Pursuit of Success: Tech Tools to Effectively Establish a Home-Based Business
Are you ready to step out on your own? Establishing a home-based business can be thrilling and nerve-racking at the same time. Before getting started, consider whether you have the personal qualities necessary to run your own business. If you’re tenacious, able to adapt to new situations, willing taking risks, and regimented, this may be the right opportunity for you. So how do you set yourself up for success? Technology is at your fingertips, and knowing how to use it properly can help you get your business off the ground and achieve success.
We live in an age when technology is rapidly evolving, which means tools and devices abound for use in both the personal and business realm. Embracing the advantages is sensible when it comes to growing your business. Forbes suggests making an evaluation of what will make you more efficient, such as automating appropriate processes. For instance, a well-chosen invoice app can handle your invoicing, alleviate much of your data collection, track inventory, tell you which customers paid their bills, even politely remind customers when a balance is outstanding. It’s an easy way to bring e-commerce to your home based-business, simplifying bookkeeping and offering your clientele superior customer service. These programs even allow you to easily invoice from your phone if necessary.
Cornerstones and connections
Technology has the market cornered when it comes to promoting your new business venture. Thanks to the Internet, you can develop a presence for your business without ever leaving home. A cornerstone for any business these days is a website, and as Entrepreneur points out, it’s a resource for potential clients who want to learn more about what you offer. Take advantage of social media as well. You can establish a presence that touches your target audience by participating in groups with complimentary interests.
For example, if you’re consulting restaurateurs on how to improve their menu selections and themes, connecting with area chefs or farm-to-table enterprises could be a natural fit. And don’t be shy about promoting your venture. Developing your customer base quickly means doing aggressive public relations. Do cold calls, knock on doors, toot your horn. Reach out to friends and friends of friends with your ideas and use those connections and resources to get the word out about what you’re doing and how it will be important to others.
Know how your competition uses technology
Being aware of your competition is a logical aspect of pursuing success. For one thing, it’s important to understand how you differ from your competitors. What makes your business unique? How do you stand out? One suggestion is to explore their webpages, becoming familiar with their business models and services. If you don’t find them on the web, check social media. Think about what seems to be working well for them and what isn’t, and what you believe you could do more strongly or efficiently. For example, perhaps they have success interacting with customers on Facebook or successfully showcase their brand and story via photos on Instagram. You may even notice things that don’t work, leaving you room to expand upon it. Perhaps the website needs to be more appealing or the ease of navigation is lacking.
Be smart and stay productive
One of the most difficult aspects of running your own home-based business is keeping your schedule. All too often, those who work from home find themselves keeping early mornings and late nights, neglecting their personal life, and intermingling business with unrelated concerns. After all, you are starting this because you’re passionate about it, but don’t let productivity issues sideline you. The good news is that there are productivity tech tools you can use to keep things running smoothly. One example of such a tool is Meistertask, which is a task management/collaboration tool. The app allows you to create daily schedules and visual project plans, as well as communicate with your team in real time.
Another way to improve your workflow is to find your productivity sweet spot. Experts at Business Insider suggest getting into a healthy daily routine so you avoid getting sidetracked. While it will vary from one individual to the next, you should think about your peak times of day and when energy ebbs and flows. If you’re a morning person, that might be your best time for tackling your toughest meetings. Are you more of a night owl? Save that time slot for recording webinars. Make good use of your period of top performance, and build your routine around it. Ensure you include hobbies, family time and leisure time. You should also take opportunities to advance skill building, connecting with employees, and professional networking. By setting a balanced schedule, you will be most productive and content in the long run.
When it comes to the nitty gritty of your daily regimen, sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. If you find yourself struggling with the flow of your home business workday, consider these task-oriented timeframes (in addition to this list of entrepreneurial tools):
- Tasks to help me make money right now: invoicing clients and the work supporting those invoices should be your first priority.
- Tasks to help me make money soon: customer service, marketing opportunities and developing new projects will draw income in the near future.
- Tasks for long-term income: involved projects, which will take an expanse of time and networking are both tasks with eyes to the future.
- Management tasks: emails which do not relate to customer service or marketing, filing, bookkeeping and such fall into this category. Save them for when your energy level is lower or assign them to someone else to accomplish.
Your work, your way
Growing your home-based business is an exciting challenge. Use your resources, develop your vision and plan effectively. With a handful of smart tools and strategies, you can set yourself up for success.