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The Best Tools for Starting and Growing Your Small Business

Starting a home-based business used to be an unconventional career path, especially for women who are striking out on their own But these days, it’s more common and doable than you might think.  Amy Collett from Bizwell shared some tools to launch your successful home-based business and small business.

How do I start a home-based business?

Some professionals assume that starting a business is as simple as advertising and contracting with clients. But depending on how you form your company – whether an LLC or another option – paperwork may be necessary.

Familiarizing yourself with your state’s filing fees and requirements is an excellent first step. You’ll also want to check that the name you plan to operate under is not already taken. Once you cover the legal aspects, you’re free to start operating as the named business entity of your choice.

Where do I find clients?

Heading online is an ideal way to seek customers, whether you’re paying for targeted advertisements or joining groups for professionals in your field.

Word of mouth also remains a valuable means of developing your professional reputation, according to Nielsen research. Friends and family may know people who need your services, so putting the word out can be a simple yet effective way to source clients.

What tools do I need to launch a home-based small business?

While your industry or niche will largely dictate what you need to get started, most professionals and small business owners find that at a minimum, they need a website, active (and inviting) social media profiles, and a handful of tools and apps to support their work.

A website is a must-have because despite many consultants’ reliance on social media, it’s always possible you could get locked out, banned, or that the platform could even disappear entirely. Owning and operating your own website means you’ll still ‘exist’ online, even if Twitter takes a nosedive.

Social media is still relevant for most professionals. However you may source clients organically on social platforms, or you might release paid ads to attract new customers. For service-based solopreneurs, establishing a social media forum for your followers could lead to business innovation and expansion.

Downloading a few apps and tools will also help facilitate your home-based business operations. Especially if you’re going it alone, automatic social media scheduling tools will be a major benefit to your productivity. But small business owners may also want communication apps and tools like Skype or Zoom to meet with clients or a Gmail account to easily share online-based files.

If you have a big project that requires tons of coordination, consider using WRIKE. It is an online project management software and tool for small business owners that tracks work progress, records milestones and removes the confusion from online collaboration.

Prospective clients want to know they can trust you. And that means proving that you’re knowledgeable, professional, and capable.

What goes into becoming a consultant? 

Showcasing your expertise is probably the most essential part of marketing yourself as a consultant. Prospective clients want to know they can trust you. And that means proving that you’re knowledgeable, professional, and capable.

Creating a portfolio – whether online or through a comprehensive resume – is a great way to outline your expertise. Many freelancers create a website with samples of their work, whether their expertise is in writing, graphic design, photography, or any other area. Of course, showing off your existing talents isn’t always enough.

Developing your skills as a dynamic professional is another must for consultants setting out on their own. The professional landscape changes quickly. So remaining competitive (and up to date in your field) should top your to-do list.

Is working from home really productive?

Studies suggest that professionals who work from home are more productive than office-based workers, notes HubStaff. Still, it helps to have a set schedule and strategy for running your business, no matter where your headquarters is located.

Approaches to time management include everything from closing off an area of your home for an office space (make sure you have the right supplies and a solid internet connection) to setting timers so that you stick to time limits for projects and take appropriate breaks. With the right mindset, you can make working at home work for you.

If you’re hoping to connect with other women who are developing their careers or want to schedule one-on-one coaching, reach out to Denise G. Lee for support. And don’t forget to listen to her top rated business and life podcast!

Inspiration – and the resources you need to succeed – are only a few clicks away.

Picture of Amy Collett

Amy Collett

Amy Collett from Bizwell helps women improve their branding and image. Send her a message or visit Bizwell for tools to grow your business.