Last updated June 2016
Working from home with flexible working hours and being own boss has been a dream for many people across the globe. However, to make it happen requires you to have a rigorous plan in place. Working from home usually has two dimensions. Firstly, working for an employer and getting a salary. Secondly, running a business from home and making money. This article will focus on the steps necessary to run a business from home.
You need to find out what you are good at. Are you good at writing journalistic articles? Do you have a passion and patience for selling things online? This stage is very important as it will decide on what type of home business you are going to embark upon. A SWOT analysis may be useful in self-auditing.
In this stage, you need to decide what you want to do. For the purpose of this article, let us say, you have decided to sell some stuff online. To do this in the UK, you should be in self-employment or have a private limited company.
What are you going to sell exactly? Who are the target audience (customers)? You need to be specific, as trying to sell anything and everything may not be very effective. For example, you would like to sell skirts and trousers to female customers.
You need to decide who the suppliers are for your business. Are you going to buy skirts and trousers from a supplier to resell to your customers? Or, are you going to make skirts and trousers by yourself? Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
Decide what methods of payment you would like to use. Many customers feel comfortable to pay online via PayPal. So, opening a PayPal account may be a good idea.
You need to decide what sales channels are you going to use. You can sell your products through your own website. However, it will be much easier to trade through eBay, Amazon etc. However, remember both eBay and Amazon will charge you for using their platforms.
Finally, start the business and review your performance. Have a plan for three to six months. After the stipulated period, review your performance.
More and more people are engaged and or showing interest to be involved in some kind of home-based business. This trend seems to continue to grow because of the freedom that comes with it. However, as mentioned above, hard work and a very good plan are necessary in order to be successful in any kind home-based business.
Edwards, P., Edwards, S. & Economy, P. (2010) Home-based Business For Dummies, 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons
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Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.