I have listed some popular home business questions and answers. These are to help you to make sure you are thinking about the right key business decisions. These may also trigger other questions you may have about a home business.
Q. Why am I starting a home business?
A. There are a number of reasons motivating an individual to start a home business. A key factor is whether your reason is strong enough to overcome the challenges of starting and operating a home business. Common reasons include financial freedom, potential for big earnings, schedule flexibility, personal fulfillment or be your own boss.
Q. What kind of business do I want?
A. You can have just about any kind of business you want. Most home business success comes from doing something you enjoy. Passionate about a hobby or personal interest? Turn it into a business. “Auntie” Ann Beiler started selling hand-rolled pretzels at a Downingtown, Pennsylvania farmer’s market in the 1980’s. Now it is a worldwide business.
Q. Who is my ideal customer?
A. Consider the demographic characteristics of your ideal customer. (Demographics are the study of a population based on factors such as age, race, sex, economic status, level of education, income level and employment, etc.) The ideal customer is one with money! But that factor is much too large. Who your ideal customer is in part dependent upon what products or services you want to sell.
Q. What products or services will my business provide?
A. You want to provide products or services that will solve a customer’s problem or fulfill a customer need. They come to your business because they want your help. They are not coming there for you to “sell” them. You are offering your customers results.
Q. What makes my business idea and the products or services I will provide different from others in the market?
A. Hint: It is not the price. Provide a new perspective or idea to the table. Identify the reasons why a customer should buy from you rather than your competition. Customers want solutions to their problems. The solutions should provide value to the customer.
Q. Who is my competition?
A. Anyone or any company that provides similar products and services. A good example is my former tax practice. As a sole proprietor, my competition consisted of the large tax preparation chains like HR Block and other individual tax preparers. To compete against both, I offered “in-home” tax services to make it more convenient for my clients.
Q. Do I have the time and money needed to get my business started?
A. Before starting a home business, you must consider start-up costs and recurring expenses and the impact on your current financial status. Do you have enough money to pay bills and the necessities of life? Consider the time factor involved in starting a business. Assess your daily routines and demands on your time from family, friends, work and leisure. Assess your ability to adjust or change your schedule.
Q. How long do I have until I start making a profit?
A. How long depends upon your cash flow and how much cash reserves you have. Creating a personal budget taking into consideration projected business expenses can help determine how long you have before making a profit. How long may also be determined by how willing you are to borrow money and whether you have sources.
Q. What is an Affiliate Program?
A. An affiliate program is a marketing program where you receive commissions for helping a company (such as Amazon) generate sales. The commission percentage paid is company specific and usually determined by the price of the product or how “easy” it is to sell (one-time buys or repeat sales).
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