Are you one of those who want to quit their stressful day job, yet, you can’t because you need to live and you have a family to feed? This sounds very familiar to all of us. That’s when we begin looking for steps on how to start a business from home.
There are misconceptions about starting an online business. I often hear or read that it is difficult to start a business from home. This misconception is just one of the hindrances in starting a business.
Everything that we plan to do seems like there is always a stepping stone. Building a business will always have one of those blockages but it just takes determination and hard work.
Determination is free as well as hard work, so why don’t you build the business that you’ve long wanted and take action now.
You are not a tech person and handling a computer is not your cup of tea. I get it, I’ve been there. But did you realize that this side of things can be learnt? You will be surprised at how expert you will be in a year or two. Just keep on learning and making sure that you get answers to your questions about computers and the internet.
Nonetheless, you can definitely take the initial steps to start building your business from home. The sooner you start, the sooner you make money.
What you can do
Hop into Google and search for an answer to the technicalities that you are facing at the moment. For instance, you are confused about how to start a shop on Etsy or create a Shopify store. Search it on Google and don’t stop until you find the right answers and steps that will work for you.
This is exactly what I did when I had no idea how to create a website for my business. Do not be afraid to dive into implementing the steps as it is the best way for you to progress.
Do not hold back, do it and see what happens. The worst-case scenario is, you will make mistakes and that’s okay. Mistakes will turn into valuable lessons.
Can’t decide on a home business idea to start?
This is what most people are struggling at the very beginning. I often hear, “I don’t know what business to start.” Drop that “I don’t know” habit and start looking for answers.
First, ask yourself what you love to do in your free time. Or, what are you passionate about? This will help you figure out what business you can do.
For example, you noticed that you love going into the dollar store and making things out of it to decorate your home. You can make it into a business. How?
That certain love of DIY decor means you are crafty. And there are tons of business you can think of out of it. You can start making handmake home decors and open an Etsy shop, as an example.
The possibilities are endless if you explore your skills and love for something. You only need to dedicate time to do it. You need to do so if you are serious to start an online business from home.
What did I do when I started
My situation was probably a little different than most of you. I came to start an online business due to an unfortunate situation. It was unplanned and I kind of just went with the flow.
However, I have always been business-minded. I always think of something to do to make money on the side. When I was in high school I sell things to my classmates.
My passion for building a business that I can be proud of is what drives me to learn all the things I needed to learn. More than a year ago, I had no idea how to create a website. Not to mention, making it look nice and neat.
So, I kept on educating myself on everything I needed to learn so that I can start an online business. I did not buy a course or pay for anything to learn. I only made use of free online resources.
Actionable steps to start a business from home
- Write your business idea.
- Write the steps. (e.g. find a supplier of materials, create an online store, figure out how to pack and ship your products)
- Find solutions to the steps if it’s something you have no experience of.
- Get it done. Follow the flow of your steps.
- Look for answers as you go.
Going back to making handmade decor to sell as an example. The first thing you need to do is figure out the supplies you need, then find a supplier of low-cost materials. Once you find a reputable supplier, purchase a small bulk as a start.
Once supplies arrive, you can start making a few decors and photograph them. I found some great tips on how to photograph your products as a beginner.
Photography is done, now what? It’s time to create your online store. Etsy is one of the best marketplaces to start for handmade items.
Now, the best way to stand out on Etsy aside from having a great product is by learning SEO. What is SEO? SEO or Search Engine Optimization on Etsy means making your listing appear on search results on top as much as you can. SEO is one of the ways to boost your sales.
Here are some Etsy SEO tips:
1. Select a keyword to target.
Keywords are the words or phrases that a customer will type on the search bar when they are looking for a product to buy. Take advantage of SEO by thinking what a regular person will probably type when they search for your products.
Say, you are making a handmade Wall Art. What does a person type when they want to buy wall arts? Also, consider what products you are selling. So, if you are making typography arts of bible verses, make sure that your product title, description, and tags will have the possible words someone will type in the search bar.
Also, when creating a Title, make use of all the characters. But, have your title in phrases that flow naturally. Don’t just put in “Wall Art | Bible Verse | Home Decor | Handmade Decor”. You can have this instead: “Handmade Minimalist Typography Wall Art With Bible Verses For Living Room”.
Good title serves double-duty!Etsy
Rule of thumb when writing product titles and descriptions on Etsy: think as if you are the customer. What would you type in when you want a wall art with bible verses?
2. Write product descriptions that sell
Another best practice to do when it comes to Etsy SEO is to have your target keywords not just in the title but also in the description’s first paragraph.
Write a description of what your product is about in the paragraph, containing the keywords that are also in your title. The next following paragraphs will be about the product features.
One important rule to remember as well in writing product descriptions is to mention the benefits. What do I mean by that? Write it in a way that it describes a positive benefit that your customer can get by purchasing your product. What would they get in return? Will they have a Godly reminder in their living rooms to look at every day if they buy your wall art?
Come up with questions that your customers will benefit and then answer those questions in your descriptions.
3. Encourage buyer’s confidence to buy
Finally, have some sort of guarantee. Customers might consider buying the product because they like it, however, they are not sure if you are taking returns or doing refunds.
It helps if return/refund policies are clear in your shop. It does not only drives a sale but also protects you as a seller.
You can find more Etsy best practices on their help page.
Every business idea came from a desire. It may be a desire to quit your 9-5 job and work from home or prove that you can make money out of something you love to do.
Make your idea come to life by starting a business from home as soon as possible.
A quick recap of the steps to take:
- Figure out a business to start from home out of your hobby or passion.
- Plan the products to make and sell.
- Find suppliers of materials you need to make the products.
- Take good pictures of your products (natural lighting + white background = good pictures).
- Open an Etsy shop or Shopify store.
- Write search engine optimized product titles.
- Write compelling product descriptions.
Download the Free Craft Online Shop Checklist from the library.
Remember that mistakes are bound to happen and stepping stones are just around the corner. Keep going and overcome it by continually learning. Utilize Google search and Facebook groups for help and inspiration.