As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, there’s more to owning a home-based business than simply signing on with a company or developing a business plan. Once you’ve got the framework of your business all set up, there’s still one thing you’re going to need: customers!
Luckily, there are lots of simple strategies to spread the word about your business and start earning an income. There more people know about your business, the more likely they are to contact or refer you to a friend who needs your services.
Get a Website
The most important element for any successful business in today’s marketplace is a website. When people go looking for things—whether it be a product, a service, or an income opportunity—the Internet is the place they start their search. It’s also where they go to find recommendations and reviews before making their decisions. In a nutshell, it’s where you need to be if you want to be found.
There are lots of web-hosting sites out there that let you build your own simple website. You can also hire a professional web designer who will customize your site to your needs and industry. But that doesn’t mean your website has to be expensive or complex. Even a single, tasteful webpage online will help people find and learn about your business.
The people in your family and community may be some of the best contacts you’ll ever make. Though they may not do business with you directly, personal recommendations are the most impactful marketing tool out there. By letting the people around you know about your business, you’re potentially connecting with everyone in their social and business circles, too.
But don’t limit yourself to those you already know. Join a business or networking group in your area to meet other business owners, make connections, and see what’s working—and isn’t—for others. It’s also a great idea to get involved in organizations that interest you personally. You may be joining that book club because you love to read, but you’ll also make great connections with even more people who want to see you succeed.
Take Advantage of Online Marketing
Just as in real life, your online friends are the best marketing tools you can get—as long as they know about your business. Luckily, this is a group that can be easily accessed from the comfort of home. In addition to your personal social networking, think about creating a business page on Facebook or sending out biz-related messages via Twitter. This will show people that you are serious about your business, and will allow you to contact them easily about new promotions or business services.
If you are deciding to start a business, there’s a good chance you know something—about something. Figure what your special area of knowledge is, even if it doesn’t directly pertain to your business, and make yourself available for sharing that information with others. This will allow you to both showcase your strengths and become a recognizable name to a larger group of people.
Consider leading a workshop or seminar on your area of expertise at the library or with your local chamber of commerce. You can also look into opportunities to teach at small colleges or other academic institutions in your area. If you’re more comfortable behind the scenes or at the computer, starting a blog with short articles about your topic is also a great marketing tool. The important thing is to present yourself as a valuable, honest authority on whichever topic you choose.