Many people enjoy the freedom of working for themselves, but for financial reasons need to keep their main form of employment. However, it is possible to have the best of both worlds by turning an interest or hobby into an additional income stream. This allows you to pursue something you enjoy and make some extra cash whilst knowing you have a regular income from your ‘main’ job. Many successful entrepreneurs have set up their businesses this way.
Often the biggest obstacle is getting started with a business plan. However, this is time well spent as it will make you focus on exactly what your new business will do, what you hope to achieve and how you are going to get there. Your business plan will describe the market opportunities you have identified, what will make your business different and how you are going to make it a success.
It will also help you to check that your idea makes good business sense and plan your marketing and sales strategies. This in turn will allow you to identify any problems and decide how you will overcome them in advance.
Once you know your business idea is sound you will need to find some customers and ensure they can easily find you and buy your products or services.
A website is a must
These days no one takes a business seriously until it has an online presence. A website is not only a way for your customers to find you, but also a way to build your credibility and promote your brand. In other words, it is your biggest marketing tool.
The website needs to allow potential customers to find the information they require about you quickly and easily and give them the best way to get in touch. You may also want the convenience of being able to sell and take payments online.
“Free” websites are not really free
Some free websites may look straight forward, but there are important considerations before you go down this route. Websites advertised as free often don’t provide the same level of access to data that paid ones do. This can lead to a variety of problems, including lack of access to analytics (which can hamper your optimisation and marketing), difficulty in moving your site to another provider, limited ability to take your site down if you no longer want it to be visible to the public and restricted control over your own content. Read more on avoiding website pitfalls.
As previously mentioned, an online shop could be just the thing for your business. The benefits of e-commerce include your shop being open whenever you want it to be. Here again you will be faced with some important decisions before you start. Do you want to sell your products through your own website or use a hosted site (i.e., sell through an existing online marketplace, such as eBay, Amazon or Etsy). Hosted sites can seem very attractive at the beginning as they have low start-up costs and make it fairly easy to get up and running. However, a hosted site will surround your products with competition and give you little opportunity to get your brand and products ahead of your competitors. You will also have to pay a significant chunk of your profits to the provider. Read more about online shops.
Search Engine Optimisation is key to success
Once your website is up and running, online marketing can be a very effective and measurable way of increasing the reach of your business. One method of doing this is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which ensures that your website appears higher up in the rankings in an online search. This is achieved through merit or ‘organically’ rather than by paying for an online ad. More traffic to your website means that there are more potential customers looking at what you do.
Breezit can help
Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for some time and looking for new ideas, Breezit have a full range of services that can help. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.