Statistics indicate that "home-based businesses" are the fastest growing portion of the U.S. economy and since the U.S. sets the global business trends, it means that most of the computer literate world will soon follow this trend. It has been predicted that in the next decade, up to 75 percent of the world's working population will work from their own homes.
As more and more people think about starting a home business it is imperative to know the areas you need to research when starting your first online business. Here are a few basic guidelines:
1. Evaluate your talents and skills
Start by evaluating your areas of expertise. What are you good at and more important what do you enjoy doing? Do you have good communication skills? Are you creative?
Do something you enjoy doing and are excited about. Remember, this home business is going to be your means of support, so you should choose a niche that is exciting to you. If you are having fun with your home business, you will be more likely to stick with it through the rough times. If you are passionate about your business, your excitement will show and it will not be difficult to get your customers enthusiastic about your products or services.
2. Do your market research
Before you start your home business, do a thorough research of your market and your competition. A good guide would be to ask yourself these questions:
- What product or service are you planning to sell?
- Who wants your product or service... Who will be your "typical" customer or client?
- What are the particular trends in the industry of your choice?
- Is there a need for your product or service? Is your niche already saturated?
- How will you market your business? Research the effectiveness of various types of marketing techniques.
- How will you set yourself apart from your competition?
3. Research your competition.
Who is your competition? How and what they are doing? What aspects of their business can you improve on? It is very likely that they have made mistakes along the way - learn from their mistakes. If you can find a service your competition does not offer where you can solve people's problems, web visitors will most likely use your business as opposed to that of your competition.
4. Design your website
Your website should be unique and must effectively describe your services or products. Create a website that is easy to navigate with clear and precise instructions and full of valuable information.
It is not difficult to build a website today. You can use easily available resources and tools, like low cost website templates, free or inexpensive authoring software and affordable programs that will show you how to quickly and easily build and design a website.
People surf the internet searching for information. If your website is a good source of useful, well written information, it will attract a wealth of visitors that are targeted to your website's theme.
5. Get your business listed free in the search engines
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, AOL, Alta Vista are great way to drive lots of customers to your website. It would be savvy to learn basic "search engine optimization", as search engines are one of the primary sources of getting targeted visitors to any website.
Learn how to build and market your home business at a pace that is comfortable to you. Don't be in a hurry. Allocate time to obtaining a proper online home business education and marketing training before you launch your website; it will help you to avoid many of the pitfalls made by the majority of home based business newcomers and help to fulfill your dream of building a successful and profitable home business.