There are loads of possible motives for wanting to start your own business from home. From extra cash (if you are thinking of a side hustle) to turning your back on the 9 - 5 and being independent! Maybe you want to make a difference by offering a service to your community.
The benefits are stacked. Zero commute time, more control over your day and the hours that you work and no office politics (or managers) to navigate.
Of course, there are drawbacks to starting a small business and working for yourself, the main one being the risk. Working for an established business comes with the benefits of static monthly income and perks such as sick pay. Working for yourself means fluctuating income, long hours and considerable amounts of blood, sweat and tears.
The rewards if your business idea flourishes into a profitable business out-way the risks. That combined with all of those glorious pros that we discussed, such as picking your children up from school, making a real difference every day.
If you are thinking about starting up your own business then chances are your DNA contains more than a few entrepreneurial strands, to begin with. If you are passionate, independent and motivated then give it a go, you may regret it if you don’t.
So, what business should you start? If you are struggling with ideas or need a flash of inspiration then hopefully we can help.
Ecommerce with stocked products entails setting up a website with a website builder and then selling products that you have in your home or garage. These could be products that you make yourself or that you buy in bulk and sell on at a profit.
Alternatively, you could set up a dropshipping business, again, setting up a website but then rather than have to physically ship the stock you purchase the product directly from a third party such as the supplier or manufacturer or even another retailer and they ship the products directly to the customer.
Dropship Order Flow
You get an order
You forward the order to your supplier
The supplier fulfils the order and ships the product to your customer
If you are a startup e-commerce retailer then opting for a dropshipping model limits the risk of overbuying stock and managing inventory.
Choosing a product to sell
It’s a good idea to try and find a niche product to start selling, something that won’t have tons of searches on google that you stand a good chance of getting customers coming to your site to buy.
Alternatively opt for a product that is in high demand, that everybody needs but be aware that competitive pricing will be key. It only takes a few clicks to get your eCommerce store up and running at a relatively low cost in comparison to a bricks and mortar store.
If you are going to be selling goods via a stall or shop as well as online then have a think about low cost payment systems here (card readers and point of sale systems).
Great at English? Put your writing, spelling and grammatical talents to good use and create a business based on your skillset. Again, setting up a website showcasing your best creative or commercial writing is a must and it’s also a great idea to invest in some proofreading or content writing courses to ensure you are going to be delivering a standup service.
To get started why not reach out to some businesses and offer to write some content for their websites for free? If they publish your content be sure to ask if you can use this on your portfolio/website to entice future customers.
What is affiliate marketing I hear you cry? It’s a popular way of earning money online. It’s important to do your research though and really understand how to make money out of this online business model. Affiliate marketing basically means that you earn a small commission for promoting someone else’s business or product.
So, first steps? Build your own site using a website builder, apply to affiliate partners such as Affiliate Window or Trade Doubler and start earning. The biggest challenge? Traffic numbers.
To really start earning you need really high volumes of traffic hitting your site and then clicking through your affiliated links. Check out one of our most popular blogs to learn about optimising your site to make the most of organic (free) traffic.
Creative? Find yourself constantly finding the best shot in any photographic opportunity? Maybe you should turn that flair into a profitable business. That’s not to say hobbies and businesses aren’t very different beasts, but if you can hone your interests into a profitable business model - well then you are winning! A drawback to starting a photography or videography business is the outlay costs on equipment.
To make this a successful venture ensure you have an optimised online portfolio to showcase your creative talents to potential customers. You can find out the best ways to build a video portfolio here.
Finding a service that people want and then delivering this service well and consistently is a solid business model. To find a service that suits your personality and skill set look at your experience, talents and skills.
Are you passionate about decorating your home and keeping up with trends? Do you love garden design? Is cleaning more of a passion than a chore? Find what interests you and go from there. If you are going to be providing a local service make sure that you optimise your website for local search. You can read more about SEO and the best ways to do that here.
Top Service Idea for Small Businesses
Some questions to test if your idea translates into a viable and profitable business model are below;
Is there a market for the business idea you have in mind?
Are there enough potential customers for your idea to be profitable?
What will your overheads be? (website, marketing, laptop, software, equipment?)
It’s a great idea to conduct real market research. Ask people that you know, post on social media and engage feedback for your idea.
It’s a great idea to protect your business idea once you have it. If your business if very unique it may be worth exploring if you need to patent it. Apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the Patent Office) to patent your business idea once you have it in stone!
It pays to do a worldwide patent search beforehand to ensure someone else doesn’t already have your business idea.
Starting a business from home should always incorporate an online strategy to allow you to reach your customers effectively. From a website to making the most of social channels, you need to ensure that your small business is digitally optimised. Use Business Tech Service to support you through the startup stages of your business, picking the right software, equipment and tech, we are impartial, independent and committed to giving startup the best advice we can.
Check out our website builder guide for a better understanding of which website builder is best for you.
What's next? Have a read of our 6 tips when starting your own business for a quick 10 minute read on the critical elements needed for any new business idea to be successfully built into a successful small business.