Your Complete Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business

If you’re ready to say goodbye to your 9-to-5 office job and take your career in a new direction, you might be interested in starting a home-based business. When you run a business out of your home, you’ll be able to eliminate your commute, focus on your passions, and achieve the perfect balance between your professional responsibilities and your personal life. These tips will help you come up with a sustainable business idea, get your very first clients on board, and stay focused while working from home.

Decide On Your Business Idea

First, you’ll need to decide which business idea is right for you. Perhaps you’ve always been interested in opening up an ecommerce store, or maybe you want to create an educational resource with digital courses.

After leaving the corporate world, many people open their own consulting practices. Whether your professional background is in marketing, finance, IT, or human resources, you may want to become a consultant. To start a consulting business, you’ll need to research your target clients, come up with a reliable strategy that will help them identify their problems, and develop transitionary plans to assist them in implementing your recommended solutions.

Whichever direction you choose, connecting with a mentor will help you get there quicker. For example, if your goal is to succeed in e-commerce, enrolling in ImportPanda’s Perfect Product course can be invaluable in learning how to pick and list a product and sell it profitably.

Purchase Essential Tools

Before you start connecting with clients and customers, you’ll need to purchase a few essential tools and pieces of equipment. Market Business News recommends upgrading your computer, investing in a sturdy desk and comfortable office chair, and hooking up a multi-purpose printer and scanner. You should also safeguard your computer from viruses, as removing a virus can be a major headache. Start by installing the latest anti-virus software and make sure to update it regularly. And just in case your computer gets infected, you should also back up your files.

In addition, you’ll want to set up a high-quality webcam for video conferencing. With a webcam, you can chat with your clients and employees face to face! Before making a final decision, check out reviews of a few different models to compare prices, resolution, microphone quality, and overall functionality.

Find Your First Clients

You’ve developed a business plan, invested in the technology you need, and now, you’re ready to start working with your very first clients. It’s important to set up a business website and kick off your social media marketing efforts to connect with people who need your services. MBO Partners also suggests including a personal blog on your website in addition to essential business information.

As your business expands, you may need to bring on another employee or two, but in the early stages, you’ll likely be able to fulfill your client’s needs on your own, which will help you save money.

Stay Productive

As you adjust to working from home, you’ll need to adopt some strategies that help you stay productive without the structure provided by an office environment. For instance, you’re better off working in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home to avoid distractions. You’ll also want to set rules with your family about workday interactions and take scheduled breaks throughout the day so that you have time to unwind.

Form an LLC

Once you’ve gotten your business off the ground, you’ll need to decide which business structure is right for your company. You’ll likely want to establish your company as an LLC. According to Chron, registering your business as an LLC brings numerous benefits, including simple recordkeeping, membership flexibility, tax advantages, limited liability, and more. However, different states have their own requirements for forming an LLC, so make sure that you research your state-specific guidelines before you proceed.

Starting a home-based business and striking out on your own can be challenging. But gaining a new level of independence and changing your clients’ lives makes all the effort worth it. When you experience all the benefits of being your own boss, you’ll realize that you made the right choice for your career.

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4 Inventory Management Tips for Fast-Growing Businesses

Every business owner has their own unique strategy for organizing and managing their inventory. But as your business grows, you’ll probably need to tweak your system

If your business is experiencing rapid growth, you may be having difficulty when it comes to managing your inventory. Suddenly, you need to place larger orders with your suppliers, your physical storage space feels cluttered, and you need to streamline your inventory tracking system. Although all of this can be overwhelming, these are good problems to have; after all, it means that your business is becoming more profitable! If you are running a fast-growing business, these tips will help you effectively manage your inventory.

Hire New Team Members

As a business owner, you’re extremely dedicated to your company. You might feel like you need to take care of everything yourself, from answering customer emails to bookkeeping. But entrusting certain tasks to reliable contractors or full-time employees can help free up time in your schedule. As your business grows, you may want to hire a chat support specialist to respond to customers and keep them updated on their orders.

You can hire chat support specialists by posting about openings on online job boards such as Upwork. It will likely be easier to hire a freelancer, but in the future, it may be beneficial to transition a contractor into a full-time customer support role.

Organize Your Inventory

Perhaps you store your physical inventory in your attic, garage, basement, or another small spare room in your house, or maybe you rent a storage unit. No matter where you keep your inventory, there’s a good chance that this space has gotten cluttered and disorganized with the fast growth of your business.

Now that you are ordering, storing, and shipping more products, you’ll need to come up with an efficient organization system for your stockroom. Summit Storage Solutions recommends deep cleaning your stockroom, reducing your aisle space to create more room for storage, and using labels to ensure nothing is misplaced. Also, keep employees informed about these changes.

Use the Right Software

You’re likely already using a certain software system to keep track of your orders from your own suppliers as well as the orders you ship to customers. But with your business growing so quickly, you may want to consider upgrading your software system.

Now is also a great time to polish up your business’s website, especially your e-commerce functions! Make sure that your online shop is very user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

Consider New Suppliers

As your customer base grows, you’ve probably begun thinking about expanding to new sales platforms, from Amazon to local vendors in your city. However, it’s just as important to consider finding new suppliers for your inventory. After all, you want to make sure that you’re buying the highest quality materials at the most reasonable price, and shopping around for new suppliers can help you increase your profits. Chron suggests looking for reputable suppliers through a local trade association. Spend some time reading trade catalogs for your industry and reach out to vendors you’re interested in working with.

