How To Start Working From Home | An Ultimate Guide For The Total Beginner
You might have been dreaming about it for months, but jumping out of the corporate world and into running your own biz is a scary thing.
How can you know if you're making the right decision?
What if your big idea is a flop?
Who will help you find your way to success?
All of these questions and more can cause you to second guess yourself and your new business, and make you wonder if you're ready to leave your cubicle once and for all.
But here's the thing. There are really only a few elements you must have in place before you turn in your resignation. Get these lined up, and you'll be well on your way to launching a successful business.
Mindset Tricks of Successful Entrepreneurs
Want to know what sets the uber-successful apart from the wannabe entrepreneurs?
It’s not money, or brilliant ideas, or even powerful friends.
All of those things (and more) are nice to have, but they’re not a requirement of success. What is a must-have, though, is a good attitude. Without the proper mindset, you’ll constantly be battling your own brain, and that’s exhausting.
· You’ll allow yourself to believe your ideas are no good
· You’ll remain convinced that you aren’t smart enough
· You’ll be certain that someone else did it (whatever “it” is) better
And before you know it, you’ll have talked yourself right out of launching your new program, asking for a JV partnership, or writing your book. In no time at all, you’ll be back at your day job, working away on someone else’s business because you don’t have the confidence to create your own.
But a simple mindset change can make all the difference.
Dress for Success
Ladies, this one's for you. When we work at home, it’s easy to fall into a habit of wearing sweatpants and T-shirts to the office. After all, why dress up just for the dog?
But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to instantly shift your mindset in the right direction, ditch the yoga pants and break out the lipstick. You’ll suddenly find you feel more professional, more confident, and sexier, too. (That last one won’t help your business, but it might just help your love life, and that can’t hurt, can it?)
Never Let Fear Drive Your Decisions
Too many would-be entrepreneurs operate with a scarcity mindset rather than approaching business from a place of abundance. Rather than telling yourself that you can’t afford to hire a virtual assistant or work with a coach, try reframing your thoughts.
Rather than thinking, “I can’t afford to attend that event,” ask yourself, “How can I earn the money to invest in this trip?”
Rather than saying, “I have to do everything myself because I can’t afford to hire a VA,” remind yourself that your hourly rate potential is much more than you’d pay a virtual assistant. Then fill those hours you’re saving by outsourcing with money-making tasks of your own.
By reformatting your thoughts, you’ll turn that negative money talk into positive solutions that help you grow.
Find yourself procrastinating? Find out simple tips you can implement to overcome procrastination here.
Build a Business, Not Another Job
Many people dream of working for themselves, being their own boss, and having the freedom to only take on clients and projects they love.
What they don’t realize, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed.
Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours.
Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.
Discouraged yet? Don’t be.
Every business owner started out self-employed. Just don’t stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others. While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress.
Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing) and those you dislike and aren’t good at. Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time
The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. And that means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day and your home life.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships.
You can help avoid this by:
· Setting—and maintaining—clear work hours
· Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done
· Scheduling time for family and other activities
· Taking time for yourself
Vacations and Downtime Are Important
Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the start, you may need to be available, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time.
· Have trusted contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
· Leverage automation tools such as autoresponders and auto webinar systems
· Create repeatable systems so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel
While you might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in.
Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.
Want to know what all success entrepreneurs do? Check out my list of the best books for entrepreneurs here.
3 Surefire Ways to Create In-Demand Products and Services
If there’s one thing that holds promising entrepreneurs back from launching their business, it’s this: a lack of confidence in their products. Sure, you think that new course or workshop is a great idea, but how do you know it will sell?
Imagine spending weeks or even months of time—plus the cost of document design, video editing and all the other pieces that go along with it—only to discover it’s not what your audience wants or needs. How frustrating would that be?
You don’t have to leave it to chance, though. There are plenty of ways to test your ideas before spending the time and energy on a full launch.
This is the simplest way to get a feel for what your market needs and wants. Simply ask them. Create a survey with Survey Monkey (or even a Google form) and send it out to your mailing list. For best results, keep it short, but do ask:
· What they’re struggling with
· Their preferred learning method (video, text, audio, etc.)
· What they feel the training is worth (what would they pay)
These three pieces will tell you everything you need to know to create a program that’s practically guaranteed to sell.
Listen to Their Complaints
If you have a community (or are part of one) of ideal clients, pay attention to what they’re asking about the most. These are the things they need help with. For example, if you’re a business coach and your Facebook group is filled with questions about running Facebook ads, then clearly there is a need for some training in that area.
