Latest posts by Bilna Sandeep (see all)
- “Meenakshi’s Creativity” – When a mom’s passion for art comes to life| The Lady Entrepreneur Series - August 30, 2017
- Check out these stuffs you can Buy from India for Pre-Schoolers (and save a few bucks) - July 10, 2017
- Our Move to Dubai : The Good, the Not so Good and the Unexpected - June 12, 2017
So when we started off with our The Lady Entrepreneur Series More than an year ago, little did we know that this series would become one of the most read and inspiring content on our blog. Many of the Stay at Home Moms, who were our readers have been inspired to start up their own business. Many of them are super talented and have really good creative skills. But they do not have an idea on how to put up their skills to the world.
So as an extension of our The Lady Entrepreneur Series, we have started our new series on “How to Earn Money from Home.”
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How to Start and Run a Home Based Business?
How to do a Proper Branding of Your Business?
Once you decide to take your hobby to the the next level, make sure to do your branding, right from the start. Choose a catchy name for your business and at the same time, it should be easily identifiable to the items you are selling. Every Image you use should match the theme of your brand. You can use Canva to develop these images. I use Canva to create most of the images and graphics on my blog. The best part of Canva is, it is free. You can check out these free tutorials to get yourself used to Canva and also they have really good advices on how to come up with the best designs, how to evolve a brand etc.
Every single color you use in creating your brand images, is very powerful and create different moods. Check out this article on How to use the power of color in your branding. And here’s another article that highlights on the use of Right Fonts for your brand.
Designing a Logo for your Brand
Designing a logo which is simple, easy to remember and striking for your customers is one of the key points. As your business grows, people start associating your business with the logo.
If you are creative and if you know Adobe Illustrator or similar software, designing a logo that defines your brand will not be tough. However not everyone can come with their own logo and it may be more time consuming too. There are many people who can design your logo online. 48 hours Logo is an online website that has a large number of Freelance Graphic Designers enrolled. You can get your logo designed by filling in your requirements and running a competition from these Graphic Designers. Finally you get to pick the winner. You can start an online Logo Design contest for as low as $29.
Showcase your work
We all have those friends and family who admire our crafts and other hobbies. But in order to turn your hobbies into business, it is very important to showcase your work to the world. In today’s world, the best way to showcase your work is through social media.
Facebook is one of the best Social Network to reach out to the common audience. Create a Facebook Page for your business. If you are not sure of how to do it, here’s how. Just like you would add a Profile Picture and a Cover Photo for your personal Facebook Profile, add images to spice up the look of your page. As mentioned above, you can develop these images using Canva.
While you start marketing your products through Facebook, there is something really important that you should know about. Read this article on Why you should create a Facebook Page for your Business and not use a Personal Facebook Profile.
Many of the small businesses are now doing a great job in their marketing through Instagram. One of the most important aspect to master your instagram account for business would be to develop your photography skills. People like what they see. First impression is always the best impression.
Check out the Instagram profile of Babylu Store, where they sell teething necklaces for moms. Mommy gets to wear them in style while the baby loves to bite mama’s necklace (loved their innovative concept in business and they are wooden or 100% cotton).
Invest in a Good Camera
Investing in a good camera or in improving your photography skills would also be a great idea. People tend to “Like” the photos that look beautiful. And every like you get on Facebook / Instagram increases the rating of your Business page as well as business. It increases your customer reach.
Ms. Azmia from Bahrain who is the owner of Mia’s Sweet Treats, in her interview with us says it’s important to invest in a good camera. You can see how she has turned her passion for baking into a Business and the photographs of her baked goodies that she posts on her Facebook Business Page speak for themselves.
It would be a great idea to invest in one of the basic DSLR models like Nikon D3200.
Get a Professional Photoshoot
It would be a good idea to do a professional photo shoot of your products. Creating such attractive photos for your products can always increase the number of people who would “Like” and “Share” your images on social media and it can help you increase your customer reach organically (i.e. without advertising).
There are Newbie Photographers out there with immense talent. You can approach some of them to provide you quote for the photoshoot. Some of the photographers are even kind enough to do it for FREE to build their portfolio.
Using professional images on your Social Media can make your business also look more professional and hence increase the trust that your customers put in you.
Grow Your Customer Reach
Do a Give Away
One of the best ways to increase your customer outreach is through Give Aways. Who doesn’t get attracted to Freebies?
If you plan to run a Facebook Giveaway, here are certain rules you need to follow. Though, you may see many of them breaking these rules, it is always good to be safe. I myself had no idea about these rules earlier and have done Giveaways without following a few of them. You can check out these rules for Pages on Facebook. Below are a few highlights regarding the same.
- Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
- Promotion must include: Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
So how to get your Maximum Benefits by running a Give Away on Facebook?
- It is better to base your Give Away on an Image Post. Design this image in a very compelling and demanding way that will make the people participate.
- Make it as simple as possible: If you involve too many steps to enter the Give Away, then chances are people might not take the extra interest to participate.
- You can ask them to like your page for participating in the Give Away
- The more number of comments your post gets, the more chances that it will show up on the timelines of others. So instead of asking them to comment “done” etc. ask a creative question. For example if you are giving away a voucher, ask them what they would love to buy with the voucher or something more interesting.
- You can Pin the Give Away post on top of your Facebook page, so that when anyone visits your page, they see this post first.
- Run the Give away for at least a week. Running it for too long is also not a good idea as people can lose their interest in it.
- Promote the Give away post on your timeline.
- Ask your friends and relatives to spread the news of Give Away
- Use Facebook advertising option – Boost Post. Check out how to boost your post here. Simply spending your money on Facebook Advertising is a waste if you do not use target advertising option on Facebook. A 100 people “Liking” your product who are least interested in your product will not do any good to your business. For Eg: If you are selling a product for kids, and a person who does not even have kids or plan to have one “likes” your product, it is not going to do any good to you.
Running special offers and discounts during Festive Seasons are a great idea to boost up your business. Choose seasons that are apt for the niche of your business. If yours is a Baking Business, it is more likely that customers are looking for your products during Christmas-New Year Seasons and come up with your best offer for the Season.
Whenever your customers send you an appreciation message, it is a good idea to display them on your Facebook page’s timeline as an image screenshot. This can increase the trust other cutomers will put in you. Create a separate Album for your customer testimonials.
Lachus is an online store selling handpainted Fabrics. She occasionally posts the photos of her customers in her attire on her Facebook Page. This gives her other customers an insight into how the products would look on ordinary people and also increase the trust they have in her brand.
Partner with Blogs
Myself being a blogger, I have had to spend tons of my time online researching on blogging and social media strategies. Different techniques work for different platforms and different businesses. Bloggers have an influence on their readers and the trust is built through a very long term relation of writing stories from their personal life. When you partner with a blogger for promoting your brand, they take very good care in studying the product and promoting them through different social channels.
I myself have partnered with big as well as small brands. Being a blogger I also understand the struggles of running a business from home, especially if you are a mom. I try my best to give my advice and social media strategies that worked for myself. I also have separate rates for Big brands and small home based businesses, as I very well understand the budget constraints in running a small business. If you would like to promote your business, you can very well get in touch with me and I shall be at your help.
Start Your own Online Store
As your business grows, it will be a good idea to take your next step and move to a website of your own. You can create your own website/online store by yourself or take help from one of the professionals. I will soon be putting up a detailed post on how to start your own Online Store/ Website for your business. You can SUBSCRIBE here, if you would like to get updated on posts that are helpful for starting and growing your own Home Based Business.
You can alternatively try starting your own online store through Weebly which provides very easy drag and drop ways to make a website of your own. This theme named Justin 17 is a very simple and professional looking theme from Weebly for small online businesses.
Another way you could start your own online store is through Shopify. The best part of it is you can have a 14 day FREE Trial absolutely FREE. What more would you need?
I have launched a FREELANCE service to help you get started with your Business. My services include helping you kick start your Home Based Business, Growing your Customers through Social Media Marketing (Facebook and Instagram are the best for Home Based Businesses in my opinion), Complete branding solutions including Logo Design, website design, Online shop design etc.
Being a mom myself, I understand the financial restrictions faced by mothers in starting off with their own Businesses. Therefore, I always make customized packages for all which are divided into different stages and each stage can be availed separately. Depending on the success of each stage, you may choose to continue to the next stage or drop off anytime.
A Little Advice to those willing to start their own Small Home Based Business in UAE
It will be a good idea to sell your products through websites like Little Majlis, Mom Souq, Souq.com etc. The major advantages of their platforms is that you can sell your products through them and you will be covered under their legal framework. This reduces your expenses and overhead costs on your startup.
So now what are you waiting for?
One more thing…
Now you know starting and running a business from Home can be REAL hectic. So how do you find the time to do it without losing yourself out. Keep yourself sane by keeping your Business Organised. Get your Business Organised with these steps and our Planners and Organization Kit.
Take that next big step in your life!
If you found this article helpful, please do share them with your friends who might be in need of these tips. And if you would like to add any more points, please feel free to comment below.
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