Archive for February 19, 2015

Hiring for Your Home Business


A home business may provide you perks and benefits such as less commute time, more work time and flexibility, home cost deductions on taxes, and so on. While you can solely manage your own business, it’s still appropriate that you hire a team that can help you get your business off the ground. It may sound cliched, but a great company is made up of great people.

So, how do entrepreneurs like yourself find the right people to assist you with business plans, projects and ideas?

Every business and situation is different, but there are three things you must consider to bringing aboard the best possible team you can have:

Getting business right

People who practice get it right most of the time. And this also applies in business. Searching for an employee that’s dedicated in working hard doesn’t mean that they will come early, work overtime or on weekends just to impress you.  Focus on hiring someone that’s committed on getting business fundamentals right, someone who will help you build your home business from the ground up no matter how tedious the task.

Fitting the culture

In employing new hires, you must seek individuals that will adapt to your culture, These individuals must be passionate about helping you build a loyal client base. Hire someone who’s already accustomed to what your business is into, not someone who is just adapting. New hires must fit into the homebased culture, whether they’re working in your home office, or you’re outsourcing virtually.

Learning from experience

You must also pay attention to the ability of your potential hires to learn from previous work experience. When hiring, it’s imperative to find someone who have actually learned something from their last job position than someone who has an exhaustive resume. When conducting job interviews, you can learn who has the most potential in helping you with your business.

If you need to browse through resumes, a recruiting system can help you. Such a system provide pre-screening questions and capability ratings of candidates. Focus on the exact requirements you are looking for in a candidate to save yourself huge amounts of time.

You can also try networking. Unfortunately, many are not fit for homebased positions. When you’re flooded with resumes for each position you advertise, it’s best if you rely on candidates that are referred to you by friends who are also business owners. Connect with your network, search through social media outlets such as LinkedIn, and you’ll get to encounter the fantastic  players who are seeking for their next job opportunity.

So, get hiring

Searching for the best candidates may take awhile, but the time is worth your investment. Build a team that wants to grow with the company, and ensure that they will fit your company culture and eager to learn new tasks in various fields. Bad hires can cost you thousands of dollars and that’s not really the way you want to spend your money in a competitive market.

If your home business is all set up and you need a team to assist you, now is the time to get hiring. There are exceptional hires out there; you just need to identify your job requirements and do some detective work (preferably online or through your network) to seek out the people who will make your business succeed.


Top 5 Marketing Essentials For Your Business

Business-MarketingStumped on how to market your home business? Check out these top 5 marketing essentials that can help you get your brand out there in the market.

Identifying your brand

What is your brand? What products or services are you offering? Who will be your potential customers? Addressing these questions will enable you to quickly classify your business and help you develop your brand.

Identifying your brand informs your business clients about who you are. Your marketing efforts should revolve around building and promoting your story you want to tell about your business. Will you be known for your high-quality products or excellent customer service? Who would be your target audience? Single moms? Young professionals? Small business owners?

In identifying your brand, make sure you take note about what makes you stand out from the competition.

Honing your pitch

When you have identified your brand, you must be ready for all the unofficial occasions when you’ll have the opportunity to present and promote your business. A good, but brief business pitch is necessary, which can open doors for you and enable potential clients to remember you as a sharp, professional and capable business owner.

During this brief pitch, a summary of your business must be delivered on spot and direct to the point. The summary must describe why you are unique and what are your immediate goals.  Tailor your pitch around your target audience and bear in mind the concerns and thoughts of your listener. Once the conversation has ended, ensure that your audience has the right contact information about you or your business.

Using marketing tools

Sure, you’ve identified your brand and created a good, concise pitch. But you still need to promote your business through a range of marketing tools that can reinforce your business identity and provide your target customers something that’s tangible to remember you by.

Check out these tools that can assist you in your business promotional efforts:

Business cards

Business cards are essential marketing tools that can help get the word out about your business. Get creative with your business cards that detail your name, business name, business address, website, email address, business logo, social media profiles and other pertinent information where customers can get in touch with you. Your business cards should be simple, yet appealing enough to make a lasting impression.

Business logo

A professional logo represents your brand identity and style. Your logo will be seen everywhere, in your business cards, your office, and in your website and social media profiles.


Having an official company website is key to informing your customers that you are a valid business. Customers who are looking to purchase something are more apt to check online to see prices and availability. Plus, having a website that has a search engine optimized content is better in ensuring about the online visibility of your business.

