Do you have a passion or a hobby that you could develop into a business? Or do you have a special talent that could bring joy to others? Maybe it never occurred to you, but people might be willing to pay for your special skills.
If you have a business idea and a passion, why not give it a go? Setting up a business online has never been easier. You can start and run a company at home using only your laptop and mobile phone. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Try it out with your friends and family
Have you ever thought of turning your passion into a business? Before making the final decision, it’s good to first give it a try by testing out your business idea with a test group.
Gather your friends and family, and introduce your idea to them or let them test the actual end product or service. Collect feedback, and improve your business idea based on this data.
This way, you won’t just learn whether people find your product or service useful – you’ll also get an idea of how much work executing your business idea takes and what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. You can then decide if you want to pursue your business idea further.
What other talents do you have?
Are you a good photographer? Do you like to write? Are you familiar with social media and knowledgeable about building large networks (for example, in Facebook groups)? All these skills are an advantage when you start raising awareness and visibility for your company. Taking pictures, writing blog posts and sharing them on social media will help you market your business.
Find your ideal customer
It’s always smart to define your ideal customer before getting started. In marketing, this is called “buyer persona”, and it helps you to better understand your ideal customers’ behaviour and what they like and appreciate. Buyer personas help you to adjust your offer to fit the needs of your ideal customer and to market your product in a way that appeals to the right audience.
Build your audience
Find out on which social media channels your ideal customers spend their time and how they behave there. This helps you direct your attention to the right places and find the best ways to reach them.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your story and your company. Think about your core message and what you want to say about your business. Keep the message simple and easy to grasp. This will be your pitch to help you convince people both online and offline.
A “pitch” might have a very start-upy ring to it, but you’ll likely need one even if you’re not running a start-up. Its purpose isn’t just to raise money and convince investors, but also to tell people what you do, why you do it and why they should be interested. It helps you crystallise the essence of your business. If you don’t know the value of your business, how will others see it?
Set the prices right
Setting your prices is key to building a successful business. Plan your pricing carefully – don’t just guess. Research the general price level in the market and make clear calculations.
Finding the right price level can be tricky. Be careful that your work is neither too expensively priced nor priced too low. If your prices are too low, you run the risk of not being able to cover all your business costs, not to mention getting yourself a proper pay.
The price always carries a promise of the quality of the work which makes careful pricing even more important. Low prices may suggest poor quality.
Follow up: what works and what doesn’t?
It’s good to check regularly on how your business is doing. Is your business making enough profit? Are your earnings in proportion to how much work and other resources you have invested in your business?
You may find that one part of your business is more profitable than another. By keeping track of the development of your business, you’ll be able to improve your product or service and keep your business afloat.
Don’t get stuck – enjoy your freedom
Never forget the freedom that comes with entrepreneurship. You are an entrepreneur because you want to, not because you are forced to.
As you go along, you might find that there’s room for change. Maybe you discover that you’re good at something you didn’t expect or that there’s more demand for another type of business idea – or you might just feel like you’re stuck doing the same old thing.
One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is the freedom to modify and develop your business on your own terms. Whether you’re an entrepreneur working from home or a part-time freelancer, you are free to welcome changes as you see fit.
I started my own business part time when my passion for yoga grew and I finally became an instructor myself. Although I had a day job, I wanted to work with yoga. For me, the best solution was to keep yoga, my passion, as a side business. I’ve been doing this for three years now, and although maintaining two jobs feels hard sometimes, after every class I know I’ve made the right decision. At the end of the class, when I see my students glow with smiles on their faces, I know I’m in the right place.