Budgeting | Career & Education | Life | Personal Finance | Article

How To Kickstart Your Home Business

by The Simple Sum Team | 24 Nov 2021 | 7 mins read

This article is sponsored by Lalamove Singapore. From now until 12 December 2021, use the promo code LALAMOVEIT to get 3 coupons for 50% off your delivery fee (capped at $6) for new users, and 20% off your delivery fee (capped at $6) for existing users when you get your goods delivered or moved with Lalamove.

We’ve all thought about starting our own business at some point in our lives. Some of us may have dreamt about turning a passion for food into a catering business. For others, the freedom and flexibility to schedule our days is the greatest appeal of running a business.

Whatever your reason to start a business might be, it’s easier than ever to do so today. With the Internet, social media, e-commerce platforms, and accessible delivery services, you can start your business small, with minimal risks, and right from your home.

But as is with everything in life, the biggest hurdle with starting a home business is just that – starting it! We may have a great idea for our business, and we can talk about it with our friends, but we tend to procrastinate getting our business going because we don’t really know how to start. So, we’ve come up with this handy list to help you kickstart your own home business.

Laying the foundation

Create a detailed business plan

The first step in starting a business is to come up with a kick-ass idea based on your talents and skills. Got your idea? Great!

Next, you need to map out how your idea can be turned into a successful business by conducting market research and projecting how much you could potentially earn from your idea. Just because it’s a great idea doesn’t mean it can make you money.

Once you’ve done your research, write an overview of your business. This is your business plan, which includes a description of your product and service, ways in which your business can develop, targets to reach and potential pitfalls. As the purpose of a business plan is to give you direction on how to build your business, try to make your plan as detailed as possible.

It may seem like a lot of work at first but having a plan puts you in a proactive position to help your business flourish in the long run.

Organise your funds

While starting a home business is affordable these days, you are still bound to incur costs.

You’ll have start-up costs such as equipment, high-speed internet, name cards, and website creation fees as well as operational costs such as electricity bills and raw materials.

For instance, if you’re planning to start a home baking business, you’ll need to factor in your mixing bowls, ovens, flour, butter, electricity bills, and the website you use to collect orders for your baked goods, among other things.

Calculate how much you’ll need to start and run your business and then think of ways that you’re going to pay for these costs.

Develop your brand

Visibility and staying relevant are crucial for any business, and a home-based one is no different. To get your brand ‘out there’, think about how you’d like to market your products. It’s also important to understand your customers and audience so that you can create something they can strongly relate to.

Take for instance, an online baked goods business. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of bakeries and home bakers that have set up shops, so how will you make your baked goods business stand out from the rest?

Perhaps you can market your business as an upscale, bespoke bakery that customises beautiful one-of-a-kind wedding cakes. Or you can choose to develop vegan-friendly baked goods and market them to environmentally conscious customers.

Once you’ve developed your brand identity, you can then build an online presence by creating a social media platform to engage frequently with your customers.

Plan for delivery

The delivery partner you engage with is also essential to your home business. Customers these days expect fast deliveries, so it’s crucial to look for a reliable and consistent delivery partner that can deliver on time, especially if your home business is food-based.

Then, there is the matter of safety and how your goods are handled. No matter how good your product is, your customers will feel put off if they receive it in a crumpled, smashed-up box. It may even compromise your product and brand reputation!

This is where door-to-door service and drivers that handle parcels with care come in. By delivering your goods directly from one place to another on the same day, it reduces the chances of damage and loss. Even if something were to go wrong with your delivery, the last thing you want is a delivery partner that can’t be reached to help you solve the problem.

Hence, to ensure a safe and smooth delivery, do your research and get a trustable delivery service provider that will not only handle your parcels properly but also have dedicated personnel that will assist you should you have any issues with your delivery.

Depending on your product, you first need to identify what vehicle you need – motorcycle, car, multi-purpose vehicle, van or lorry.

Pay attention to commitment fees or monthly fixed charges that may reduce your profit. Look for flexible and cost-effective pay-per-use options that charge based on usage.

These days, delivery services also offer route optimisation such as multi-stop options that allow several deliveries under a single route. For example, a delivery rider can collect five parcels from your house and deliver them to different addresses. This is not only convenient for home businesses; it also saves cost and time!

Other things to consider

Setting boundaries

One of the biggest obstacles with having a home business is setting boundaries. Firstly, there needs to be clear physical boundaries between work and chillout spaces.

Secondly, as your work schedule often eats into your personal time, many home business owners become overworked which leads to fatigue. Setting clear boundaries is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a home business owner.

Evaluate and adapt

Even with all this planning, things might go wrong.

If you’re running a clothing business, you could face a supply shortage of a particular textile if an overseas supplier goes out of business. Instead of panicking, evaluate the situation and look for a solution such as switching to a local textile supplier.

There will always be hitches along the way, so be ready to continually re-evaluate your business and adapt accordingly.

Staying strong

Remember, there are a lot of hurdles that go into starting a business. You may get disheartened along the way and run into fatigue, but be strong and stay the course.

Content sponsored by Lalamove Singapore

A message from our sponsors:

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From now until 12 December 2021, use the promo code LALAMOVEIT and you’ll get 3 coupons for 50% off your delivery fee (capped at $6) for new users, and 20% off your delivery fee (capped at $6) for existing users when you get your goods delivered or moved with Lalamove. Sign up now.