Other marketing materials such as posters, flyers, postcards

Who says posters and flyers are outdated? In business, you need all the help you can get. Promotional posters provides the exposure your business needs. These marketing handouts raise awareness about your brand, communicate your goals, and tell your story.

Having a social media presence

Most businesses are already engaged on social media. Social media sites act as platforms for business owners that enable them to have a direct interaction with their customers. It’s a different kind of word-of-mouth marketing that’s easy, profitable and allows for reaching out to people outside of your network. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are some of the social media sites you can use to market your business.

Getting mentorship

Starting and developing a business still pose challenges even for the most experienced business owner. There are still business obstacles you will experience no matter how prepared or knowledgeable you are in business. Getting trusted mentors is key to helping you go through the daily flow of business.

Whether it’s through your own network or SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), you can obtain free or low-cost counsel about your business activities and continuing goals. Mentors may provide fresh perspectives by sharing about their own experiences and help minimize your risk of putting your time, money and efforts into something that’s unfit for your business.


Best Places to Find a Mentor for Your Home Business

It’s proven that being under the guidance of a mentor can help you improve your chances of succeeding in business. A smart, professional and experienced advisor is a great investment since his or her expertise can be invaluable to your home business.

Mentors will not make decisions for you, but will offer counseling and consultations. Some even work with small business owners for free, all in a day’s work of helping people’s businesses thrive.


So, where can you find such a mentor? There are agencies and organizations that help match entrepreneurs with mentors. Here are some of them:

  •  SCORE: is the go-to organization for obtaining free and confidential mentoring to owners of small businesses. SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and has a network of thousands of retired business management professionals, leaders and volunteers. SCORE’s volunteers also act as mentors who share their business skills and prowess through online or in-house counseling.
  • Small Business Development Centers: SBDCs are also great sources of providing both aspiring and current small business owners low-cost or free advice and counseling in almost all locations around the country. In fact, there are more than 1,2000 SBDCs located nationwide.
  • Women’s Business Centers: WBCs are another way to get counseling, training, and other resources to assist women business owners to start and grow successful businesses. You can find a WBC office near you through the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
  • Minority Business Development Centers: These centers are part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s efforts to provide assistance to minority-owned businesses. MBDCs operate at an estimated 40 centers throughout the country.
  • Trade or Professional Associations: There is a range of trade and professional organizations that run business mentoring programs for business startups. Some of these associations offer one-one mentoring sessions, whether it’s a formal one or in a customary setting. Associations like these also provide group networking opportunities. You can find more information about them online or those that operate in your industry.
  • Government Contracting Mentors: If you have business plans of wanting to sell to the federal government, you can take advantage of what the General Services Administration (GSA) offers. GSA has introduced a Mentor/Protégé program that’s aimed to support primary contractors to assist small business owners in government contracting. GSA also enables entrepreneurs to improve their capacities to succeed in government contracts and subcontracts.
  • Network within your industry: It’s important that you also have your own network and connections. Who do you know in your industry? Previous employers or friends that are business owners can also provide you handy business advice and counsel. Connect with them on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. You have nothing to lose.

To get the most out of a mentoring relationship, follow these few tips.

  1. Consistency and organization: Act prepared. Be organized, consistent and serious in your business endeavors. Also, respect your mentor’s time. Nobody wants time-wasters.
  2. Advanced planning: To benefit from mentorship sessions, plan them in advance. You can either have a one-on-one consultation or have a lunch meeting. It’s preferable to discuss what your business goals are, how to address impediments in business, or get advice on business requirements that you don’t understand. Have more formal, structured sessions that identify the many different factors of starting, developing, managing and growing your business.
  3. Take notes: Use your mentor’s advice, apply as you see fit, and review progress in your next session.

How to Properly Launch Your Home Business

fingers on keyboardRunning a homebased business may sound deceptively appealing, but there are intricacies involved. Before you start transferring your computers, copiers and paperwork to your home office, note that there are multiple factors to consider. Ask yourself the following questions before outsourcing news hires or purchasing office equipment:

  • What are the costs involved with the changes? Do you have the budget to finance your business at home?
  • Can you manage working and living in the same area? Are you free from any distractions?
  • Where will be the business located in the home?
  • What will your neighbors think or how would they react to your home business?
  • Is working from home the right decision for you?

