Your home business isn’t going anywhere — unless you build your foundation on a marketable idea.
Many of us dream about starting home businesses. If you decide that you want to ditch the 9-to-5 and enjoy a new “career” as a home business owner, or even if you are just looking for a little income diversity to improve your household cash flow, you need to think through your ideas.
A successful home business starts with a good home business idea.
Can You Explain Your Home Business Idea?
Over the years, I’ve struggled with a concise description of what I do. I’ve narrowed my “job description” to “freelance journalist,” and I tell people that I provide content to a variety of financial web sites. This is easier than explaining blogging, and trying to get people to understand that I run a home business doing this.
Renae Christine, author of Home Business Startup Bible, points out that your idea needs to be a good one — and one that is easily explained.
“You need to be able to easily explain your idea, product or service, in one or two sentences,” says Christine. “That’s all you’ll get to sell it to customers, investors, and the media.”
She suggests that, if you can’t explain it well in two sentences, you either need to figure out a simpler way to present it, or you need to scrap it and come up with a different home business idea.
Some of the best ideas are simple and fulfill a need. I was a writer at the dawn of the blogging era. My idea was simple: Provide web content. It’s true that I wasn’t thinking in terms of blogs when I first started; I thought more in terms of keyword articles. However, I knew that web site owners needed content to get on the radar, and I could provide that. The blogging came later, but it was an extension of my wider home business idea (although I didn’t think of it as a “real” business at the time).
As you fine-tune your idea, consider whether or not you can describe it in a way that shows you filling a need. You need to be able to articulate what your home business will do for the client/customer/consumer/partner/investor. If you can do that succinctly, that’s an indication that your home business idea is probably a good one.
Is Your Home Business Idea New? Or Is It Better?
If you’ve got your idea down so that you can describe it well, it’s time for you to really take a look at its marketability. Just because you can describe your home business vision doesn’t mean that your idea is actually marketable. Think about how you will present it.
Christine says that there are three main possibilities when you have a home business idea:
- It’s been done, but there’s still demand.
- It’s been done, and the market is saturated.
- It’s never been done.
At the time I started my freelance writing home business, it had been done, but there was still demand. In fact, there is still plenty of demand for writers. In fact, there is a demand for all sorts of freelance and consulting work.
Even in a saturated market, says Christine, it’s possible for your home business idea to take hold. “Search for competitors and see how many there are, and what they’re doing,” she suggests. “See how you might innovate to provide something even better, whether it’s product quality or service.”
Improve on what’s out there already, and then let others know what you offer. It can be difficult to break into a saturated market, so you need to make sure that your home business idea truly sets you apart — and that you have the time and energy to get out there and promote your home business.
And, of course, if something has never been done, it can be a good time to introduce your product or service to the market. However, you still need to make sure that your home business idea is marketable. Does it fill a need? If it doesn’t, can you convince others that they want it. Many a business has found success by inveigling customers into believing that they need something.
A home business doesn’t need to be difficult to start. But if you want long-term success, you need to make sure that your home business idea is marketable.