Thinking about starting a product-based business from home? Running your own business from home can be an incredible experience and truly transforming. I did it and today, almost 7 years later, I’m still an entrepreneur, making an impact in the lives of consumers and living out my dream.
My Personal Journey in a Product-Based Business
When I was working my 9 to 5 job, I dreamed about one day working for myself as an entrepreneur. Seven long years into my career, I found something that worked and a short year after starting my business venture, I quit my day job!
I did it with a product-based business from home!
Creating a product-based business brought me so much independence. I made the rules, I was the boss, there was tons of flexibility, unlimited income potential and other perks that come from entrepreneurship. A few years after quitting I was soon earning nearly as much as my annual salary in a single month!
Product-based businesses can be lucrative ventures that not only help you solve a consumer’s problem but can fulfil you in ways that your day job never has. If you’re curious about pursuing a product-based business, keep reading while we share how you can do it, getting started, best practices, and more.
What is a Product-based Business
A product-based business is a company that sells products. These can be tangible, physical products or intangible, digital products.
Why have a product-based company?
Companies that sell products seek to solve a consumer pain point or problem, like helping customers:
- Find a heavy coat for winter
- Save time cooking dinner
- Create healthy meals for their family
- Get their closet organized
- Keep their car clean
What are examples of products and services?
Product-based businesses focus on selling products, whereas service-based businesses sell services.
Here are some examples of each to further illustrate the key differences between the two:
Product-based business examples
- Shoes-like boots, sneakers, dress shoes, etc.
- Cookware-like pots, pans, cooking utensils, etc.
- Aromatherapy goods-like candles, essential oils, oil diffusers, etc.
- Outerwear-like coats, jackets, and vests
- Men’s and women’s apparel-like shirts, slacks, dresses, blouses, etc.
- Toys-like game consoles, action figures, educational games, etc.
- Consumer electronics-like tablets, mobile devices, and stereo equipment
Product-based business ideas
Some clever product-based business ideas might be goods to help consumers save time and money, like smart electronics.
For example, this 6-plug smart outlet on Amazon comes with a voice control app and lets you monitor your energy usage from anywhere. It’s also money-saving to turn off one switch on your smart outlet and instantly unplug energy vampires that are draining your electricity when not in use.
Service business examples
- Digital marketing
- Virtual assistance
Now that we’ve identified the difference between a product business and a service business, let’s take a look at how to start a product-based business from home.
Why Start a Product Based Business from Home?
Starting a product-based business or any company from home is a great idea for several reasons, mainly:
First, starting a home-based business is very convenient.
Think about it.
When it’s time to work on the business, there’s no commute to your business office, which saves you time. With more time, you’ll have greater availability to devote to your business. It can be a deterrent to travel to a business office to work. It’s so easy when you work right out of your house.
Next, you save money. No office rent and you save money on gas because there’s no commute. You also save on utilities and other expenses related to operating an office space, even a coworking space.
So, for these 2 reasons and more, you’ll love the idea of starting a business from home.
How do I start a product based business?
When it’s time to actually start your business, you might be wondering how to start. Here are some steps you’ll take to kick things off:
- Creating your business plan
- Startup and funding
- Business structure
- Business location
- Choose a business name
- Register your business
- Sourcing and Inventory
- Build your website
There you have it. Just 12 steps to take your business from idea to launch. Let’s explore!
Researching Your Business
This is the idea formation phase where you figure out what kind of product-based business you’ll create. Think about what needs you’ll be filling and how you will be helping customers with their problems.
You also want to evaluate the competition to make sure the market isn’t too saturated for the niche you selected.
In the research phase, you’ll also be doing things like polling potential consumers, doing research in niche forums, and getting a good sense of your market.
Consider the following:
- Market size
Market size is the size of your market, meaning how large of an audience you can potentially target. You want to make sure your audience is large enough to be making a profit and have room for your business to grow.
The demand is the desire for the products you’re offering. Are people craving your product? Are you solving a pain point? Ask yourself these questions to figure out if there’s a true demand for your product.
Pricing has to do with the price your competitor charges for the products you plan on selling. Looking at pricing means you’ll determine if you can offer competitive pricing or use pricing as a selling point for customers.
And then demographics is about your ideal customer avatar. Who is your target market? Who is your ideal customer? Where do they shop? How much income do they make? Are they single, married, have kids, in college, etc.? Drill down deep here and really get to know your ideal customer.
Creating Your Business Plan
Your business plan is like the foundation for your business. This does not have to be a formal plan but you do want to note your goals, roadmap for growth, and future projections.
This will help you plan out your business and it’s a good way to keep yourself accountable. You can look back at the plan periodically to see if your business is adhering to plan and on track to reach your goals.
Startup and funding
Startup costs and funding is your business cost. Today, with the internet and abundance of free resources available to business owners, you can get a lot more for your money with your business.
