7 min read
The opinions of the employees of You are personal.
- Do user research in your spare time
- Build with platforms without code
- Struggle for productivity.
You can regularly dream of owning your own business and being your own boss. Imagine this: You have no one to respond to, make decisions, and benefit directly from the fruits of your labor.
Interestingly, this season from home could be the perfect time to start a side business. 65% of Americans say they are more productive and 27% say they work from home longer.
This is great for employers, but it can also be great for employees who want to start their own business. When you work from home, you can manage your own hours without anyone looking over your desk. This means that you will save time on your travels. In addition, higher productivity can mean that you can complete your tasks in less time.
No longer do you have the excuse to say that you don’t have time to explore and come up with business ideas. Working from home creates the perfect environment for the leap into entrepreneurship. On the other hand, starting a business while confining yourself to your home has its challenges too. Here are some tips on how to get it right.
1. Do user research in your spare time
Photo: Volodymyr Hryshchenko via Unsplash
As with any business idea, you want to research the market and customer needs. When starting a subscription wine business, you want to know how many consumers you can potentially reach and whether they really want your product.
Understanding the size of the market can come from doing research on the internet. However, how can you talk to customers when you are at home? In today’s environment, you probably won’t go to the nearby wine store and ask consumers what they think.
Instead, you can find target customers online. Ashwinn Krishnaswamy launched an alternative hemp-based cigarette called Oklahoma Smokes. To find customers, he posted interview requests on Craigslist and Reddit in exchange for his product. He also found prospects on Instagram by sending direct messages to people who had posted. Hashtags related to smoking cessation.
In total, Ashwinn connected with 300 potential customers. You gained deep insights into how potential users perceived your product and why, for example, oral fixation was important to them. This not only gave him ideas on how to build and position his brand, but it also gave him the conviction that his idea could be successful.
Fortunately, this research can be done from home in your spare time.
2. Build with platforms with no code
Photo: Luca Bravo via Unsplash
With digital business, you can quit for a moment because you have no idea how to start building a product. Finding a tech-savvy co-founder is difficult, especially if you’re just in the concept phase. Tech leads tend to take advantage of more attractive opportunities.
Working with a development business is an option, but it can be expensive. Cost and scope can easily increase, and logistics can be difficult. You can consider learning to code, but like most skills, it will take some time to acquire the required knowledge. This can be unrealistic on top of your daily work and business planning.
Instead, you can use a no-code platform to launch an initial version of your product. With Squarespace from Shopifyyou can start an online shop. With tools like AppyPieyou can create a mobile application with functions such as user management and push notifications. Although these apps take some time to learn, you can get your product to market quickly and profitably from the comfort of your own home.
As a one-man program trying to start a business in parallel, not much can be done. How do you conduct market research, find leads, create a product, and produce marketing collateral while managing a full-time job? It’s a difficult task, but not impossible.
It is an option to use your savings and hire people to develop your vision, but it is expensive. More importantly, it is risky before starting your new business.
Fortunately, there are numerous markets for finding freelance talent. At TextBroker you can connect to a network of writers who can help you create content, and at Upwork you can find everyone from virtual assistants to data scientists who can work for the hiring.
If marketing is challenging, consider hiring a marketing agency for a month. While you have them upfront, they can help you scale guest publishing efforts or get your product to market.
Working with a freelancer or agency requires a certain capital investment, but you have the flexibility to hire short term and remotely. You will also outsource your workload and gain experience.
4. Struggle for productivity
Starting a business takes time and commitment. Although you will have more free time while working from home exploring new business opportunities, it may feel like you never have enough time. There are always thousands of things to do.
To increase productivity, clearly mark the time for your regular work, family life, and business activities. Mark on your calendar when you will be spending time on your regular job and new business. This will help you meet your family’s expectations of when to focus on work and make you responsible for spending time doing entrepreneurship.
Recklessly prioritize work and business. Regularly let your manager know about your progress and how you are prioritizing work. That alone will make you stand out as a great employee. For your own business, focus on what is large enough to import. You can do thousands of things, but identify the ones that make a real difference.
You have nothing to lose
Working from home offers a unique opportunity to start an additional business that will hopefully turn into a full-time opportunity. There is little risk of trying while keeping your day job.
Use these strategies to get a simple version of your product into the hands of customers and start learning as soon as possible.