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The thing about being a “one man show” in a home-based business is you have a lot more challenges ahead of you to present yourself as a professional business to others. Without the capital, man power, and resources that small, medium, and large businesses have, gaining new customers and staying in the competition can seem impossible. That is unless you use the right tools. There are a lot of free and affordable business tools that you can use to your advantage in your home-based business. Here are a few listed below:
Whether you sell products or provide a service, your home-based business needs to have an interactive website that can be marketed online. Websites are your virtual business card and let the world know one, that you’re open for business, and two, what you have to offer. Websites need to be invested in early on and should not only be informative, but attractive, easy to navigate, and easy to locate for your target audience.
While you may not need to make a ton of phone calls, not having a business phone system is detrimental to your brand. Customers need to know that there are several ways of getting in touch with you should they have something they need to discuss. Though installing a new phone in the home would incur too much of an expense, using a hosted VoIP service could be ideal for your home office. VoIP phone services are not only affordable, but convenient. You can take your phone number virtually anywhere, transfer calls, schedule conference calls, and much more which saves you money.
Cash is king in any business and if you’re not properly managing it, you could end up with some serious financial issues. Although you’re running your business from home and are likely your only employee, you still need to keep track of all of your expenditures and income. This is not only important for managing how much revenue you have, but also imperative for remaining compliant with local and federal tax laws. Accounting software makes it easy for you to plug in numbers and generate reports needed to make serious business decisions.
Marketing is the practice of advertising your products and services to your target audience. It is through these methods that you will generate leads that eventually turn into sales. Without an effective marketing approach, staying in business will be hard. As a sole proprietor, however, trying to keep track of and manage all marketing channels can prove tedious. Investing in marketing tools such as social media management apps like Hootsuite or analytic software like Google Analytics can help you to do things like schedule posts, interact with followers, and determine which marketing efforts are working best.
Online Payment Systems
Getting paid and sending payments will be a vital part of any home business you run. If you want to complete financial transactions securely, you will need to rely on online payment systems like PayPal. There, your financial information is protected and you can receive payments from clients and customers without an issue. Customers will also be more inclined to do business with you knowing that you work with such reputable tools that keep their information safe.
Project Management Applications
If your business provides a service, keeping track of those projects will be extremely important to running your business professionally. Keeping tasks in order of priority, staying on top of deadlines, and even communicating with your clients can be a huge undertaking on your own. However, with project management tools like Asana allow you to set up projects, delegate assignments to other workers, monitor the budget as well as keep track of deadlines. This ensures your customers get the service they want done right and timely.
The key to running a successful home business is earning the trust of the customers and providing quality products and/or service. In order to earn the trust of your target audience you must operate your business just like the professionals. By utilizing some of the above-mentioned tools you can effectively run your small business as if you had fortune 500 company.