When you think about earning from home, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? While it’s easy to imagine rolling out of bed at 9am, working in your PJs and spending your lunch break playing with your dog, there’s a lot more to working from home than you may realize.
Running your own business and making money from your living room may seem like the ultimate career dream, and there are many different ways to help you achieve work-at-home success. We’re not just talking about setting up a hobby blog or filling in occasional online surveys — you can quite easily build up a credible, household brand if you know what you’re doing. It’s easy to dismiss ‘offline’ opportunities in favor of exciting digital channels like Instagram and YouTube, but there’s still a lot to be said for more old-school methods. Here are some lesser-known ways to help you achieve independent business success.
Network in your local area
It’s easy to think that when it comes to earning from home, staying inside and using the internet is the only way to find new clients and make money. But did you know that by doing this, you could be seriously limiting growth options for your business?
Networking events provide a great opportunity for home workers and freelancers to make contacts, and there could be options closer to home than you think. Websites like Eventbrite can help you find local networking events in no time, and there are dozens of relevant Meetup groups in every major city.
While meeting new people face-to-face can seem daunting at first, it’s a great way to get your name out there and spread the word about your business. Plus, with events attracting people from all areas of the business world, who knows who you might meet?
Here are some useful tips on networking for business: you don’t have to be loud and brash in order to make a good impression, and you want to invest in quality, not quantity (as humans, we max out at about 150 meaningful relationships).
Much like networking events, conferences and tradeshows provide excellent opportunities to make contacts on a much bigger scale. You may like to consider attending as an exhibitor, where you pay to have a stand to promote your business, or you might prefer to go along as a delegate instead.
In this case, you’ll probably have to pay for an entrance ticket (although some conferences are free), but you’ll have a chance to mingle and visit business owners at their stands. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of potential to promote your products and services, swap contact details, and potentially even make a few sales.
Events can also be hugely inspiring, lifting the lid on the current industry (and competition!). Make an effort to attend key events regularly, and go to a few conferences on related topics like marketing or procurement so that you can sharpen your business skills.
Go into a partnership
Another alternative to creating or buying your own business is to go into partnership with someone else. Perhaps you have a friend, family member, or colleague who would be interested in starting the same type of home-based business as you?
Forming a partnership is a great way to share skills, gain contacts and raise more startup capital. After all, two heads are often better than one. Alternatively, you may want to do some research online and find other like minded entrepreneurs who are looking for partners.
Either way, starting with a partnership is a great way to share the load when starting a new business. It could be the solution to your home-working dreams that you’ve been looking for.
Word of warning: starting a business with someone is an intense experience that is likely to test the relationship. Don’t partner with somebody lightly, and make sure you have agreements in place that protect you both financially and legally.
Buy an existing business
A quick way to start earning from home is to buy a business that already exists. When it comes to businesses (either online or offline), buying an existing one is a great way for entrepreneurs to start earning quickly and easily, as all the legwork has been done for you. There’s no need for you to figure out the business model – you can just take over and get started straight away.
When it comes to acquiring an existing business, there are a few things you need to do:
- Firstly, you need to do your research about the type of business that you want to take over. Take your time to think about what interests you and what profitable niche markets are out there
- After you’ve done this, you can contact business owners directly at their premises to discuss a sale, or if the online world interests you, then you can visit marketplace websites or auction sites that list businesses available to purchase
- When you’ve found a business that ticks all of your boxes, you’ll need to do your due diligence to ensure that everything is above board. Examine things like finances and web traffic to make sure that your hard work pays off – and you’re not just buying a sinking ship.
Government grants and advice
If you want to work from home, did you know that the US Small Business Administration (SBA) could help you to start, grow, and build your own small business? This independent agency of the Federal Government was set up to help small businesses by providing guarantees for loans or sourcing venture capital. With services throughout the US, advice and support could be more accessible than you think. To find out more about the SBA , visit their website.
You might also find local grants, business groups, and community groups helpful. If you pitch your business right, you could end up securing free funding and help. Don’t be afraid to conduct outreach on behalf of your business to get your ideas out there.
If you’re interested in starting your own home-based business, then we’d love to hear how you get on. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.