Study Your Competition
Hopefully you have a list of competitors and you’re reading their blogs and emails, and lurking in their Facebook groups. This is a great way to gain insight into what they’re doing—not to copy them, but to discover what’s hot right now.
Consider buying their paid products as well. Again, you should never copy them, but you can either:
· Promote them as an affiliate
· Create a better, more comprehensive version
· Create a lite, lower-cost version
Creating products in a vacuum is a great way to waste a lot of time and money on programs that won’t sell. Instead, pay attention to what your market is asking for, find out what they’re willing to pay, and delve into your competition’s offers.
The information you gain from these three activities alone will give you incredible insight into your market and what they want and need, and makes it easy to create your own hot-selling program.
How to Have a Stress-Free Business Launch
Let’s face it, the last thing you want to do now that you’ve decided to finally leave the 9 to 5 job is to add more stress to your life. Isn’t that why you decided to build your own business in the first place? You’re looking for freedom from your awful boss, nasty coworkers, and the limitations of a fixed salary.
But if you’re trading all that in for a different kind of stress, what have you really gained? Before you kiss your cubicle goodbye, be sure you first build a solid foundation—and we don’t just mean business-wise.
Build a Financial Safety Net
Nothing stresses us out quite like worrying about money. Whether you’re concerned about those college tuition bills you’ll be facing in a few years, or worse, not sure how you’re going to make the rent, it’s easy to lose your business mojo. As a new business owner, you certainly don’t want money trouble casting a shadow over your entrepreneurial dream.
Before you turn in your resignation, set aside some cash in case of a rainy day. Aim for at least three months of living expenses, but more is definitely better.
Hopefully you won’t need it, but having some cash on hand will definitely relieve the pressure of having a new business that’s not earning its keep—yet.
Make Sure Your Family is on Board
Money troubles are bad, but there may be one thing that’s worse: an unsupportive (or downright hostile) spouse. And as any entrepreneur will tell you, not everyone understands the drive to be a business owner. In fact, most people find it pretty scary to step away from that regular paycheck to chase after a dream.
If that sounds like your husband (or wife) don’t take it personally. They’re not making a statement about your ability. More than likely, they’re just worried about what the future holds. Do your best to understand where they’re coming from, and be sure to clearly explain your ideas, why you are confident it will work, and how you plan to cover the start up expenses and manage the risk.
If he or she is still not on board, consider starting slow, with a part-time business while still working your day job. That will give you the opportunity to prove your idea is workable, and might just help your spouse get as excited about it as you are.
Take Time for YOU
No matter what’s going on with your money, your spouse or your business, you need to be sure to schedule some “you” time. No one can work all the time, regardless of how driven you are. And no one can stay healthy while maintaining a nonstop schedule. Go for a walk, hit the gym, get a pedicure, or just binge on your favorite brainless television show.
The point is simply to take time away from your desk to rest and rejuvenate. Without it, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed and stressed, even if you truly love your new business.
Learn more about the actions you need to be taking in your business to guarantee your success here.
3 Proven Ways to Market Your New Business
The world is filled with great ideas and broke business owners with fabulous products but no sales.
The fact is, ideas are not what drives most business success. Marketing does. So before you quit your day job to branch out on your own, it pays to have a solid marketing plan in place. Start with these 5 ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
For information product sellers, coaches, and service providers, one of the best sources of new clients is in free training webinars. No matter what your niche, the promise of in-depth training at no cost is enough to entice potential clients to part with an email address (which you’ll be able to market to later) and an hour of their time.
Not only that, but webinars are a fantastic way for those potential customers to get to know you better. And the better they know you, the more likely they are to buy.
Not comfortable hosting a webinar? Hit the keyboard and start sharing your thoughts and ideas via your blog, ebooks, guest articles and other written content. For internet marketers, this gives readers a taste of what they can expect from your product. If you sell physical products, it provides the perfect opportunity to share usage tips and other important information with your buyers.
Of course, there’s another important benefit to content marketing, too: search engine optimization. Google and other search engines index the words on your website and use the information to present search results to their users. Content marketing is a tool you can use to make the most of these results, and to bring more potential buyers to your website.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google and plenty of other sites all offer paid placement, and with today’s powerful analytics tools, it’s easy to create ads and drive traffic inexpensively.
Consider starting with Facebook, since the cost is low and it’s easy to target your ads to your ideal client. Once you’ve perfected your funnel, you can branch out into more costly ads with a larger reach, such as Google AdWords or another ad network.
Don’t limit yourself to these three marketing methods though. There are dozens of others you can try, including affiliate programs, JV partnerships, automated funnels, direct mail campaigns, and even television advertising.
The key is to keep testing and tweaking to make the most of every marketing effort, so that your business continues to grow.