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In the current financial situation a great many people are looking to start a home based business. Some are just looking to make a little extra money to supplement their salary or pension but others need a full time income, either because they have lost their job or maybe they just fancy a change of life-style.

There are a lot of different businesses which can be run from home but not every home based business appeals to everyone, so choosing one that is right for you is most important.

The first thing you need to do is decide how much time you can put into your business bearing in mind why it is that you want to start a home based business. Do you want a little bit of extra money towards a family holiday, or do you need to make enough income to live on? Forget all the get rich quick schemes (scams) the simple fact is that the more time and effort you put into your business, the more money you will make.

A home based business can offer customers products or services, but bear in mind that in most cases a business selling a product will take less time and effort than one selling a service particularly if you decide to sell someone else’s product, and earn a commission for each sale. However if you can create your own product your profit could be a lot higher. If you decide that you have skills such as book-keeping or accountancy, sewing services, or music teaching that others need, you can sell these but this can take more of your time than selling a product.

Whatever you decide you next need to consider who your potential customers will be. You will need to know as much as possible about them. Are they businesses or private individuals? Are they mostly men or women? How old are they likely to be? You need to consider who your target market is and what products and services they need.

Once you have decided on the product or service and your target market you will need to set up a website (or a FaceBook page) to advertise and promote your services. If you are selling someone else’s products they may be able to provide you with a template for your site or even provide a ready-made site for you to send visitors too. This is common in what is called Affiliate Marketing but can be used in many other situations. If you are offering a service based business a simple website outlining the services you are offering will be a great help in getting your name and service in front of potential customers.

The fact is that it doesn’t really matter what you are selling as they key to making money is to send visitors to your website where they can purchase products or contact you – by email or telephone – to discuss the services you are offering.

You can of course advertise your website address in any way you care. Small adverts in the newspapers can work, as can advertising on the internet – but you can waste a lot of money if you are not careful. One of the easiest ways to drive customers to your website is to use social media. You can set up a page on Facebook or a profile on sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, and you should join some online forums (there are forums for every interest or activity you can think of) and take part in questions and answers. This builds your creditability and after you have posted a few times you will be allowed to add an advertising link to your website so that people will look and see what you have on offer. But do participate in discussions and don’t simply send message after message saying “Buy! Buy! Buy!” Let people ask questions of you, and be sure to answer them politely.

This type of marketing can work for almost any product or service. The owners of Link4Business offer professional services sometimes costing several thousands of pounds. We don’t get a huge number of sales from our activity on social media or forums but when we do it’s well worth while. Other people sell products for just a few pounds and it works just as well for them.

A home based business can be run in only a few hours a week or you can put in forty plus hours per week. But remember, the more you put into your business, the more you’ll get out of it.

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Category: Marketing 

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