Starting up a home-based business: The first 10 steps

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So you’ve made the decision to start up a home-based business. Congratulations! Now come all the inevitable questions:

– How do I get started?

– What should be my first step?

– Where do I begin?

These are powerful questions every Accidental Entrepreneur asks when starting up a business for the first time. The good news is that you can save months of frustration, lots of dead ends and thousands of Naira and Dollars simply by following these 10 crucial starter steps:

First 10 steps to starting up a home-based business

1. Get help. First things first. Don’t try to go it alone. Hire a home business coach, contact, score and partner with a mentor, or join a mastermind group focused on starting up a business.

2. Gather your people. A lot of fears may surface during this time. Make sure you have a group of people around you who understand what you are doing and know how to offer support without telling you what to do.

3. Decide what it is you want to do. This is no small task. You must be absolutely sure about the focus of your business and be passionate about it. It is this passion and conviction that will sustain you through the dark moments of doubt and confusion when no one believes in you but yourself.

4. Figure out who your niche market is. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a persona of your perfect client or customer. Figure out what they like, what keeps them up at night, and where they turn for help. Then develop an action plan for connecting with them.

5. Develop a viable product or service. First, make sure that your passion in business is a perfect match to the solutions you intend to provide to your niche market’s biggest challenges. Then, create 2-3 products at different price points that will entice website visitors to buy.

6. Put together a business plan. This is one of the most frequently skipped steps. The most important reason to have a business plan is to clarify where you are taking your business, what you are focusing on, and how you plan to get there.

7. Hire a professional to design and implement your website. Unless you have the design chops to put a website together, don’t try to skimp on money here by doing it yourself. You want a website that looks professional and is optimized with the actual keyword phrases that your niche market is using to find solutions to their challenges.

8. Begin building your mailing list. Rarely do people buy, right off, when they come to your home page. So create a special report, PDF, audio CD, or video that you will give away for free when website visitors opt-in to your mailing list. Do not ask them to sign up for your free e-Zine. No one needs another free e-Zine.

9. Put up a business blog. Make it an extension of your business that further connects you to your niche market. Plan to post 4-5 times a week and put into place an editorial calendar that focuses on four main subjects each week.

10. Brand your business. Branding means increasing the public’s awareness of your business name and logo and creating an image that inspires loyalty and trust in your niche market.

The best thing about starting any endeavor is the tremendous energy and enthusiasm you have at the beginning. The danger is, without guidance, you can squander this precious resource, leaving you with nothing to show for it. Follow these ten steps to starting up a home-based business and you will be well on your way to business success.

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