5 Secrets to Running a Successful Home-Based Business

Photo by Gabriel Beaudryon Unsplash

 

Running a successful home business can be difficult. There are a ton of different variables to keep in mind and plenty of unforeseeable obstacles and challenges as well. Getting started can be daunting, too—there are so many resources and outlets claiming to have industry secrets and insider information that it can be immensely challenging to find accurate, actionable tips regarding operating a successful home-based business.

Every business is different, and not all tips will work for everyone. Knowing which tips apply to your business model is the first thing to learn. With this knowledge, you can enhance, optimize, and grow your startup into something special in no time. Most of us start small, so finding tips

Without further delay, let’s jump into it.

1. Work Environment Considerations

Traditional offices use time-tested and heavily iterated techniques to craft workspaces that are comfortable and conducive to productivity. Since you’re operating out of your home, you don’t have the same luxury. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to replicate the work-centric environment found in traditional office spaces.

Ergonomics are crucial when crafting your home office. You want to ensure that your space is comfortable and geared towards productivity. Poor ergonomics can result in back pain, clutter accumulation, long-term health problems, and more.

Conversely, stellar ergonomics can yield the opposite effects. You likely have a friend or two who complains about their back. Typically, discomfort like this is blamed on the sedentary lifestyle that office work necessitates. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to counteract the negative effects of sitting. And since you’re working from home, you don’t need to concern yourself with approval from a manager or higher-up.

Standing desks are a popular, health-friendly way to enhance ergonomics. By using either a keyboard riser or a motorized desk, these devices allow you to work while standing upright. While standing, your spine is in its most natural position. Keeping this posture while working allows you to preserve your backs strength and vitality.

If you’re not a fan of standing, there are other methods you can use to keep your back in working order. Yoga chairs and office chairs with ergonomic designs can yield similarly positive outcomes, too. When creating your office space, you will want to keep these options in mind.

 

2. Choosing the Right Tools

Next, you should equip yourself with the right tools for the job. Since you’re working from home, your primary concern will be setting yourself up with intuitive and productivity-focused software and programs. There is no shortage of software packages that offer bevies of actionable and effective tools.

You shouldfocus on the basics before anything else. Microsoft Office, while tame, is an absolute must. Its suite of business-inclined features and capabilities can’t be matched on Windows operating systems. With Microsoft Office Suite, you will be able to access Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and of course, Microsoft Word, at your leisure.

Stamps.com is another winner for self-employed individuals. It enables you to print postage and shipping labels straight from your PC. The time it saves you by skipping trips to the Post Office will add up in the long-term.

Time management is something that self-employed people struggle with—it’s not something you think about when getting your business off the ground. But proper time distribution is key for keeping a business running smoothly. WorkTime is an excellent application in this regard. It lets you keep an eye on how much time you’re spending in each of your PC’s different programs.

Data-backup software may be the most crucial investment you can make as the head of a home-based business. Data is at the center of every modern trade, and you need to be certain that yours is safe and accessible should the unexpected occur. The risks of leaving your data unprotected are well-documented.

Lastly, publishing software is a necessity if you want to market your business effectively. Adobe InDesign is the most popular software package for publishing, but Microsoft Publisher is worth considering as well. Both of these options allow you to craft copy material, newsletters, and memos that can assist enormously in networking and communication.

 

3. Optimizing Your Work-Life Balance

The death knell for many small businesses is burnout. Entrepreneurs are inherently passionate about their trade. And while that passion is useful, it can be detrimental with breaks and rest. Use planning apps, like Google Calendar, to ensure that you’re getting ample sleep and taking breaks when you need them.

 

4. Building the Best Team

Working from home isn’t the same as working alone. You need to build a team, and there are some things to keep in mind before you get started. First, you should create clear, concise job descriptions. This step will help you find individuals who are well-suited for your business.

Likewise, you should try and find people who are committed to your company’s brand, message, and long-term goals. Lastly, try to make effective interviews—asking the right questions can assist in sorting the diamonds from the rough.

 

5. Investing In Security

Security is important. Multi-billion dollar corporations are still struggling with keeping bad actors at bay. And it’s especially vital if your business is one that intends on collecting and storing your client’s personal information. Before you start looking for ways to scale your business, consider how you can protect yourself and your customers effectively first.

