According to the Center for Women's Business Research, “There are 10.4 million women running successful businesses in the U. S. Of those 10.4 million, 85% of them are running businesses out of their home. "
Women starting up a business from home run the gamut from moms wanting to work while staying at home with their children, to women jumping the corporate ship, to midlife entrepreneurs investing in their future.
Behind every woman starting up a business from home, there is a good idea just waiting to fail. Yes, fail. Why? Because a good idea is not a great one, and being passionate about something is not enough to turn a good idea into a thriving home-based business.
With women-run, home-based businesses being one of the fastest growing sectors of small business start-ups, it's important for women to make sure their good idea turns into a great one.
Top 5 Steps to Insure Your Business Success
1. Before you quit your day job, get to know the business side of things.
If you were a teacher interested in becoming a principal, you'd need to know what it would be like to be a school administrator. Right? Even if you already knew everything about being a teacher, you may not know about the business side of running a school.
The same thing is true when it comes to starting up a home-based business. You need to know what you're getting into before you start.
2. Realize that your good idea is going to take a hit.
If you were a knight riding off to war, wouldn't you want to know that your armor was strong? That it could withstand the rigors of battle? That it could bear up under the toughest of blows and the sharpest of blades?
Before you go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on product development, find out how well your idea will hold up under scrutiny. Interview your target customers to confirm your assumptions about your product. The questions you ask now will give you invaluable information that will help turn your good idea into a great one.
3. Have a clear vision of where you want to go.
Before you head off down the start-up road, you'll need a map. You'll need to have a plan to get from here to there - a plan that supports your great idea and vision of success.
This is where a clear vision statement and business plan come in handy. Having a vision for the kinds of products and services you want to offer and what specific niche group will buy them is important. Knowing how much it will cost to start up and run your business for the first couple of years is helpful, too.
4. Realize that you are going to have to wait for profits.
As with any business start up, initially the money going out is going to exceed the money coming in. For how long? Well, certainly for at least your first year. Probably the next. Sometimes it takes up to five years. It all depends on one thing: how well you've done steps 1, 2, and 3.
Thriving home-based business owners know they have to do two things while waiting for profits to roll in: hold the vision for their business and take steps every day to make it happen. Because of this, they have a system in place to handle the level of success they see for their business. Without these things, chances are you're going to quit long before you've had a chance to succeed.
5. The Fun Stuff
While you're waiting for the big bucks to roll in, focus your marketing energy on social media tools. This will bring you into contact with many amazing people while creating an Internet presence for your business.
- Get yourself on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Squidoo.
- Have fun building your following on Twitter.
- Build a blog that represents your style and passion in business and connects with your niche market.
- Develop a powerful website that attracts your niche market, converts them into prospects, and creates long-lasting relationships.
- Say yes to any interview opportunity.
Starting up a home-based business is exciting. Armed with a great, well-tested idea and a map for success, you will be on your way. First, remember to do your homework. Take the time to understand where you want to go and determine how you will get there. Great ideas need vision, and great leaders are visionaries. Be one, and start your journey from good idea to thriving home-based business!
Business Coach & Consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up small businesses, Dr. Susan L Reid is the author of “Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success. " For ideas, tips, and support for your business journey, sign up here for our free e-Zine .