Whether you love baking cakes or love fashion and crafts, your ideas can be turned into a business if you know how to get started.
Today there are more and more home business popping up and the Internet is lending opportunity for this with such places as eBay, Etsy and others where you can set up shop right in your own home and sell on line.
Keys to your start up will make or break your business. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Map It Out
Put your business plan together by going over a few things from the start.
How will you store your product to make sure it maintains its originality and can not be damaged. Perhaps you have a spare room, that you can set up just for your items and keep that room available for packing and shipping as well.
If you are making crafts, etc… how much can you realistically produce in what span of time. The downfall for sales for many companies is the customer wanting your product and instead seeing the dreaded words “Back Order”. Now with on line shopping, going to another store is just a click away and you have the potential to lose a customer.
What is the Competition Up To
Get on line or open your local newspaper and search your type of product to see if there is a market. Are there other businesses in your area selling the same or similar product? See what other items are selling for, who is buying and what area’s of the world would your product fit into. Do people in Alaska really need air conditioners?
To Market We Go!
Ever since pen went to paper, I bet there was some sort of advertising going on. Before the Internet it could have been, flyer’s, newspaper ads, radio, tv or someone with a sandwich billboard standing in front of a restaurant, some of these which could be quite costly. With the Internet you can now advertise virtually for free. Social Media has opened doors for many to advertise if done correctly on Facebook, Twitter and one of the things highly recommended a Blog or website.
With Social Media, you no longer have the in your face type of selling rule, but instead you let people get to know you and your business. Offer information about your product by blogging about how beneficial or what makes your crafty designs so unique. Offer tips that surround your products, for example if you sell shoes, talk about where they come from, what makes them different or why they will make you feel like you have been walking on clouds all day when wearing them.
Everyone Loves A Bargain
You want to get your product out there and the best way to do this is offer an incentive. Coupons are used and popular with grocery stores and the companies offering these products use this marketing effectively. A new product is coming out in your local grocery store whether it be a new ice cream, or rice, you can bet there will be some sort of coupon to get the word out about this product and entice people to try it. Think about what you could offer a first time buyer to make them a customer that will keep coming back.
Don’t you just hate when you call a company and get yet another voice mail saying I have stepped away from my desk? These days unless you are really exclusive with your product or services, chances are the word “Next” will be going through your potential customers mind. Making yourself available or having someone answering the phone or email makes a world of difference. On your website or blog even the words “we respond to emails within 24 hours” is helpful.
What is your Return Policy
One of the reasons I love to shop at a certain retail store is that I can return the item I bought with no questions. Yes, I buy clothes sometimes without trying them on. In a hurry or just think that lovely top was going to fit or look good on me, turns out, well, not fitting right or me saying out loud, what was I thinking! I will continue to spend my money at there establishment and actually, when I go to return that top or other item that just did not work for me, I usually turn around with my money and find something else. Money given back and spent in the same place is a good thing.
Cover Your Hard Work
While you are considering or already have an on line or home based business, you may wonder if it’s worth it to purchase Business Insurance. This can be a difficult decision to make on your own.
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