Hi, my name is Sally Roper, and I am the owner of My Creative Pixel. I specialize in logo design, branding, print services, web design, email marketing and work with companies of all sizes nation wide ultimately improving their business problems with creative solutions. Shoot me a quick email to see how I can help you!
Written by: Amy Collett
Do you dream of starting a business, but don’t know how to make it happen? If the cost of starting and running a brick-and-mortar company is overwhelming to you, a home-based business just might be the solution. However, while starting a business from home saves money, it still requires investment to build a thriving business. Here’s how you can maximize your dollars when building a business from home.
The first step in starting any business is figuring out how to pay for it. Home-based businesses are affordable to start, but between office expenses, professional services, licenses and permits, business equipment, and other startup costs, it still requires a significant chunk of change.
Many small business owners rely on personal funds and credit cards to cash flow their startup, but before you put everything on the line, give small business loans serious consideration. Taking on a loan can be intimidating, but when you have the funds to pay for the equipment, inventory, and staff you need, your business can grow faster. In addition to traditional SBA loans like the 7(a) and microloan programs, small business owners can seek financing from the Main Street LendingProgram and non-governmental resources.
Speaking of paying for equipment: What do you really need when starting a home-based business? One big advantage of building a business from home is avoiding high commercial rents, but home-based entrepreneurs still require a professional, fully-equipped workspace.
The exact equipment you’ll need depends on your industry and whether or not you’ll have employees or clients at your home office. However, there are some things every home-based business needs:
● Desktop computer: Laptops are great for working on the go, but desktops offer superior performance and ergonomics. Business PCs come at a wide range of price points, so consider your computing needs before you buy.
● Software: In addition to basic office software, factor licensing costs for business apps and industry-specific software. Look to open source and cloud-based software for an affordable alternative to traditional business software.
● Printer and copier: Most of your business maybe online, but there still will be times you have to deal with paperwork. A basic home printer is adequate for most home-based businesses. Look for a model that offers all-in-one capabilities so you can print, copy, scan, and fax from a single device.
● Cybersecurity tools: Cybersecurity isn’t equipment per se, but it is a must-have for home-based businesses. On top of the usual concerns about identity theft and online safety, home-based business owners have to worry about what happens if their business is targeted by a cyberattack.Antivirus software, a virtual private network, and a file backup system should be a part of every business’s cybersecurity plan.
Digital marketing is a home-based entrepreneur’s best friend. Without a storefront to drive walk-in traffic and name recognition, home-based businesses have to go online to get in front of customers’ eyes. This requires investing in digital marketing to grow your brand.
According to My Creative Pixel, digital marketing strategy has several components:
● A mobile-friendly website: A small business’s website doesn’t need to be high-end to be effective, but it does need to look and work correctly on both desktop and mobile platforms.
● Search engine optimization: SEO increases the chances that your business appears in search results when people search for related keywords.
● Social media: Social media lets businesses build loyalty and brand awareness through content, influencer marketing, giveaways and contests, and other strategies.
● Content marketing: Content marketing is a smart way to build awareness by informing your audience and creating interest around your brand.
● Email marketing: Once a business has established a customer base, email marketing keeps them engaged by delivering content straight to subscribers’ inboxes.
Digital marketing may be one of your biggest expenses as a home-based business owner, but it’s the best way to reach customers where they are: On average, Americans spend three to six hours on digital media every day.
When building a business from home, it’s important to spend your money where it counts. Make sure you’re investing your startup funds in the right places to enable your business to grow and thrive.