I overheard my wife talking to a homeschool mom that raises and sells a certain type of dog (a registered breed of some kind) ranging from $1,000 to $1,800. I also know a couple teens that started a bread business where they sell the product at the local famer’s market and local stores. The product(s) have been so successful, most of the family has been involved in it.
Working from a home-based office keeps your overhead costs low as you are not renting office space or phones or paying for office utilities. The zero commute also saves money on gas and wear and tear on your car. The reduction in fixed costs allows you to be more flexible in your pricing decisions than competitors who must cover those types of costs. You can choose to either give more favorable quotes or keep the same pricing as your competition and have a healthier bottom line.
But then you realize that maybe commercial plumbing pays better than residential, or vice versa. Or that only certain tech-savvy people are interested in that ultra 4K giant flat screen TV, while most of your current customers can’t see the different and don’t want to shell out an extra $400. Maybe your marketing services are too expensive for some businesses, or you don’t have the bandwidth to scale campaigns up to several thousand dollars a week the way that larger companies.
Another common problem faced by those who work from home is isolation. In a standard business environment, people are dealing with co-workers constantly, as well as the noise of ringing phones and running machines. There are also meetings, breaks, and lunch hours that serve to break up the day and provide opportunities for socializing. This contact with other people provides a built-in system of motivation to at least appear busy at work. In contrast, many people who start a home-based business are faced with nothing but a quiet, empty house. Some find it difficult to motivate themselves and succumb to boredom and loneliness. But such isolation does have a positive side: working at home increases productivity by an average of 20 percent, so home-based business owners can often get more work done in less time. Planning is necessary to overcome the negative effects of isolation, however. Experts recommend that home-based business owners schedule interaction with other people on a regular basis, using such means as business meals, outside meetings and appointments, clubs and associations, and networking.
Shopify is another great option if you are wanting to create your own eCommerce store. Shopify is arguably easier to set up than WooCommerce but will give you less control over your storefront and cost you more long term. However, if you have little to no experience of creating websites or using WordPress, or you are working to a very tight time schedule, then Shopify may be the perfect eCommerce platform for you.
Even the portrait and general-interest options, though, aren’t really for beginners. Photography businesses can be complex operations, with lots of equipment required and years of portfolio and relationship building necessary to really get steady income flowing. Still, if you’re a hobbyist already, starting a photography business as a side operation is a great way to make some extra money and possibly begin a career change.
Start by considering all the product or service variations you might offer. When it comes to marketing soap, for example, not much has changed over the years. But suppose you were a soap maker and you invented a new brand to gently remove chlorine from swimmers' hair. You'd have something uniquely compelling to offer a niche market--from members of your neighborhood pool to the Olympic swim team.
The money is most certainly in the list. If you're at all interested in online marketing, setup email software and create a lead magnet that you can use in your sales funnel. Then, build up that list. It's often said that you can expect to earn about $1 per subscriber per month. If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, that means you can earn roughly around $10,000 per month. You will need to deliver value and not pitch them on every email, but it is a very achievable goal in a short period.
Many of Voake’s customers also value their children’s safety in the highest regard – so much so that, following a major product recall of children’s toys in 2007 over lead paint fears, customers began flocking to Vermont Wooden Toys in droves. The surge in interest even caught the eye of The New York Times and NBC News, providing Voake and his company with the kind of publicity and free marketing money can’t buy.
Tailor your content to your audience. Use targeted, “insider” terms for keywords in your marketing messaging, content, and social media. Think of words and phrases that your target customers would use while they searched for a solution like yours. This is one of the few times I will tell you that a bit of jargon can work wonders. Use words your customers would use – and use them correctly – to connect with your audience. This strategically placed jargon might even earn you a little “street cred.”
By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. Establishing a niche market give you the opportunity to provide products and services to a group that other businesses have overlooked. You can think of a niche market as a narrowly defined group of potential customers that have specific needs, a subset of a larger group.