Home-based businesses are a popular choice for professionals and stay-at-home parents, because of the cost savings that it offers. You no longer have to commute to work. You don’t have to rent office space. You only need to have a good idea, and some basic tools of the trade to run a home-based business. For example, most people run writing careers on their home computers. Some even act as virtual assistants. Knowledgeable folks run consultancy businesses and law practices from home, just traveling for client meetings when necessary.
However, one big challenge here is finding the right people and right companies to serve as clients, and also the right people to have as virtual colleagues. But with social media, it’s not very difficult to network with the right people.
Establish an online presence. The first thing to do in marketing your home based business is to establish your authority in your field or industry. This helps build credibility, and therefore encourages people to spread the word about you in a viral fashion. For example, if you are in the real estate business, you can run a blog about housing, home financing, and mortgages. Or you can even run a blog about interior design and architecture. If people read your articles, and appreciate your insights and knowledge, then you will be able to present yourself as an authority in this field.
Use social networking tools. The next step would be to establish your presence in online networking tools. This can be focused on professional contacts, and also on personal contacts. Networks like FaceBook and MySpace focus on the personal aspect of networking. Those like LinkedIn, meanwhile, focus on the professional and business aspect. Set up a profile on these sites, so people know where to find you, and so you can also get connected with other people with similar interests. You can find potential clients, colleagues and even business partners this way.
Reach out and communicate. Apart from running your own blog and social media profiles, it’s a good idea to reach out to other people who are in the same business as you are. For example, if you are in the business of graphic design, and you read an interesting blog about design concepts, you can submit your comments, and provide your own opinion on the matter. You can agree, and add further information. Or you can provide a dissenting view, and back your opinion with references. This way, you establish yourself as someone knowledgeable in this field.
Find old friends, classmates and colleagues. One good way of getting clients and partners for your home-based business is by reaching out to people you have worked with in the past. People who know you to be a trustworthy worker or friend would be easier to convince to invest in your business or acquire your services as a client. You can use social networks to find these people, but you can also do it the old fashioned way: by looking into your old school yearbooks.
Building your business from home usually requires inexpensive marketing, and the best way to do this is by networking and spreading the news by word of mouth. Invest your time in these online and offline tools to improve your business, and it will pay off with a steady stream of contacts and clients.