Half of all small businesses in the United States are home-based. Those involving the manufacturing of products are known as cottage industries. Whether it’s baking cookies, making perfume, or painting portraits of puppies, most home-based business owners get to say they love their jobs. With that said, running a business is never easy, even at home. Turning a profit with a cottage industry enterprise requires hard work, careful planning, and savvy entrepreneurship. The following are five tips for getting started:
Save on shipping
Today’s cottage industries are shipping products all over the world. Since shipping costs are such a large part of doing business, cottage industry owners need to find ways to lower that cost. Start by negotiating with carriers. From there, use parcel audit software to find ways to save even further. Over time, these savings add up significantly. What’s more, home-based business owners can pass some of those savings onto their customers.
Get the kids involved
All parents look forward to the day when their kids are old enough to start doing chores. Consider having them help out with the family business too. Whether it’s organizing supplies, packing orders for shipment, or getting involved in the production process itself, most children will be happy to be involved. From a business standpoint, their involvement means faster order fulfillment, but it’s a great way to develop a work ethic at an early age from a parenting standpoint.
Have a dedicated workspace
Whether it’s a spare bedroom, part of the basement, or in the garage, those running cottage industries need dedicated space in which to work. If space is limited, consider the development of different modes for certain rooms. For example, set the kitchen to home mode in the morning, business mode during the day, and back to home mode in the evening.
Abide by a set schedule
Working from home makes it easy to get distracted. In addition to marking areas of the house for business-use only during the day, it’s important to designate specific times of day to work. It’s no different than a regular work-from-home schedule, except you get to pick your hours. Regardless of how your schedule appears, make a point to stick to it going forward. While it’s okay to take breaks to address non-work issues at home, monitor the clock to prevent outside distractions from taking over.
Plan to expand
It might not happen for a long time. It might not happen at all. But the possibility of expanding your home-based business to the point where it’s no longer at home is high enough that you want to plan for it, just in case. If anything, expansion plans encourage creative thinking and might lead to improvements within the existing operation. If the business takes off faster than you can handle, an existing expansion plan makes it easier to scale up your operation on short notice.
All over the map, men and women live their dream by running a small business from home. It’s an exciting prospect, but one that also requires a lot of due diligence. Be mindful of that when launching a cottage industry of your own.
Featured Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay