Do You Have What it Takes To Run a Successful Retail Home Business?
The COVID-19 pandemic and the layoffs that have come along with it have left some people wondering if starting their own business might be a way to make up for their income loss and start a new career in a sector that has seen an uptick – rather than a downturn – in business since the pandemic began. One such sector is online retail.
Many small retail businesses (and some larger ones) operate as a home business, at least initially. Working from home is very appealing to many people and for good reason, especially during an ongoing crisis like COVID-19.
It is not as easy as some people might think though, as there is a lot more to staring a home business than simply quitting your job!
Most people who plan to start a retail business from home know that they will need some kind of business plan. But before you start planning things like what equipment you might need, where you might be able to get financial assistance from and other practical matters you’ll need a plan that will help you learn the new skills and disciplines you will need to make the transition from nine to five salaried employee to successful home business owner.
What Does it Take to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?
In order to become a successful business owner or entrepreneur you certainly will need a solid set of core skills that will enable you to actually do the work.
Although successful business people are all very different, even if they essentially work in the same field (think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs) there are certain characteristics that they all seem to share that anyone starting their own business at home needs to have, or make the effort to develop.
The first thing you need to do is consider your own personal characteristics and determine whether you have, or will be able to learn, the aspects of the mindset of the typical successful entrepreneur.
Optimism – Being able to think positively and optimistically is a must for an entrepreneur. This ability to remain positive will help you through the rough spots that you will inevitably encounter.
Initiative – The ability to see the ‘big picture’ easily and problem solve on the fly?
A Desire for Control – Do you enjoy being in charge and taking on responsibility?
Resilience – Can you still pick yourself up and carry on when things go wrong or not quite as you planned?
As a work from home small business owner your interpersonal skills will become more important than ever before as you deal with clients, customers, business contacts and suppliers.
The Ability to Listen – Being able to talk and ‘sell yourself’ is certainly important for a home business owner but the ability to listen is even more important.
Ethics – Do you believe in dealing with people with respect, fairness, integrity and truthfulness? Being perceived as honest, open and trustworthy is crucial if you want to build any kind of business.
Creative Thinking Skills
Once you are on your own without a manager or a ‘leader’ and all of the decisions related to a business are yours alone to make, at least in the beginning, your creative thinking skills will also become more important than ever before.
The Ability to See ‘The Big Picture’ – A successful entrepreneur or business owner needs to be able to see an issue from a number of different perspectives and still come up with original ideas.
The Ability to ‘Spot a Trend’ – A business owner needs to learn how to expand their ‘reach’ by spotting trends, opportunities and ‘gaps in the market’ that they can capitalize on.
Not everyone who wants to start a work at home business will have all of these ‘traits’ but the good news is that they can be developed, if you are willing to work at it.
Learning from Others – Networking and Finding Mentors
Spending time researching and reading when getting ready to launch a work at home business is great but if you really want to succeed you also have to begin networking.
As you are still working in the your 9 to 5 job you probably do not really have the time to actually attend a great many physical events but fortunately you can begin building a network of advisors and peers online thanks to social networking.
For a person planning to start a business the best site to begin looking for people to help you on is LinkedIn.
There are hundreds of individual groups on LinkedIn that cover almost every niche in the world and there are a surprising number of people – including some rather senior and experienced business people – in these groups that are willing to share their experiences and offer their advice, even with strangers.
In addition to using LinkedIn and similar sites to look for mentors and advice you should not shy away from connecting with people who may, technically, become your competition once you begin working in your home business.
When you see people who are achieving similar goals to your own it can actually be a great motivator and give you another reason to keep moving forward when you reach a point in the development of your retail business that seems rather daunting.