If you’re adamant on pursuing a home business, you might have an idea of what products or services you would want to market. You must also consider your background and experience, and what you’re passionate about doing – a quality that can be useful for your business success.

Plus, doing it right the first time can save you money and prevent any inconveniences. Here are several factors that you must consider in properly launching your home business:

  • Make your product stand out. Products are the heart of any business. If your product is still in the development stage and you need capital, you can start looking at small business grants for women. Innovative products, especially those that are designed for social good, can easily secure financial assistance from the federal government or a charitable institution.
  • Build a team. In order for a business to run properly, you must determine who will do the invoicing, storing of information, marketing, time tracking, bookkeeping and estimates, etc. You can’t do all these: you need the right people for these kinds of jobs. You can either hire someone in-house or outsource for the right candidate.
  • Get into online marketing and web design. A business is required to have a website. How can people know or search for you if you don’t have an online presence? A website is on e of the best ways to get your products or services out there. There is an array of web-hosting services (like GoDaddy or WordPress) that lets you create your own e-commerce website or blog. You can also try social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your brand and engage with your potential customers. Search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertisements and email marketing campaigns are all online marketing strategies. SEO and PPC may require you to design your website and its content in a specific way aimed at search engines and generating traffic.
  • Communicate. Working from home requires you to be in consistent touch with your business affiliates, clients and suppliers. Having a telephone line is crucial in any business, but you could also add these communication tools in your list: a reliable Internet connection, VoIP and video conferencing services, a smartphone, and digital voice mail.
  • Organize your home office. It’s not easy cramming all your office equipment into a room. It’s best if your home office is designed in a way that is distraction-free, comfortable and convenient. Your equipment should be positioned in places that are within reach.

So, having a homebased business does not just give off that stereotypical image of working in your PJ’s all day – in fact, running such a business is tricky in more ways than one. But if you have the right tools, be in the proper area, and understand how to market your product or service, you can be on your merry way to success.


Handy Tips for Funding Your Home Business

woman home business

As an entrepreneur, your brain may be brimming with great ideas and innovative ways on how to implement them. But starting a home business isn’t simple; it entails a bulky amount of hard cash in your coffers. However, for the business owner that’s determined to get funding, there are many funding options available. It’s up to you to identify which is the most lucrative and what suits your financial resources.

Here are tips that can help you find the right funding platform to kick start your home business.

What’s your niche?

Innovative business ideas shouldn’t go to waste. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom who have ideas of helping economically disadvantaged children get the education or technology they need in underserved areas. As you look for funding, considering what your niche is will help you address what’s needed and keep your business apart from others. You can start off by researching financiers that will be interested in what your business proposes.

Apply for grants/loans

There are grants tailored to every business project or idea out there. There are business grants for women, grants for minority business owners, single mothers, and more. To apply, you can search online and find federal grants in various categories that will apply to your business idea. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a list of programs designed to provide help, financial support and counsel small business owners. However, most grant programs involve writing extensive proposals wherein you provide every explicit detail of your business. Don’t let this get you down; you will never secure a grant if you don’t try.

Forget the bank. If you’re already a small business owner, SBA can aid you in locating loan opportunities near you. From business disaster recovery loans to microloans, there are a slew of specialized options available for you to break ground.

So, produce that detailed business plan and hone your pitch. Guaranteed, you’ll increase your odds of obtaining the financing you need.

Seek crowdfunding

If you spend most of your time online, why not try crowdfunding to raise funds for your business idea? Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe offer platforms for businesses to raise funds and give out details about their project.

The popularity of the sites also means competition for you. It’s crucial you share what ignited your passion for conceptualizing your business and what is the mission of your business. Once you do this, funders would love to see that mission being fulfilled.

Find angel investors

If you’re comfortable trading ownership equity for capital, angel investors might be the funding solution you’re seeking.

Find an angel investor that’s looking for a business idea like yours. Angel investors can set your ideas in motion; however, this type of investor will require a chunk of your company in return for your funding.

Join contests

Get your resourcefulness into full gear; search online and enter contests that encourage innovative ideas like yours through financial rewards. There are various start-up challenges hosted by nonprofits, corporations, large businesses, and educational institutions that give small business owners the chance to reap funding and accelerate their business to success. Your idea should be original and must stand out from the rest in order to secure your chances of winning.