In the first part of Top Challenges that Home-Based Business Owners Face, we talked about the challenges of being your own boss. Being disciplined, managing your time and completing administrative tasks are all necessary for being a business owner, but you also need to put your efforts into activities that have a direct effect on growing your customer base. In this blog, we’ll focus on the challenges of growing your home-based business.
Attracting New Customers
Marketing your services is a skill in itself. Encouraging your family and friends to spread the word is a good start, but it’s not enough. A lot of home-based business owners struggle with this for different reasons. Perhaps they never thought about how to promote their services because, until recently, they’ve always worked for an employer. Maybe they already have customers but are so focused on attending to them that they don’t have time to think about growing the business.
Set aside time every day for marketing and promotion, like networking online or in person (e.g. attend events, ask for referrals) or building a social media following. If you really don’t like marketing, take advantage of solutions for small business owners like Homeur’s platform and marketplace, a one-stop shop that gives you access to new customers and tools to grow your business.
Getting new customers is one thing, retaining them is another. There’s no secret formula to this – customers go to a home-based business expecting high-quality, personalized service. Go above and beyond what they’d expect at a brick-and-mortar business and they’ll keep coming back. If you make a mistake as a business owner, own up to it and do whatever you can to fix it. Most customers will understand this and appreciate the quick effort to rectify any issues they have.
If you’re just starting out, you can provide your services to your friends and family for free so you can get their honest opinion on it. Ask them what they liked and what they didn’t like before opening up your service offering to the general public.
Working with Limited Resources
Unlike big corporations, home-based business resources are limited. Buying equipment and marketing activities can already put a squeeze on your bank account.
Don’t fret. Your business can still thrive within budget constraints. Working with limited resources is challenging, but it also forces you to get creative.. For one, you’re operating out of your home so you’re already saving on office space rent. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your resources:
- Take out a small business loan.
- Keep track of income tax deductibles for small businesses.
- Take advantage of affordable technology for small businesses, like free productivity tools or Homeur’s platform which provides you with a website, payment system, scheduling system, and access to customers through an online marketplace.
Turning challenges into opportunities is a part of the game you have to play as a home-based business owner. While they can be difficult to overcome, they’re not insurmountable. Getting those first few customers is always hard, but if you’re persistent and continue to provide great service, you’ll get them. Eventually, more and more people will see the value in your services, whether you’re a hairdresser or a guitar teacher, and your customer base will continue to grow.