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When you are thinking about starting a new home-based business, figuring out what you need to reach those all-important first customers can be a challenge. To keep costs low, you also need to determine what you don’t need to grow your new business. If you want to solve this dilemma with less hassle, here are some marketing and startup tips.


Yes, You Will Need a Home Office


Growing a successful business  takes a lot of focus and hard work. You will need to concentrate on identifying your niche products, services, and skills, and then figuring out how to use those offerings to solve problems for your target audience. This can be a lot to think about, especially when you are trying to do so while being distracted by a noisy TV or noisy kids. So you should really think about carving out some space in your home for a dedicated home office.


Designing a productive and functional home office can be so much easier than you think. One of the first steps is to eliminate distractions, so try to set up your office in an area of your home that is separate from other spaces and other family members. It can also be important to set some ground rules for the members of your household who are home while you are working.


No, You Don’t Need Expensive Ads


Honestly, if you are starting a small home-based business there is no reason you need to pay for ads. Especially when there are plenty of  free advertising avenues  where you can effectively market your services and offerings. Google and other popular search engines can provide you with the marketing tools you need to drive that initial traffic to your new business.


Social media can also be a powerful way to promote yourself to potential customers. In fact, marketing through social media  can be so powerful that you could focus all of your attention on these platforms, at least in the beginning. To keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed, choose one or two platforms that will help you target your key customers. Then set up a profile and start posting photos, videos, and other content on a consistent basis.


You May Need to Set Up an LLC


As CNBC explains, many people choose to  transition their side gigs  into full-fledged home-based businesses, and this could be a very smart move for you as well. If you want to lend some legitimacy to your side hustle, think about establishing an LLC. In addition to providing legitimacy for potential clients, setting up an LLC can also provide liability protection for your business.


On top of these perks, forming an LLC can be quick and simple when you use an online service to fill out and file  your Certificate of Formation. Speaking of states, it’s important to keep in mind that different states have different processes for creating an LLC. Then you can take advantage of legal protections and tax breaks with less paperwork, stress, and hassle.


No, You Shouldn’t Ignore Other Businesses


As Forbes explains, collaborating with competitors  is a smart move for new small businesses looking to gain exposure and customers. Even major corporations like YouTube and Vimeo understand this to be true, so don’t make the mistake of ignoring the benefits of networking.  By working with the competition, you can pick up savvy business lessons from more seasoned entrepreneurs and you can also help promote each other’s businesses.


You need confidence and hard work to build a new home-based business from the ground up. These marketing strategies will provide a return on your investment and get your new business off to the right start!


Photo Credit: Unsplash


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Remote works will be one of the biggest shifts in workplace culture in recent decades. Known for their high salaries, tech companies are one of the leading adopters of remote work. This capability isn’t new; people have been working home for a while, but the experiment forced by coronavirus has shown it can be a feasible model. 

Tech Jobs Are Threatening Non-Tech Work

Automation is threatening many different non-tech careers. AI chatbots appear on many websites, encouraging you to start a conversation if you have a question. This role, previously done by a human, reduces the number of customer service representatives needed. Automation isn’t limited to low skill work—there are AI therapy services. 


Data scientists are part of the team responsible for creating these AI services. Even though an AI program may remove hundreds of jobs, it still takes a team to create the application. Data scientists analyze all of the data of their program to improve its functionality. You can become a data scientist with no degree. Even though data scientists are well paid, a small team can create a program capable of reducing thousands of hours of employee salaries.

Tech Jobs Are Growing

The tech industry has been growing rapidly over the past several years. It has been growing at such a pace colleges have not been able to graduate students fast enough. This shortage has prompted crash courses in coding called bootcamps. In 2019, over 30,000 people graduated from these fast-paced courses. 


These bootcamps are so confident you will get a job with your new skills they offer job guarantees and even deferred tuition. The job market for computer science careers has been steady during the recent downturn caused by Covid-19.

Remote Work Isn’t What You Think

Remote work sounds like a pretty good deal, but it will be put to the test as we slowly return to pre-pandemic norms. There are a few easy wins for remote work—no need to dress up, no commute, and you can stay in the comfort of your home. Even with these perks, there are challenges Zoom can’t resolve. 


Communication is one of the struggles of remote work. Even with video and instant messaging, the lack of human connection can impact results. Miscommunication between product managers and software engineers can cause delays and frustrate involved parties. 


The amount of data regarding remote work has increased as a significant portion of the world works from home. A consistent finding is the workday has increased by an average of 45 minutes. This workday extension might seem detrimental, but you probably spend more time commuting than 45 minutes. Even with the increased workday, the lack of commute is beneficial to our health.


One of the real downsides of remote work is the lack of separation from work and home life. Without an office, you can physically let work seep into your personal life. There is a temptation for work to be the first thing we do each day, which can be why the workday is longer. If you are working from home, or plan to in the future, make sure to find ways to practice self-care.

Coronavirus Is a Blip in Time

It seems like coronavirus is not going to go away. We will feel the effects of Covid-19 for many years, but what seems like an eternity now will be a short memory in five years. Remote work will be one of the ever-present reminders of this epidemic. While vacations are on pause, and we stay confined to our homes longer than preferred, we can take this disaster and put our time to good use. 


If you choose to attend a bootcamp, you can have a higher salary by the beginning of next year. Take the negative impact of Covid-19 and turn it into a lasting positive change by attending a top coding bootcamp. By choosing to react opportunistically, you can create a positive outcome from this epidemic. If you capitalize on the extra time available, you will remember 2020 as the year you elevated your career, not the year stuck at home.


Salaries will be dependent on the market and the demands of any job. Tech jobs will continue to be available as companies implement new technologies to save on employment costs. While the coronavirus has negatively impacted our world, remote work, and the opportunity to learn new skills can be a beacon of light in these dark times.



Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.