The technological advances and tools available on the internet have made it possible for everyone to work or do business in their home. In fact, nearly half of all American employees today work from home.
This situation is especially beneficial when facing a pandemic. Low-cost, home-based business ideas are the perfect solution to tackle unemployment and job search difficulties, as consumers are hesitant to go outside and are more inclined to online shopping.
Getting the basics right is crucial to have a good start on your home-based business. This article will break down the ten fundamental steps to start a home-based business in 2021.
1. Choose a Home-Based Business Model
The first and most crucial step in starting a successful home-based business is choosing the best, most suitable business model for the long run.
To do that, you may start by considering the talents and skills that you have. For example, if you’re talented in crafting handmade goods, you can create a handmade goods business and sell your items on a website.
If you’re skilled and have extensive knowledge of a subject, you can profit from it by being a consultant. During the lockdown phase, many people are searching for resources to expand their skills and expertise.
I recommend going with simpler home-business ideas such as dropshipping. Dropshipping is selling goods from a third-party supplier but through your way of marketing. It allows you to pass sales orders to suppliers, erasing the need to stock up products like conventional businesses.
2. Choose an eCommerce Platform
After deciding on the business idea, you will need a platform to sell your products. An eCommerce platform would be a convenient option both for you and the customers. They can simply browse through the site and purchase items at any time possible.
A good ecommerce platform wouldn’t function to its maximum potential without a great site design that makes it easy and comfortable for customers to shop in. Choose a website builder for small businesses that allows you to choose from unique templates, so you don’t have to worry about designing from scratch, like Zyro.
3. Register a Domain Name
After choosing a platform that guarantees runtime and makes sure your site is perfect for your target customers, register a domain name for your site. A domain name is what your visitors will type when they visit your site, so make sure it represents your brand.
Begin with brainstorming several ideas for your brand’s domain name, then use a domain checker tool to see if the desired domain name is available. You can directly make a purchase from there and connect the domain name to your website with the control panel.
4. Pick a Website Theme
Providing a good site layout and experience for an online business is very important. The perfect website theme can deliver information about products and services to the customer, create a comfortable shopping experience, and keep the customers interested.
Below are several tips for choosing a good eCommerce website theme for your home-based business:
- Pick mobile-responsive themes. 82% of online shoppers make purchases through their smartphones. A responsive theme also plays a part in search engine optimization, as Google’s algorithm will prioritize sites that are compatible with multiple devices.
- Keep it simple. The customers will spend time scrolling through products and contemplating their options. Make it painless by making your site easy to navigate, with a color scheme that is easy in the eyes.
- Choose one with a customer or technical support. Themes may experience bugs from time to time, and responsive theme owners are crucial to keeping your business up and running. Check out support forums to see if a theme has good customer support.
5. Customize Your Site
Once you’re done picking a website theme that is perfect for your business, begin to customize your site to your advantage.
Usually, a theme is equipped with a site identity tool that enables you to upload the brand’s logo, icons, and more. You can also add header and footer content and background images to make your site more appealing.
Try adding a banner on top of the website. It will help deliver information that you need the customers to know. You can fill it with new product announcements or discount offers for the customers.
However, keep in mind that overcrowding the site may slow it down and compromise the user experience. Prioritize user experience and keep the add-ons simple and compatible with mobile access.
6. Take Product Shots and Upload Them to Your Site
A good product photo is the essence of all home-based businesses and eCommerce sites. Studies show that 93% of consumers consider visual appearance a key decision factor when making a purchase decision.
Start with finding inspiration from competitors or the brands you like. Take notes of some pointers that may help you, such as the concept they use, photo angles, and lighting usage.
Do read more about taking great product shots for a home-based business as there is a lot to learn and consider when taking product photos.
7. Increase Website SEO
SEO is short for search engine optimization, and it is simpler than it sounds. Essentially, search engines have web crawlers that pick up information about sites all over the internet and puts them in ranks according to how good a site answers a certain query.
Of course, for a business, it would be beneficial to appear on the front page of search engines. To achieve this, you need to optimize your website, so the web crawlers and search engines notice the site as helpful and raise its rank in search results.
Start with doing keyword research, which will show the keywords recommended to place on your site to push the rank. Then, place these keywords properly in alt text, product descriptions, and more to help the customers find your website.
Now that you have inserted product descriptions and keywords that may help your site rank in search engines, the last step is to launch your website and let the customers find you.
After launching the website, run a few tests to make sure that all functions are running smoothly. Ensure that the cart is always easy to acess, see if all products can be added to the cart, and make sure the payment process runs as you have set.
9. Promote on Social Media
After launching and making sure that your site works correctly, begin doing simple promotions to attract more customers and raise awareness on social media.
Create a social media account to introduce the brand and business. Include some stories about the brand and the products you sell, add some hashtags to reach more specific audiences.
You can also make videos that show off reviews, tutorials, or a demo of what your product can do or solve. 90% of consumers say videos help them make buying decisions. Upload it on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook to reach out to more customers.
10. Set Processes for Your Business
Finally, make running the business easier by setting a process or an automated system. By having an eCommerce website, what you need to do will be pretty straightforward – customers place orders, and you pack and ship the items to them.
However, this could be a lot easier with dropshipping. With dropshipping, items will be packed and sent to the customers by suppliers, and all you have to do is take the orders and promote your business.
Small businesses take advantage of constant improvements. I suggest regularly tracking and analyzing sales data to find room for improvement so that the business can better its service and retain customers.
All in all, a home-based business is very convenient and beneficial. Not only that it is helpful to earn money during the pandemic, but it is also a promising business if appropriately maintained for the long run.
Now that you know how to start a home-based business online, what’s left to do is brainstorming the perfect business idea and plan to launch. Good luck, if any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.