The e-commerce way of conducting business is becoming the way to eco-commerce. Conducting business from the comfort of your home is a way to reduce your carbon footprint by not utilizing energy at an external business space that has been rendered useless by the internet. You do, however, may need to maintain a space to get some face time with clients or potential new customers. Below are some ways to get your at-home business up and running to be a success from the start.
Set up Your Website
Your company website can replace the exposure to your business that a once brick-and-mortar location might have provided. There are many online templates to get you started — some of them are even available for free. When you are putting your site together, keep in mind how short attention spans are these days. Cater your site to the consumer and avoid long segments of text. Describe your business in as short of sentences as possible. Better yet, utilize pictures and video to engage with your audience. A short 30 second introduction video will better describe your company, and the video will see more engagement than four paragraphs of text would.
Sign up for Social Media
Social media is the easiest way to to spread the word about your new company. It allows you to access the large variety of networks that you already have in your toolbox. Set up a Twitter and Facebook account, and invite your friends to your pages from your personal social media accounts. The beauty of social media is that it spreads like wildfire: Your friends can share it with their friends, who might go on to share it with their friends!
Make sure that you include all of the basic information about your company so that there is actually something valuable to look at it and explore. Social media can only fulfill its purpose if you give it the tools to do so. A Twitter feed with only three posts a month won’t generate much recognition for you or your company. Online tools can be used to schedule content to be posted automatically, such as Hootsuite. I found that simply setting an alarm on my phone helped to remind me to post regularly and often. Take pictures of setting up your new office or retail space, and share your journey to success with your potential new customers. Generate excitement for what is to come.
Establish Your Office Space
It is important to establish a productive working area. Arrange your office to avoid glare on your computer screen and allocate a space that is used solely for work and production. Make sure that your office is not overly cluttered and that the decorations are tasteful. Having a modern office that will serve as a meeting space for your clients is a reflection of you and your business. For my own benefit, I found that hanging large prints of my favorite outdoor areas gave me a point of focus for my eyes when needing some 20-20-20 practice throughout my day. Foster this space, as it will be the point of focus for your at-home business.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but put a sign outside your office with your company name. When working from your home, it may be difficult to locate you. I quickly grew tired of having to give lengthy instructions on how to find me in the maze of the suburbs, where I was located when I first got started. In the event that your home’s location allows you to, consider putting a digital sign outside of your office to draw attention to your new company. Digital signs have shown to receive 400 percent more views than simple static signs.
Green Up Your Home and Business
Take advantage of using your home as your business and invest some of your business budget into greening your home. If you have ever considered putting solar panels on your house, there are number of tax breaks for homeowners and businesses. Installing solar panels will reduce the cost of electricity and you can feel better about not pulling power from the grid. If you are unsure about fully investing and still have questions about solar, there are leasing options to try out the benefits of this alternative energy without the commitment.
It may be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are first starting out. Dividing up your to-do list into manageable pieces is a sure way to get things done. In the beginning, it is about the small steps that lead to the big leaps that you and your e-commerce company will take as your company evolves and grows over time. Using the steps above, start yourself off with a solid foundation, and enter the e-commerce business world feeling confident and successful.