 

Wrapping Up

Home-based businesses are thriving right now. While the competition is tight, there is plenty of room for your startup to thrive and grow, regardless of your industry. Implement these tips into your business and enjoy a smooth and fruitful startup phase.

 

Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon

Security Tips for Small Businesses

(Note: This is a guest post from KEYper Systems.)

Small businesses may believe that their size prevents them from becoming a target for hackers and other criminals. Yet the opposite too often is true. More than half of small businesses experience a security breach of some kind, whether it’s a break-in or a more sophisticated form of cybercrime. No matter what form those security breaches may take, the impact can be significant.

Without a sizable or experienced IT department keeping watch over their networks, these enterprises don’t find out how vulnerable they are until it’s too late. With this in mind, it’s extremely important for a business of any size to pay close attention to its network and shield it against intruders or vandals.

Small business owners can’t afford to ignore any type of threat in favor of another. Businesses may lock their doors at night, but if their WiFi router is left unsecured, they may as well be leaving out the welcome mat for criminals.

Because securing property in the real world and online is so important for small businesses, it’s a good idea to take a look at the security tips provided in the accompanying infographic. Just because smaller companies don’t have the resources larger companies do doesn’t mean they’re not targets for crime — but it doesn’t mean they don’t have the ability to protect themselves, either.

 


Infographic created by KEYper Systems

Author Bio:

Travis Ray is Director of Customer Care & Strategic Marketing for KEYper® Systems, a key management and storage systems provider. Ray is responsible for overseeing the customer care team that provides software and hardware support for new and current clients.

How to Become an Excelling Expert in Your Chosen Profession

You have always been a career-minded person who wants to excel in everything they do. No matter what you set your mind to, you always want to achieve it to the best of your ability, right? Let’s say recently you have decided that you want to pursue a new career so that you can grow as a person and attain your life goals.

You enjoy setting yourself new challenges so that you can really work hard at your current job role and get to where you want to be in the near future. Therefore, in order to become an excelling expert, you need to consider some of the following ideas.

Read the Right Literature

When you are hoping to tap into a certain profession, it is important to do your research and open up your mind to a whole host of literature. Make sure you are reading content that is written by reputable industry professionals, such as social work books that will help shed light on the profession and outline the skills required to succeed in this field.

Once you have immersed yourself into this new domain, you will feel ready to conquer everything and anything that may come your way.

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Speak to Industry Experts

There are probably a whole host of people who have been in your shoes before, so make sure you make the most of mingling with these experts. Everybody has to start somewhere, so get networking and learn all the tricks of the trade.

For example, you can head to a local business place that you could see yourself working in one day and ask to speak to someone who works in the department you are most interested in. Yes, it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there, but be confident and ask all the questions you need to get ahead in the industry.  

Keep an Open Mind

You will never land your dream job instantly, so it is important to keep an open mind and say yes to every opportunity. When you have made it in your industry, you will be able to start filtering through job offers and learning to say no sometimes. Until then, grab every chance you can to learn something new and get one step closer to excelling in your chosen profession.

Be Dedicated

You probably want to be a dedicated employee, in whatever industry you manage to get yourself into, so never take anything for granted. If you are given a task to do, make sure you complete it to the best of your ability. Your hard work will not go unnoticed and it will put you in an excellent position for job progression in the future. When you are truly passionate about your career, you will find it easy to work hard and stay motivated, so make sure you choose the right job to suit your desires and skills.

Becoming an excelling expert in your profession will take a lot of time and dedication; don’t rush any of these processes. Enjoy the journey and take pride in every little achievement you make along the way.

11 Simple Tips To Build A Landing Page That Converts [Infographic]

The online market space is fast growing and in this scenario, if you want to stay ahead of your competitors then you need to make use of varied marketing strategies that are available. The more competitors you have in your niche, the more difficult it becomes to capture new targeted leads. As such, if you are struggling to generate new leads for your business then one proven hack that can be mighty useful is a landing page.

Designed to obtain a single goal, the primary aim of all landing pages is to help you capture better leads for your business that converts. You can make use the landing page for varied marketing campaigns and it will help you achieve your marketing goals seamlessly – be it increasing sales for a specific product or for building a robust email marketing list. The benefits of a landing page for businesses are many, such as:

  • Improve Brand Visibility

  • Higher Search Engine Rankings

  • Higher Click-Through-Rate

  • More Traffic To Your Website

  • Increased Brand Credibility and Loyalty

So, if your goal is to generate more leads and increase your siteís search rankings and traffic then creating a landing page is a must. However, building a landing page that will help you yield maximum returns on your investment can be a challenge.

