How Would You Start a Home-Based Business?

by Melanie Edwards on August 25, 2008 · 11 comments

in Wahm

I posted the following question on twitter, plurk, and a few other social networks today.

if you had one month to work on starting your home-based business (freelance/blogging), what would be your steps/plan?

Here are the responses I received.

Twitter

Plurk

And a good friend of mine responded via Facebook.

  1. Study the trade
  2. Research the market
  3. Find out all the legal stuff
  4. Building a website
  5. Write a business plan
  6. Get investors
  7. Get to work

These are all great responses and ideas. But, I’m still looking for more.

I think I also need to clarify my question a little bit.

I already have my own domain and I plan to revamp the look of this blog very soon. I’m already working on the design and my husband is working on my logo, business cards, and overall corporate identity.

What I need is the next step.

What should I focus on first?

In other words, if I were to have a full month to dedicate to this blog/business, what is the best use of my time?

Writing content? Marketing/networking? Something else I’m completely not thinking of?

So again, here’s my question:

if you had one month to work on starting your home-based business (freelance/blogging), what would be your steps/plan?

I look forward to reading your answer in the comments.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bunmi August 26, 2008 at 1:09 am

There is only one thing you need to think about: what the value of what you’re offering is. Keep your mind on what service you’re really providing and everything else will fall into place. I was working from home and doing what I do long before I had corporate identity or anything like that. I don’t even have business cards yet. I don’t even have time for more clients (which is a blessing). Right now I’m learning how to best use my one assistant so my time is freed up…also, only get advice from people who are doing it and making money.

It’s 100% possible to be a WAHM and work around nap schedules and preschool. You can do it!!

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2 Modern Mami August 26, 2008 at 7:12 am

Thanks Bunmi. That’s the thing, I know I can do it, but just need more time to make it happen. lol

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3 Rae August 26, 2008 at 9:41 am

You know, I can’t really answer your question because I’ve never had that long to devote just to my home-based work. However, if it’s blogging you are looking to do, I can suggest you check out some of the local events coming up soon that are about blogging and may be able to help answer this question for you. Etan, from the Sentinel, has a good break down for them for you: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/etan_on_tech/2008/08/mark-your-calen.html

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4 Modern Mami August 26, 2008 at 10:25 am

Thanks, Rae! Yup, I plan to attend both IzeaFest and BlogOrlando. Maybe I’ll see you there! :)

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5 Bunmi August 26, 2008 at 10:38 am

You can make money on your blog right now. You don’t need anything you don’t already have…is advertising your revenue model? For example, I own a few blogs and no company has ever graced the pages without paying for it. I think the biggest mistake bloggers make is doing “free giveaways” from companies. 100% of mine have been sponsored. These PR companies know they should pay but will get away with whatever they can and since bloggers (and most people) don’t talk about money, no one knows when they’re getting screwed.

The entrance fee for a company being on a blog I own is $250. That’s for a two week sponsored contest, sometimes less. It’s advertising and should not be free. It’s just a matter of approaching companies and letting them know why they should do it. And that’s my side gig….

You can so do this. Just cut back on social networking to find the time. You only need 1,5-3 hours a day.

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6 Miss Britt August 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Content first – just so you have something to sell.

Then I would spend every waking minute marketing.

None of it is crap without marketing.

If you have 1 month? That’s what you do.

(I know of what I speak here…)

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7 Modern Mami August 26, 2008 at 9:24 pm

@Bunmi: $250!!! wow, that’s great for you! I guess I need to think about how to approach PR folks, or reply to their requests. You have some great tips, though. Thanks!

@Britt: yes, I think I would need to spend a good bit of my time on writing

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8 lalatina August 28, 2008 at 9:27 pm

I guess my answer would be similar to the response you got from your friend on Facebook. I would say write a business plan. I would take a week, get a good business plan template and really hash out the whole business. A good template should give you all of the hard questions – some will be applicable to what you are thinking of and some will not be..Your question is how would you start a home-based business and I think that you need to know your competition, marketing strategy, pricing, costs, etc. I would then use this document as a living evolving map of my business making changes as I needed.

A business plan really forces you to research what you are doing and is necessary if you ever want to go for a small business loan.

Marketing is important but it is also vital, in my opinion, to also know if what you have to market even makes sense and if there is an audience who wants it.

My two cents.

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9 Modern Mami September 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm

great advice @lalatina!

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