Your work at home business needs a product or service.  A very simple statement and something that we have discussed before.

Fact is, to have a business; you have to offer something in exchange for money. That is a very basic part of your business.

Of course, there is nothing to say that you can not offer a value for free. For the basis of this discussion, we will focus on a business that we all hope will make money.

In some earlier posts there have been mentions of a business plan. Step one would be to determine what product or service you will offer as the base of your work at home business.

Obviously you should pick something that you are familiar with and can discuss in an intelligent manner. Maybe from your hobby or a prior business experience.

Then you will have to decide what your position will be in the supply chain.

And what the heck does that mean? If you are going to be in business it is helpful to understand some of the terms.
The supply chain is the “life path” of your product. It would start at the raw materials used and move on through manufacture, sales, (wholesale or retail), distribution and affiliation or franchise.

Wow….not really that hard.
Now you have to pick a spot in that chain. Will you mine the raw materials, make it into a product, do some of the processing or just buy the product and sell it.

You decision is one of the most important parts of starting your business. It will determine many components of your business. The amount of space needed, any special tools or storage needs….. And the amount of money you will need to get started.

Another consideration, and an important one, is whether or not you will have an online or offline operation.  Maybe you will want a combination of both.

For example, you can make a product and sell it directly to consumers through a website. Or simply us your site to advertize your product for local sales. Or both.
The choice is yours and will effect how you construct your business plan.

Selecting that product or service can be tricky. If you select something that people do not want or will not pay to have, then your business will fail.

Remember, just because you like it does not mean that others will, not only like it, but will pay to have it.

Time to do your research. Some businesses are obvious. A lawn service is normally accepted by most people. In certain parts of the country it is very seasonal and very competitive. It is however, an acceptable business, from a business point of view.

On the other hand, if you like to collect and polish snail shells, you would have to determine that there are enough buyers for polished snail shells to support your business.

OK …Ridiculous, but you get the idea.

You have to find out what people are buying and then determine if you can provide the product at a better price or with better service.

Not all good ideas are sellable; some have a very limited market. For example, Wave Energy Harvesters are a very limited specialized area.  (I am working on a marketing plan for those.)

So……To repeat what has been written in several earlier posts. Do your research. It can make the difference between failure and success.

Until next time,
To your success,
Jim Gillum