Running a business is never easy, and when your business begins expanding quickly, it can feel like your to-do list is a mile long. And when it comes to managing your inventory, you may be scrambling to place new orders, organize your supplies, and stay on top of customer feedback. Hiring the right people on a freelance basis, carving out time to declutter your storage space, and choosing user-friendly tracking software can make a world of difference for your business!

Guest Post Written By: Dean Burgess from Excitepreneur.net

Photo via Pexels

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Amazon FBA Private Label: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

  • Half of all U.S. households are subscribed to Amazon Prime
  • Half of all online shopping searches start directly on Amazon
  • Amazon captures nearly one in every two dollars that Americans spend online–that’s 50% spent on Amazon in the US!

The tech giant is obviously taking over, keeping traditional retail on its toes, but we all know where this is going to end with e-commerce being our main form of purchasing goods. Selling on Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is still easy. There is a very little barrier to entry, and all of the hard work, the logistics (sales, fulfillment, customer service) are done by Amazon itself, so all of your time is spent on marketing and product research.

Obviously, Amazon has a huge audience! But the strategic mindset you need to succeed is to find and sell a very specific product for a narrowly targeted niche.

Becoming an Amazon seller is possible for you.

This is the most comprehensive step-by-step guide for starting your own successful Amazon FBA business.

Start your journey today, and finally start making money on Amazon.

We’ll be updating this guide to keep it up-to-date, so bookmark this page and come back often as you’re building out your new business.

Let the journey begin!

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How To Order A Sample For Your Amazon FBA Product (Part 1 of 3)

Ordering a product sample is a great accomplishment in every Amazon FBAer's journey. Product research is one of the hardest parts, and by ordering a product sample, you get to validate your claims and make sure the product meets your standards.

If you're here, you must have found the Perfect Product to import. If not, I recommend you head on over to our courses page and check them out! If you need to get started with selling on Amazon, we offer a free 10-day email course which will teach you all of the basics.

So you've done the hard part--you've found a product--Congratulations! Now how do you go about ordering it?

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How To List Your Product On Amazon FBA (Part 2 of 3)

Taking time to learn how to list on Amazon FBA and create an optimized listing for your product is an extremely important part to maximizing your product's potential. If you don't put in the effort, you will find you won't rank as high on Amazon's site. However, if you put in the time, and use your product research skills then you will end up with a perfectly optimized Amazon listing ready to go!

If you're here, you must have found the Perfect Product to import and ordered your product sample. If not, I recommend you head on over to our courses page and check them out! If you need to get started with selling on Amazon, we offer a free 10-day email course which will teach you all of the basics which you can find here.

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Placing Your Amazon FBA Order (Part 3 of 3)

Placing your Amazon FBA order is one of my favorite parts of starting a new product. It is the final step before you start selling on Amazon and it validates all your prior claims by exchanging the money with your supplier. There are a few details you must know if you want to make this process go as smoothly as possible though.

If you're here, you must have found the Perfect Product to import and listed your product on Amazon. If not, I recommend you head on over to our courses page and check them out! If you need to get started with selling on Amazon, we offer a free 10-day email course which will teach you all of the basics which you can find here.

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How Much Investment It Took Me To Start My Amazon FBA Business

One of the most common questions I get from new sellers is, how much of an Amazon FBA investment do I need? Personally I started my Amazon business with a $300 investment. I know… its crazy… but it worked.

Don't get me wrong--You probably need more than that

I had a lot more money to throw around than $300, the thing is that I don't like taking unknown risks. This is not a good or bad thing, but it has helped me a lot. I am always cautious before leaping into something, but at some point you have to dive straight in and commit a small amount of money.

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Dropshipping vs Amazon FBA – Which Is Better?

Short Answer: Amazon FBA

Long Answer: It's complicated…

I have years of experience with both drop shipping (9+ years) and Amazon FBA (3+ years) and I can tell you that both are phenomenal business models and very empowering to be self-employed or make money as a side-gig.

During high school, I used to make about $2,000/mo PROFIT with drop shipping, and then people started to catch on. It is scalable, but you will always run into issues. The most likely problem is the rat race to the bottom; this is an endless pursuit where margins get slimmer and slimmer, since you don't control your product and there are always competitors.

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Where You Should Buy Your Amazon FBA UPC Codes

What are Amazon UPC Codes?

As an Amazon seller, you should already be familiar with UPC codes, if you aren't, I recommend you start learning about becoming an Amazon seller before diving into more technical portions of the business. If you need to get started with selling on Amazon, we offer a free 10-day email course which will teach you all of the basics which you can find here.

There is only one legitimate producer of these UPC codes, that is GS1 (Global Standard 1). They are a non-profit organization that has set the global standard for supply chain barcoding. These UPC codes are used as a unique identifier of your item on Amazon, after all, Amazon is a logistics company and needs to adhere to the global standards.

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The 15 Things You Need To Know Before Selling On Amazon FBA

Over my years of selling on Amazon FBA I’ve gained a significant amount of knowledge and learned what it takes to make a product successful. It is very important that new Amazon FBA private label sellers know these things before diving in!

1. The Money is in the Research

This is too true, and if you jump straight into importing a product without doing the research—you will have a high chance of failure. Check out this post!

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