When it comes to starting your own home based business, you will need to decide if you are going to stock physical products that you ship out to your customers, or whether you are going to sell digital products like an e-book, or do affiliate marketing.
Having and running your own business, frees up your time to do the things you want to do, not the things you HAVE to do, to get that monthly cheque, it is worth remembering that in life it all boils down to two choices,
- Work for an entrepreneur
- Be an entrepreneur
So, which ever route you decide to do, or even if you want to do all three, you will need a website.
Bill Gates once said that if your business is not on the internet, you don`t have a business. I will show you how to start a home based business, I will talk about the pros and cons of all three business models in this post, and, point you in the direction of where to get two free sites, with free hosting. Regular visitors will know I like free!
So, for the first option, that of producing a physical product, I am going to use the example of DVD`s, because that is what I produced. Yes, I got these free, or practically free, it cost me three trips to Brighton, and three lunches, why I was there can be found elsewhere in these pages.
So, I had these products, and absolutely no idea what to do to make them marketable, a graphic designer wanted upwards of a hundred pounds Sterling to produce something, and another fifteen quid for a photo, from a photo library, not doing that!
So I learnt how to use Photoshop, only to be told by the printer I had to use Illustrator! You can see my efforts on the left, I bought a bar code, and everything!
I was totally dismayed! Until a friend of mine helped me (for a small fee!) to produce the finished product. I was ecstatic! I contacted a printer, and got a quote to print them, on a small budget, I sent him the masters and away he went.
What he produced was very impressive, professional looking, and highly marketable, it was important to me that the customer was fully satisfied with what they had bought, and that it was presented in an acceptable format.
I had organised an area in my home with printer labels, Jiffy bags to put them in, and had been to the Post Office to check the postage!
I wanted to appeal to a wide market, so in the set, I put three titles, for six pack abs, for the over fifties, and
I am now going to break the set and sell them as stand alone products in their own right, although, you can still buy them as a set.
The next step was to build a website, which I did, and put them on e-bay, and joined as many facebook selling pages as I could. I am now looking for a fulfillment house which will take all the hassle out of sending them out.
Having a physical product is quite satisfying!
On the downside, they take up a lot of room!
There is a lot of mileage in having your own digital product, that is, a product which doesn`t have a physical presence, it is in cyberspace, in an e-book format, or PDF, which visitors can download to their computer either for free, or after purchase.
You don`t have to worry about Research and Development, hiring staff and equipment, or a studio!
Paypal provide buttons for payment, but most marketers use them as a gift, with links embedded into the book/report, which contain affiliate links, or as a reward for an e-mail address.
What to write about? Well, that is pretty easy to answer! Everyone has a product that they can write about, and offer value to the prospective reader, what do you do at the moment that earns you money? People want to know what you know! Whether it is how to fix a puncture, or how to work out how many square meters your kitchen is, or how to make the perfect sauce for that special dish!
The point is, you have a digital product in your head already, now all you have to do is set it down in writing! To do this, you need to download a free program called Open Office, purely because any links you put in the book or the PDF will work, and unfortunately, they don`t always if you use MS Office!
Open it up, select writer, then away you go, at the top of the screen is the PDF icon which will convert it into a PDF when you have finished putting pictures in. Give it a title then save it, I tend to save on my desktop, so I can find it easily if I have to edit it.
This is the process whereby you join an affiliate program, within your niche, a lot of the terminology I am going to use, is explained in more depth here, you then drive traffic to your merchant, by any means you can, in the hope of a sale occurring, either by people being influenced by your marketing, or, after extensive research they make their minds up that are going to buy, and click your link, which takes them to the merchants sales page, where they can buy the product.
The three methods I have described all have one thing in common, a website,this is definitely needed, with a physical product, you need to show it and describe it, with a PDF you need a page where the product can be downloaded from, and affiliate marketing needs a page where you can install the links.
The best scenario is a website, with free hosting, forever if you can get it! If they can also offer a domain name, albeit on a sub domain, why not? After all, that way you get
- A web address
- A website(theme)
- Free hosting
You can get all of the above here
Once you have all of those three things in place, you can then move forward in getting “artsy” with the site, work on ways to get the site seen by the search engines. I learnt how to do that here I also got all the above website stuff there as well, if you want to see what I think of it, be sure to check out my review here
So, there you have it in a nutshell, if you want to know how to start a home based business, you need look no further! I wish you the very best, and if there is something I can help you with, please don`t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.