The reason for this is because most marketers are often times clueless as to what are the important landing page factors that they need to include. This leads to them committing common landing page mistakes that can hurt their bottom line.

Therefore, to make the task of building a landing page easier for you here is an infographic that offers 11 simple tips to create an amazing landing page that converts. So, go ahead and take a look at this landing page infographic now and make the most out of it!

The Anatomy Of A (Perfect) Landing Page [Infographic] by the team at LeadForest

The Anatomy Of A Perfect Landing Page Infographic

Guest post by Kristel Kinne of Lead Forest. 

 Kristel is a Digital & Social enthusiast. She loves to write about latest trends in Social Media, SEO & Everything Digital.

Find her at the following: 

Are Bars Still Profitable? 3 Things To Know Before Opening One

Bars have been around for many years, and there’s every reason to believe they’ll continue to be around for many more to come. People love going down to their local bar for a few drinks over the weekend, or to catch up with friends at lunch. No matter where you go, you’ll always find a fair few bars in any given town.

pixabay

 

This begs the question: if there are still loads of bars around, are they still profitable business ideas? Could you open a bar in your local town and start raking in a lot of money?

In truth, there are loads of factors that come into play when you open a bar and start your business. These factors will ultimately decide whether or not your business is successful and makes a profit.

So, if you think starting a bar business is an idea you want to run with, then here are some things to consider before you open:

Location Matters More Than Anything

There’s a reason many towns and cities have dozens of bars all clustered close to one another. It all has to do with their location. If a bar is in a popular hotspot that generates lots of foot traffic, it will always end up with customers. People have their favorite bar, and it’s mainly down to the atmosphere you create in yours.

The clever idea is to have a look at all the bars in your area and see what they offer. You will soon find that there’s a gap in the market for a certain type of bar in this location.

For example, let’s say you notice no one really offers a ‘family friendly’ bar—this can be your unique selling point to draw a specific crowd. Likewise, it may be missing a student bar, so you can swoop in and provide this.

The most important thing is that you get your location right to begin with. A bar in a great location will always attract customers, regardless of how much competition is around.

Alcohol Sale Laws Differ By State

If you sell alcohol—which you’ll probably do in a bar—then you have to abide by certain laws and regulations. These laws can differ, depending which state you open your bar in.

Did you know that in the state of Alabama you can’t sell alcohol between 12am and 12pm on Sundays in some counties? Then, in Texas, everyone who sells alcohol is required to obtain a TABC certification. Different states have different laws, and you should get to grips with yours before you start your business.

After all, it could have a massive impact on how much money you make. If the alcohol selling hours are very restrictive in your state, then you’ve got less time to make money through the week!

Speaking of laws, it’s illegal to sell alcohol to people under the age of 21 in the U.S. This immediately makes a difference, as it restricts your target market. Let’s say you open a bar in an area of town that’s mainly populated by families with children under 21. You don’t really have a lot of people to sell alcohol to, which can limit your income.

Overhead Costs Can Be Quite Steep

One of the biggest obstacles facing bar owners is the cost of running one. Overhead costs can be fairly steep, and the main concern is keeping them as low as possible. Naturally, you’ll have to purchase a lot of materials to sell in your bar. No one has the time to brew their own booze, although this can be a smart way of saving money! So, you have to find and buy alcohol, food, and snacks to sell in your bar … not to mention the cost of hiring employees to serve customers.

There are some things you can do to keep these costs as low as possible – buying your goods wholesale is the best idea here. However, you should probably put most of your focus on raising your sales to counter these costs. If you’re selling enough goods, you’re going to end up making a profit.

Therefore, make an effort to market your bar properly and reel in as many customers as can be. Mentioned earlier was how the location of your business is key, so you should also try to find a unique selling point. Another idea can be to host events during the week that draw in big crowds or hold happy hours where drinks are discounted.

So, are bars still profitable business ideas? Yes, but it depends on where you open yours and how you market it. Some bars see a lot of success, while others falter. It’s a gamble, but when it works, it can really pay off.