How to Grow Your Home-Based Business
Do you work from home right now, but find that there are days when you feel the limits of your current work situation? Well, you're not alone. In fact, this is a common lament: People who work from home tend to really like it, but wonder if it limits their growth options. The truth is that, yes, in some ways it probably does.
But that said, it is equally true that you can in fact work from home, and enjoy the sweet benes that come with it, and still grow your business. Here's how:
Use an executive suite: What do you do when you have a home-based business and you need to impress clients? The answer is, use a professional or executive suite. Executive suites are offices you rent by the hour, day, week, or month. They are furnished, have secretaries and receptionists, high speed Internet, and offer options like conference rooms, copy machines, and even video Web conferencing. Most executive suites are in nice buildings, so the result is that you are assured of impressing clients.
When you face the enviable problem of too much growth and not enough room, it is probably time to hire some extra hands…
By using an executive suite, you can put a great face on your home-based business at a reasonable price.
Rent some extra space: Running a business from home doesn't mean you don't have other options. Many successful home-based businesspeople run their business from home and still rent the extra space they need to grow. It is not an either/or situation. You can rent extra space, whether that is a warehouse, studio, seminar rooms, offices for employees, or whatever.
I know a Yoga teacher who used to hold classes in her living room. While nice and intimate, it limited the number of people who could come to class. So, as her reputation and business grew, she decided to rent space twice a week at a nearby dance studio. Now she still holds some smaller classes once or twice a week at home, and she continues to run her business out of her house, but she used space outside the house to grow her business.
Get some help: When you face the enviable problem of too much growth and not enough room, it is probably time to hire some extra hands. The options are many: You can bring in a full or part-time employee, hire an independent contractor, or even bring in an intern.
Sure it will cost you money, but given that hiring staff is a sign your home-based business has reached a more mature stage, it will be money well spent. You will have to spend less time on mundane matters and more time on important ones.
Bringing in help gives you more time to think bigger and plan better.
Growing Your Business: Leveraging the Power of a Virtual Assistant
Go virtual: Another option, especially if space or finances are a concern, is to hire a virtual assistant (VA). Virtual assistants are independent contractors who work from their own home or office. They can do everything from answering the phone and responding to e-mail, to shipping, collections, research, marketing, and travel planning. They can even help with your e-newsletter or with website maintenance.
According to the International Virtual Assistants Association, “A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent entrepreneur providing administrative, creative and/or technical services. Utilizing advanced technological modes of communication and data delivery, a professional VA assists clients in his/her area of expertise from his/her own office on a contractual basis.”
And VAs are affordable – typically less than $50 an hour. As with any independent contractor, you pay only for the time you use. The bottom line is that by hiring a virtual assistant you get the advantages of an assistant without the associated overhead.
So, there you have it: Growth and a home-based business need not be mutually exclusive.
Have another great tip for how you steadily grew your own home-based business? Consider sending us a guest post for The Self-Employed Blog today!