After driving to work in the morning and spending about nine hours in the office, one might think starting a home business would be a good idea. After all, working on your own time schedule and without the expense of traveling to and from the office sounds like something we’d all like to do. In order to be successful with your home business, you will need to have various skills and be able to fulfill many roles. Some of the areas you are going to be involved with are management, bookkeeping, customer support, and marketing. However, it is not necessary to be great in every single one of these areas. For example, if you are not the best at giving friendly customer support, you can freelance a virtual assistant to help you. There are also many resources such as books to help you improve in an area you might be lacking, and as your business grows, you can hire consultants to take over entire sections of your business. Create an online store to sell your handmade items that you have traditionally sold only to people in your region. The internet is a way to bring your products to people around the world. It is an easy way to create a real store without the investment of a physical store front. Run a contest on your business website. Spread the word about your contest through forums that your customers frequent, contest boards, ezines, guest blog entries and any other methods you can find. Make it fun, keep it simple and devise a prize that is worthwhile, but not over-the-top. Contests bring traffic. Assemble a profile of your typcial customer. How much money do they make? Where do they live and work, and what are their needs? How old are they and do they have children? Identify them, figure out where they shop, then get your products into those locations. If your market is parents, try organizing a fundraiser program with local schools, allowing the school or organization to keep a portion of the sales. There is only one problem with this idea – it usually doesn’t work out the way we planned. Small businesses have hidden problems and expenses, and unless you really know what you’re doing and have a pretty good cash stash besides, chances are your business will fail. It does work for some people though, so plan carefully and give it a try.
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