The growing number of home-based businesses makes it clear: people are looking for a change in their work environment, whether it’s to make more money, have more flexibility, be in control of their own future, or for some other reason. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that nearly 90% of these businesses will fail—most within the first year. The rest succumb within the first two years of opening. What is different about the 10% that succeed? What key factors allow one business to flourish while others flounder?
No one goes into business expecting to fail. Most entrepreneurs are optimistic and hope that their business venture will succeed. However, rather than simply hoping that all goes well, successful business owners need to plan for success. By preparing a written strategy for dealing with potential disasters, financial struggles, or other unexpected situations, you can keep your business afloat and avert many crises that otherwise would force you to close down.
Every business owner dreams of becoming a viral sensation and instantly striking it rich. While this scenario is entirely possible, it’s not exactly plausible. To prevent financial stress, you should be sure to have a healthy amount of money saved that you can access as needed. You will most likely need an infusion of cash as the business begins to grow and make a profit. Therefore, you should begin saving as much as possible when you first think about starting your own business.
Two of a home-based business owner’s most precious commodities are time and space. To ensure your business’ success, you should organize your schedule and manage your time wisely. Don’t underestimate how long it will take you to accomplish tasks, and don’t forget to include time in your schedule for planning and preparing to launch your new company.
Likewise, it is impossible to be a success if your work area makes it hard for you to find things. Organize your workspace by setting up a desk, workstation, or other type of office area. Then, gather any needed supplies into one convenient location and keep the entire work zone neat and tidy.
Many home-based business owners fail to seek professional help in establishing their business. Ignoring important matters like incorporating and paying taxes can come back to haunt you later when you get IRS notifications for taxes owed or inquiries about the legitimacy of your business. Before starting any work on your new venture, you need to consult with the appropriate professionals, such as small business lawyers or CPAs that specializes in startups.
Especially in the early stages of the business, home-based business owners must spend a large portion of time advertising and marketing their company. Luckily, there are several easy-to-use, inexpensive ways to do this, but these methods cannot substitute for personal interaction and communication. Don’t wait until your customers come looking for you, go in search of them. Find ways to spread the word about your business in the community.
Small, home-based businesses are often financially unable to purchase every piece of equipment they may need. While copy shops, libraries, and other companies designed to support businesses are a lifesaver, they can cost a lot in terms of cost and time. As soon as you are able, you should buy the equipment that you will use often, such as printers, computers, and scanners. Doing so will save you money in the long run and prevent you from having to dash to the nearest printer every time you need to copy something.
Successful entrepreneurs realize that building a business requires an investment of both time and money. Some home-based business owners have plenty of money, but they lack the ability or the will to invest the time it will take to succeed. Likewise, some entrepreneurs have the time but lack sufficient financial resource to get their business off the ground. If you want your business to thrive, you need to be ready to invest both.
For the home-based business owner, distractions abound. Household chores, family responsibilities, and re-runs of favorite TV shows all beckon when there is work to do. You need to put on “blinders” to prevent getting sidetracked from your goal. Remove as many distractions as possible from your office area, and set up firm boundaries for yourself during working hours. To become a success, you must stay focused.
It is impossible to predict the future. Economies tanks, markets dry up, competitors invade territories, and business plans don’t cover all contingencies. All of these reasons can lead to the downfall of a home-based business. Those who overcome these challenges and pitfalls, however, have a chance to flourish, even as those around them fail.