You want to hash out your funding plan which means you’ll detail all your startup costs to figure out how much capital you need to reach launch and how you’ll get that funding:
Examples of startup costs:
- Cost of goods sold
- Facility cost
- Equipment, tools, and supplies
Choosing your legal business structure can mean different things depending upon where you live. This is super important and can impact your personal liability, taxes, and more. I suggest reaching out to a lawyer and or an accountant for advice.
You can look at getting a business bank account at this stage, too.
Next, is the business location. Working out of your home is a very real scenario that many business owners take advantage of and really enjoy.
Aside from working from home, you can also choose to work in a coworking space, a rented office space, warehouse, or other space. Think about where your business will be located and costs associated, if any.
Choose a business name
Then, there’s the point when you’ll be picking your business name, which is one of the more fun parts of the business planning process. It’s not as easy as you might think to pick a business name.
Just understand that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It should capture the essence of the brand and make sense. If it’s catchy and simple, that’s even better.
Register your business
Registering your business is the process that finalizes a lot of your business decisions up until this point, like your business structure, location, and name. It is always wise to go to your country’s Google site (.com,.com.au etc) and search “Register Business” to find information preferably from government sources or registered agents.
Sourcing and Inventory
Sourcing is the process of finding your wholesale products for resale. If you will be reselling, this is the research you conduct to find wholesalers.
If you’ll be making the goods yourself or in a factory, sourcing means finding the materials, tools, and equipment to produce your products.
How do I produce my product?
If you aren’t wholesaling products or creating products yourself, then you may need to hire a factory to produce your products.
You can check out this resource to learn how to find a factory to manufacture your product.
Dropshipping is one sourcing/fulfilment model that is low capital and less time-intensive. Instead of shipping goods to your warehouse where you then ship to the customer as an order is placed, your dropshipper will do all this for you.
In a traditional eCommerce product model, first, you source products and then you place your wholesale order in a lot, where goods are delivered to you. This can get pretty expensive as product cost in bulk order costs more plus the cost warehouse space, which is where you’ll store your products until they are ready to ship.
Next, when a customer orders, you will pick, pack, and ship the order. This requires your time and possible additional cost, if you hire staff to do fulfilment for you, while you work on other parts of the business.
You can skip all this with dropshipping.
In a dropshipping model, you are able to order products one at a time as orders come in and the dropshipper will ship to your customer. This means, no holding inventory and no fulfilment that you have to do.
Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is another alternative you can look at!
As an Amazon seller, you can take advantage of FBA, where you ship your goods to Amazon and they will fulfil for you.
So, you’ll still source goods yourself (no dropshipping) but, you get the burden of fulfilment taken off your shoulders with Amazon FBA. Plus, FBA sellers have their products listed as Amazon Prime products, which is very desirable for Prime members, who get faster shipping for free.
This might be a sourcing/fulfilment model you’ll want to explore (dropshipping or Amazon FBA) so keep it in mind.
Build your website
Building your website will mean you’ll create a space for your business online where customers can find you. This could be a private storefront, hosted by an eCommerce platform like Shopify & Woocommerce . You can also sell on marketplace websites like Amazon or Ebay.
Want the best of both worlds?
You can actually integrate Amazon FBA to your website so when purchases are made via your own website it is fulfilled by Amazon FBA. This is a great way to build your brand independently and benefit the FBA luxury.
AtoZ Pages will soon create tutorials on building websites but for now, you can check out Hogan Chua for in-depth free tutorials for creating websites.
Marketing is all about the promotion of your business. You can do this online or in person. Here are some ways you can market your business:
- Organic social media
- Social media ads
- Native ads
- Influencer marketing
- Business cards
- Word of mouth
- Content writing for organic Google traffic
Lastly, you’ll launch your business.
Remember, your business doesn’t have to be perfect to launch. You will find yourself changing ideas, ways of fulfilling your products, suppliers, you name it. This is the never-ending job of an entrepreneur, continuous improvement!
Benefits vs Drawbacks
Wondering if a product business is still for you? Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of starting a product-based business from home.
- No skills required
- No business background or expertise required
- Tangible goods are easier to sell than services
- Independent work
- Opportunity to work from home
- Unlimited income potential
- Startup costs
- Fulfilment can be tedious and time-consuming
- Frustration from sourcing goods
What do you think? Do you feel motivated to go out and start your business? If you want to set out and create your own product business from home, there’s no better time to start, than now.
My best advice is to you is: do not delay.
There’s no “right” time or “perfect” time to get started. Start now and begin this life-changing journey into entrepreneurship!
Preparation is key to help you start your business but, things will almost certainly veer off course. There is no perfect plan and the unplanned will probably happen. Change is inevitable after all.
Remember to keep an open mind as one of the most important parts of running a business is to adapt to the changing business landscape. Good luck!