How to Create a Successful Home Business

After reading Pinyo’s article entitled 7 key factors to Build successful alternative income streams. It really got me thinking about the various aspects of our personal finances and how appropriate each one is. In the article Pinyo makes an excellent point right at the start in which he comments

Do what you love, if you hate writing don’t start a blog or try to start writing for money.

Whilst this sounds basic it is in fact very insightful because how many of us, and I include myself, pursue income streams that are totally unsuited to our individual skills and expertise?

So in light of Pinyo’s thought provoking article I thought I’d examine some of the key elements of developing a successful home based business, which is likely to incorporate a wide variety of income streams, as many of you will know well, from having to fill in your rather complex end of year tax returns!

Is a home business right for me?

Before embarking upon any home business you need to firstly ask yourself a simple question is a home business right for me? People incorrectly believe that working from home is a dream job and associate home working with a more relaxed lifestyle. In reality this confuses the boundaries between social, home and business life and whilst the ideal of rolling out of bed in the morning at 10am and commencing work from your study in your pyjamas is appealing, the reality is that creating a home business can be very stressful if boundaries aren’t defined.

I have prepared some useful guidance that may be beneficial in helping you create a successful business.

1. Designate a room as your office

This is perhaps the most important starting point. Having a room in which the door can be closed at the end of the day is important. Many home businesses fail because the owner is unable to separate work life from home life and they become distant from family members as they are unable to switch off from work.

Medical research also suggests that home workers can often suffer from sleep disorders as they often work, eat, sleep and drink in the same room and therefore find it difficult to separate work and family commitments, which can leave them stressed and anxious at night.

2. Set strict boundaries

Often the nature of home businesses means that other family members are at home and it is essential to sit down with them and agree a timetable of when you are at work and when you are in family mode, so as not to distract you from the day to day development of your business and ultimately your income source.

3. Research your market thoroughly

Most businesses fail because of poor, inadequate or non existent research. Don’t presume that your product or service will be instantly appealing to your customers. Market research is essential and this can take a variety of forms from questionnaires in which you ask potential customers a series of questions to gather their preferences through to researching similar products and there appeal to customers.

The Internet is an invaluable source of information which can be utilised to gather important details. If you are on a limited budget, look to sign up for free chat rooms with a specialism in your chosen market and start speaking to people, try MySpace, Bebo or Facebook for example.

4. How easy is your business concept to copy?

Working from home can encompass a wide variety of disciplines but before you invest think about how easy your business concept is to copy. If your concept is easily copied by others then this may prove detrimental as other competitors can easily muscle in on your market. Consider copyrighting or patenting a really good concept.

There is a great example of a woman who wanted to set up her own home business to free up her time with her family. She came up with the idea of selling attachable gloves for prams (aka strollers) as her detailed research had revealed that in winter parents often got cold hands from pushing prams but often forgot to take a pair of gloves with them. These gloves stay attached to the pram and the person can quickly and easily slip their hands in and out of them.

The home business owner realised that her concept could be easily copied by larger firms once her product had been introduced to the market and successfully obtained a patent that protect the concept of attaching gloves to a pram, push chair or buggy. This was a winning idea and meant that her business could be easily developed without fear of other competitors muscling in on her market share, therefore creating her own niche.

Summary

In conclusion, be clear about whether creating a home business is right for you and be disciplined in setting boundaries dividing up work from social time. Good research leads to a successful and thriving home business as it sets a good foundation from which to develop. Remember that creating a successful home business requires patience, determination and single mindedness.

About the Author

By , on Apr 22, 2008
Jonathan created Make Friends, Earn Money in March 2007 and his site is dedicated to providing reviews of paid survey, social networking, and cashback shopping communities. His aim is encourage visitors to combine the twin goals of making friends and earning money online. Find out a little more about his journey.

Leave Your Comment (11 Comments)

  1. Roxanne says:

    Thanks for the great advice!!!

  2. Pinyo says:

    @Bunny – That would be my problem too. I can’t really work at home. Too many distractions. 🙂

    @Jerry – Excellent point. It’s so expensive to get these insurance and benefits on my own that it’s very hard to just quit and do something on my own.

  3. Jerry says:

    The biggest challenge (for me) in considering a home business is how to handle such ancillaries as health insurance and other benefits, which are usually covered by an employer. This leads me to reconsider striking out on my own… unfortunately.
    Jerry

  4. Jonathan says:

    I agree it’s so tempting to lounge around and before you know it the morning has slipped by!

  5. bunny says:

    It sure is hard to have your home as your office. I tend to wake up late 🙁 But you’ve got to motivate yourself and focus that you still have work to do!

  6. Pinyo says:

    @Make Friends — thank you for an excellent article.

    “the owner is unable to separate work life from home life and they become distant from family members as they are unable to switch off from work.”

    This is so true. I am finding myself facing the same problem. It’s tough to work full-time, have a side business (blog), and spend time with the family.

  7. Jonathan says:

    LindaBusiness – Each of us has a unqiue perspective to offer and it’s about playing to our strengths. I think that most of the best blogs I have read come from ordinary people just sharing their own perspective on a given subject. Take Pinyo here at Moolanomy, prior to this he wasn’t a problogger but he has now built an excellent blog with a strong following and I think that’s great.

    RD – thanks for comments,

  8. RD says:

    Some great advice, especially the first point about being able to separate work from home life. When that boundary is blurred, both parts can become stressful.

  9. Linda says:

    It is so true that many people start a business for which they are terribly unsuited. I started a blog, not to make my blog my primary business, but to have people be directed to my primary business. For me, trying to set myself up as a problogger would not be the right move…I am unsuited to all the techno-speak surrounding so many web-based businesses. But I can utilize a blog or a Facebook page or other social networking sites as vehicles to drive people to information about my primary business. Your conclusion about finding the home business that is right for you is key…now trying not to get distracted, that’s a challenge.

  10. Mark Krusen says:

    I have an office set up where I can work quietly. #4 is the kicker. I don’t think anyone can copy me. They would have to have Bi-Polar disorder, be an ex trucker, with a bum next knee, and love to blog. Where this gets me in the future, I’ll just have to see.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Hi Mark, Yep I’d say that’s a pretty hard one to copy!!! Just been browsing through your blog, thanks for the comment!

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