By November 28, 2011 Read More →

What not to do when starting and running a home business, by Emma Jones

Emma Jones' StartUp Secrets, How to Work from Home - The Inside GuideA month ago Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation shared her startup secrets with attendees of How to Work from Home – The Inside Guide. I’ll be covering her key points at a later date, but just as important is knowing what NOT to do when setting up and growing a home business! Here are 4 things Emma recommends you avoid:

1. Don’t do any research. It’s so easy to assume that because you love what you’re doing, so will plenty of other people, who will also want to pay you money for it. Test before committing yourself that there is a market, that it’s a sustainable market, and there is space for you within it. For example, carry out a simple customer survey, do some research to check the trends and find out how well existing suppliers are currently doing.

2. Don’t spend a lot of money committing yourself to stock, premises, investment, employees etc until you are sure there is a market. Emma coined the term ‘5-9 working’ a few years ago when she identified the new phenomenon of people starting businesses alongside their day job. Keeping the regular income going allows you to test out your idea with little risk. Check out my review of Emma’s book Working 5 to 9.

3. Don’t go for too wide a market and end up appealing to nobody. It’s tempting to think you’ll get most sales by going for the wider market. Instead, focus in on a niche that you understand and can fill really well. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, think of the clients you’ve had the most success with, or the problems you’ve beaten yourself, and tackle that market – the personal trainer who helps clients shed 2 stone, helps new mums get back into shape etc.

4. Don’t assume you must rely entirely on your own resources to get going and then to develop your business. A mentor can provide vital support, but also bear in mind you may need more than one person. You may find a technical expert helps with problem-solving, and a good all-round listener with encouragement, confidence-boosting and an objective viewpoint.

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