Sunday, October 05, 2008

Time to Start a Home Business?

Maybe you are wondering if it's the best time to start a home business, what with the ailing economy and all. The answer is that it is always a good time to start a home business IF you have done your homework first.

Here are some tips:

  • Don't just jump in - take time to do your homework. Research your target market. Scope out the competition. Determine how you will differentiate yourself. Identify the risks and how you will deal with them. Develop a launch plan - what do you have to accomplish and in what order? Develop some financial projections - what can you realistically expect in terms of costs, revenues and profits? Fortunately, the Internet is a wealth of information. The more time you spend on this step, the more pitfalls you will avoid and the less costly your start-up phase will be.
  • Plan on developing a Website. You need a Website today to be credible. Ideally, your Website should be an online marketing platform for generating business. But it's not enough today to just put up a Website and sit back. Unless it is optimized for search engines, your Website will remain invisible on the Internet. Also, make sure to add Google Analytics to the Website so that you can analyze visitor behavior and make tweaks accordingly. Go to if you need help. We'll give you a free consultation.
  • Market your business. Take advantage of the free online listings offered by Google, Yahoo, Kudzu and SuperPages. Look for inexpensive advertising opportunities in your local press. Do an online press release with an embedded link back to your Website. Distributed free articles about your business subject online (again with an embedded link back to your Website). Send flyers or postcards to your local target market. And add a free online newsletter subscription box to your Website - email newsletters (in which you can promote your business) cost less then a penny each to distribute.
  • Lastly, monitor your progress, and make changes as necessary based on the feedback you receive. Be sure to compare your actual financials to your projected financials. Are you on plan, or do you need to make changes? Are your expectations proving true?

Running a home-based business during retirement is a great way to generate supplemental income! But don't be fooled. The planning and start-up phases take a lot of work if you are going to be successful. Don't be in a rush to launch your "great idea." The more time you spend upfront in the planning phase, the better your odds of success.

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