Emma Jones, Founder of home business website enterprisenation.com, continues her series of articles offering top tips on how to start a business from home.
Did you know that the home is now the most popular business start-up location? More than 60% of companies in the UK are started from home – that’s more than 1,400 new businesses each week. And a good number have someone in their over 50’s at the helm.
According to the Home Business Report published in October 2007 the three groups showing the fastest growth in home based start-ups are graduates, Mums and the over 50’s. And they’re involved in a whole range of businesses too. From interior furnishings to writing, catering, fashion and consultancy; it seems that pretty much any business can now be started and run from the comfort of your own home. The secret is knowing how and where to start.
In our earlier articles we looked at the first step, coming up with the right idea, then writing it down. Now it’s time to make a first sale!
Step 3: Making a first sale
A successful entrepreneur once told me that you’re never really in business until you’ve made that first sale. It sounds so simple – and so right. And here are some tips that will help you be on your way.
1. Make a list (check it twice)
Make a note of the friends, family, colleagues and contacts who you think might be interested in your product/service.
2. Pitch up
Write to the people on the list and announce your new business venture. Make your pitch but don’t be too pushy. Remember to address each recipient personally – no-one likes a group email!
3. Follow up
Follow up in a few days time, either with another email or, better still, a phone call. If the potential customer sounds keen, go for it. Arrange to meet so you can explain more about the product.
4. Meet up
Arrange a time and place that’s convenient for your potential customer. Be professional, but also likeable. They’re equally important characteristics when making a sale.
If the customer agrees the deal, bring the meeting to a fairly speedy end. Your job is done – for now. It’s time to head home and deliver on the promise you made.
5. Make some noise
Once you’ve made your first sale – shout about it! Let others know that you’re well and truly in business and they will come knocking too.
Next time, in part four, Emma will offer tips on how to market yourself and your home business. Emma is author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’ just published in May. Details below in our Book of the Month.