COVID-19’s effects are widespread and devastating, with the nation’s population and the economy hit hard. Though data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% in 2021. It remains higher than the pre-COVID rate. However, the sudden job market decline instigated by the pandemic motivated many to pursue dreams of independence through entrepreneurship. Especially those beginning new home-based businesses. Just how hard is it to getting a home-based startup off the ground?
This is demonstrated in the statistics, with 2020 boasting the creation of over 4.4 million new startups. As the country emerges from the worst of the pandemic. You too may wish to try your hand at shaking off the chains of the normal nine-to-five job. If so, there are certain essential steps you need to take.
1. Research and Ponder
People may tell you that your business cannot succeed unless it involves your passion. These people are not wrong, but they neglect to mention that passion is not all that’s necessary. A business idea still needs to be feasible or it will flop. No matter how much hope and effort you funnel into it.
Clearly outline your potential products or services. Then StartUpGuys.net suggests asking questions about them. Is your idea unique? If it is similar to an existing one, did you add your own special flourish to make it stand out? Is there a market for your offerings in the area you plan to set up shop in or in online communities? How much competition is there? Is your service or goods sustainable in the long run? Do you have the skill and materials needed for production or access to them?
Run your plans by friends and family. Get input from online social media boards such as Reddit. Create polls using free tools like Kahoot. Ask acquaintances who you know have succeeded for their opinion and tips. Use competitor analysis tools to help you perform a competitive analysis.
2. Outsource Work
There is no shame in contracting with experts. Nobody is perfect at everything. Putting together a well-rounded team of professionals can only strengthen getting a home-based startup off the ground.
Look for freelance content creators, web designers, accountants and other workers online. Post on job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. Search on social media such as LinkedIn for people that match your needs.
3. Protect Your Data
Starting up and running a business from home requires a whole new set of technology. From hardware (computer, printer, monitors) to software. Be sure you have cyber security measures in place for data protection and recovery. The last thing you want is to allow cyber attacks like malware and viruses to expose valuable data. Especially if you’re taking customer or client payments and have their personal information. No matter if in the cloud or on your hard drive.
4. Pick a Good Business Entity
When getting a home-based startup off the ground, you can decide between four entities. Sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership or corporation. Forming an LLC offers you benefits, including less personal liability, tax perks, flexibility and reduced paperwork. However, before proceeding, check the rules in your state. The laws surrounding entity formation vary from location to location. If you don’t have the time or inclination for this legwork but don’t feel like spending extra money on a lawyer. A formation service may be more affordable option. Also read Quick Tips on Streamlining Your Business Launch
One of your most valuable tools for finding out about possible clients, funding, suppliers and general information is networking. Attend live and virtual events. Contact old acquaintances, even if you haven’t connected since high school or college. Utilize social media and other web tools to find their contact information.
Develop an effective marketing plan. Hire a marketing professional to help develop your brand and online presence. Take advantage of digital marketing tools. Compressing images you use as marketing material or send to designers to JPG files makes emailing them easier. This may degrade image quality, so consider using a JPG-to-PDF converter. Which better preserves quality and can be used to convert multiple JPG files into a single PDF file.
Starting a home-based business is not easy. However, perseverance, careful thinking and checking off the essentials will help you on the way to success.