So, you want to make money from home?
Instead of trying some silly service (that’s probably only available in the US), why not take matters into your own hands and start a business you can run from home?
Work at home on your terms and make an excellent living.
Making money with your own at-home business is the way to go.
Let’s get started.
Starting your own business from home
There’s never been a better time to start a business from home.
With tools like the internet, social media, online education and remote work, anyone can start and run a successful business from home.
All you need to do is identify the right opportunity and be willing to compete in the marketplace.
With the right idea and enough persistence, it’s possible to make a substantial amount of money as a business owner in South Africa.
Now, every business is different, but they’re all built on the same principles. We’re going to share the principles with you so you can identify the right opportunity and start making money (as a business owner) from home.
⭐ Bonus: Check out this post if you’re particularly interested in ways to make money online in South Africa.
What you need to start a business from home:
There are only four things you need to start a business from home. The first two are core to how you make money, and the second two ensure you don’t get in trouble.
To start a business and make money from home, you’ll need:
- A product or service that you can sell
- A marketing channel ( a way to reach customers)
- Accounting system
- Legal compliance
Perhaps you thought we were going to say “laptop, mobile phone, transport, etc.”? Not quite. Those are important too, but we want to guide you through the fundamentals first.
Let’s start with the thing you will sell—your product or service.
1. A product or service (that you can sell from home)
You need to offer something of value to a customer with a need. So, what can you offer?
Offers can generally be grouped into one of the following categories.
Categories of things you can sell
- Physical products
- Digital products
- Access or distribution
Here are a few examples:
Physical products = Physical goods include things like shoes, hygiene products, food, cars, tools, and material. You name it. Any object that you can hold in your hand is a physical good.
Digital products = A digital product may be an online course, an NFT, a media file, software or something similar. Digital goods make great products because a single digital product can be sold multiple times.
Services = services typically involve selling time. When someone pays someone to do something for them, they are paying for a service. Haircuts, bookkeeping, photography, and plumbing are examples of popular services.
Access or distribution = This one is less common. Influencers, blogs, or ad platforms sell their distribution (or the access of their audience), and festivals sell access to their events.
You get the idea.
You’ll need to figure out what you will sell to make money. Take time to figure out what’ll work with your skills, assets, and experience.
Once you have something to sell, you must attract customers or clients.
That’s where a marketing channel comes in.
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2. A marketing channel (a way to get the word out)
A marketing channel is a way to reach customers. There are several different marketing channels that you could use, each channel with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Here are a few marketing channels you could consider:
Popular online marketing channels
- Online classifieds (Gumtree, Facebook marketplace, etc.)
- Online communities (Facebook groups, Discord or Slack communities, Reddit, etc.)
- Pay-per-click ads (Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, Taboola, etc.)
- Cold email outreach
- Email marketing
- Newsletter and influencer sponsorship
- Third-party sellers (Takealot, bidorbuy, Loot, etc.)
- Social media
Popular offline marketing channels
- Flyers, brochures, business cards, and posters
- Billboards and signs
- Guerrilla marketing (unconventional, attention-grabbing tactics)
- Cold calling
It is crucial to let people know what you’re selling and how they can buy from you. Even a great product or service with poor marketing is likely to fail.
Make sure you know how you will get your product or service out there.
If you’re just starting out, try telling people in your neighbourhood and community, frequently post in Facebook groups, put up posters and flyers where your ideal customers can see them, or reach out to people via telephone or email.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, in fact, great products should be able to get off the ground without a marketing budget.
3. Accounting system
Now, you have a product or service, you’re marketing it, and you’re getting sales. Congratulations, you’re making money!
Now that your business is making money, you’ll need to keep track of your income, expenses, and savings (that’s right, businesses need savings and reserves too).
⭐Bonus: Here are the best savings accounts in South Africa.
The two primary reasons for accounting are:
- Making sure that your business is profitable; and
- Tax compliance
Here is a list of tools that are used for accounting.
Popular accounting software and tools
If you’re making enough money and can afford to pay someone to take care of your accounting for you, then go ahead. It’s a smart investment.
You can start small by paying a virtual assistant to do invoicing and keep track of expenses, costs, and payments or hire a bookkeeper.
4. Legal compliance
Lastly, there’s legal compliance.
Basically, you need to ensure you’re not breaking the law.
Certain services and products may require certifications or licences.
Do your research to find out what you need to do to ensure you’re operating legally. Failing to do so could mean a serious fine or even jail time.
Use Google and ChatGPT to do some basic research, then talk to a professional if you need to take things further.
There you have it, everything that you need to start a business and make money from home.
For extra inspiration, check out our post on: Best extra income opportunities (earn more in South Africa); some of these ideas can become businesses.
- You need a product or service — spend some time in front of your computer, phone, or notebook, and pick something that’ll work for you.
- Then, you need to get the word out and sell — there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Get creative and find out how to proactively get new clients.
- Now that you’re ready to make money, you need to keep track of it and operate without breaking the law— that’s where accounting and legal compliance comes in.
What are you waiting for? Get started!
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