need to build on what you know and dedicate yourself to learn more. So if you will truly want to join the group of the successful home business, self-employed entrepreneurs, all you need is to concentrate on answering the following questions. Get yourself a pen and a paper or create a blank note pad on your computer (if you’re more keen on using your computer) and provide answers to these questions.
Step 1: What Is Your Business?
This definitely is the first question you need to answer. But unfortunately it is a question that is not easy to answer for many. You must know that your business is not just your product or the service you offer. You should be able to define your business in the light of what benefit your product will give your customers. For example, think about the clothing business. When your customer buys a T-shirt their mind is not just on the T-shirt, they are buying an image, a feeling. So when you’re thinking of your business you need to be able to define your business in terms of what the business will offer your clients and customers. Think of convenience, comfort, peace of mind, self esteem etc. this will help you build a brand that will easily stand apart from your competitor’s.
Step 2: Who Is Your Market?
This is another crucial step that you must focus on. Having defined what your business is, you need to know who need what you’re offering. How much you know about your target audience is key to your business success. You need to know what they do, where they hang out, whether they are online or off-line, what television programs they watch and of course a few more things that will help you truly define your target market. If you’re able to correctly answer this question you’ll save yourself many a heartache when it comes to devising a marketing strategy.
Step 3: What Should Be Your Marketing Strategy?
Having known what your business (brand) is and who your consumer is, the next step is to determine how you’re going to reach them. If you’ve answered the first two questions above, the question of your marketing strategy will simply take care of itself. When you know where your customers hang out, you should be able to know where to advertise. Knowing who they are will determine the voice of your brand. And of course your knowledge of the market will help you set prices that are reasonable for your market demographic. It is reasonable however to find out where other businesses from your industry are already advertising as they would have tried and tested many options before settling with the ones they are using. And on how much to charge for your product or service, it is advisable to keep your charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many customers. Once you’ve been able to create a buzz and the word of mouth is in your favour you could then raise your fees.
Your dream of being self employed running your own business working at home can become a reality if you’ll focus on these areas. It is important to realize that you may make mistakes along the way but don’t let that deter you. Stay positive no matter what happens. Don’t beat ourselves up. Count it as an experience you can learn from. Besides learning from your own example, seek advice from those who have done it. Read books written by self employed entrepreneurs who have braced the odds and have succeeded in their own businesses. You too can make it.