Running a business from your home can be a fairly difficult undertaking, not only because you’re doing it all on your own, but because you’re doing it from the ground up.  You won’t have the advertising budget or contacts of a large corporation, so you may find yourself floundering when it comes to bringing in new clients and juggling a heavy work load (if only).  Getting your name out there, amidst the millions of others clamoring for attention online, can make you feel like David facing Goliath.  But you can overcome the giant and successfully bypass the competition.  And it starts with building your brand.

For starters, you’re going to need to determine what your brand is.  What do you have to offer?  How is it different from other businesses?  How can you best identify your brand?  And finally, how can you reach potential customers most effectively?  These are all questions you should ask yourself (and answer) before you ever start a business.  It could save you a lot of wasted effort down the road and it will give you a good springboard for determining where and how to spend start-up funds.

Having a unique platform (in other words, a specialization) is an excellent place to start when it comes to branding.  Finding your niche will allow you to penetrate an already saturated market in the arena of home-based businesses.  But once you’ve figured out just what it is that puts you ahead of the pack, you’re going to need to find ways to share your brand with others and bring in the customers needed to make your business a success.

Of course, you’re probably going to want a website, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a lot to create something that works for you.  You’re likely not running a major electronics company or news-gathering service, so why would you want to drop a ton of dough on state-of-the-art motions graphics and dozens of pages of content?  All you really need is something simple and professional that users can easily navigate.  Once you have all your ducks in a row, it’s time to start bringing in business.

Getting your name out there is not easy, but it can be done, and you have a number of tools at your disposal.  You can start by going to forums and meeting people.  Asking questions, giving advice, and generally becoming known amongst industry insiders is a great way to get a leg up (as others on the forum may be willing to send some overflow work your way or pass your name along if they get to like you).  Just be aware that spamming these sites will often get you banned.  You may also want to start reading, commenting, and guest posting on related blogs.  You can often get links back to your site as well as a boost in visitors.  And if you engage in search engine optimization (SEO) you can really capitalize on your efforts and possibly make it easier for potential customers to find you.  And of course, you can’t pass up social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as a way to increase visibility, draw customers, and communicate effectively with current clientele.

There is certainly a lot involved in creating a brand image and getting your name out on the web, and there are so many ways to do it that you may never discover or utilize them all.  However, with a little planning, research, and hard work, you can create an image that clients will flock to, form strong working relationships, and become a name that people seek to meet their business needs.

Jennifer Kardish writes for Wine Rack Plans where you can find a wine rack to fit your individual needs, taste, and style.

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