It may not have a splashy storefront, an eye-catching neon sign, or a gaggle of go-getting employees, but your home-based business doesn’t need any of those things to thrive. After all, it offers top-notch products and services, provides excellent customer care, and, most importantly, it has you–the most dedicated and hard-working employee your business will ever have. And you will do anything to help your home business–your baby–achieve its full potential.
A Professional Web Site
While bricks and mortar stores have stunning signage and window displays to welcome their customers, you can become equally “present” by creating a professional website. A well-designed site will enable you to develop a brand image, showcase your products and services, make it easy for customers to contact you, and provide links to your blog or social media platforms.
And, as Entrepreneur‘s “10 Ways to Grow Your Home-Based Business” adds, creating a web site no longer involves a huge outlay of cash as do-it-yourself sites are now available for less than $30 per month with no technical knowledge required.
A Social Media Presence
If you wish to build your customer base, you will need to hit the hot spots where the people are hanging out–and, the hottest spots around are popular social media platforms. And, as an added bonus, they are free.
The hottest spot of all is Facebook with Twitter placing second, but depending on the type of business you are in, you may want to tap into some of the other platforms as well. If you offer a professional service or a largely B2B enterprise, you may wish to consider LinkedIn. If your business lends itself to visuals, you will want to operate a Pinterest account. Familiarize yourself with the different social media venues available and choose the ones that suit your business best.
And, remember, as Insightly’s “Like Bears to Honey: Find that Sweet Social Media Spot for Your Audience” warns, “the end game here should not be to make direct sales, but rather to create long time customers who keep coming back for more because they know they can trust you.”
A Platform for your Prowess
One great way to build brand loyalty and win the trust–and business–of your customers is to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. And there are several ways to do this.
One effective method involves creating a blog that is designed to discuss industry matters, educate consumers, and, of course, entertain your audience. WordPress, for example, offers an easy-to-use platform that even the blogging beginner can master without difficulty.
You may wish to conduct a seminar in person or strut your stuff on a YouTube video. And, as “10 Marketing Tools for Home-Based Businesses” suggests, offering to speak for local organizations, trade associations, or other gatherings will help you reach a wider audience.
A Thirst for Knowledge
One great way to grow your business is to grow your mind. The more you learn about your industry and the world of business in general, the better equipped you will be to defeat the competition and take your company to the next level.
Connect with industry experts through LinkedIn. Invite them to compose guest posts for your blog. And join industry organizations. If you’d like to learn business techniques, take a course at your local college, join the Chamber of Commerce to meet other business people, and embrace mastering new technologies.
Who needs a splashy storefront to attract customers? Certainly not you. By following a few easy steps, you can transform your humble home-based business into a force to be reckoned with.
If you need help accomplishing the first step–setting up your website– you may want to check out “The Do’s and Don’ts of Launching a Website for Your Home Business.”
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger who operates her own home business. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project.
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