How to start a home business

I started my own business, credit repair company, Credit Fix Solutions, out of my son’s bedroom with no money and no education. I did it the hard way and six years in, having seen business success, I decided to share what I have learnt.

The idea for a book came to me a few years ago when I was having coffee with another mum at my sons’ primary school. Before she got married, she was a highly-skilled, successful interior designer, but she was going through a terrible divorce and had not been in the workforce for 10 years.

She had a great idea of putting hampers together and selling them locally or online. However, she was too scared to start and did not know where to begin. I tried to encourage her but, really what she needed was a practical book on how to start, which was easy to follow. There was nothing out there to help her, though.

Little help for entrepreneurs

It frustrated me back then, and still does today, that there are no holistic guides to starting a home business. You need to spend thousands of dollars on higher education or make a lot of mistakes or spend years doing courses before you can put it all together. My frustration led me to write From Zero to CEO, a guide to starting your own home business.

One of the most important things I learnt is that if you are planning to start a business you need to work on yourself first. It’s important to look at where you are on a personal and mental level so you can get “you” on the right track to be able to start a new business.

You don’t need a whole business plan when you’re just looking to start a small business from home, it will evolve as your business grows. When I started Credit Fix Solutions, my business objective was to network with local finance brokers to see if I could help their clients with fixing their credit reports.

Have a vision, but be adaptable

Next, you need to work on the vision for your business. Our vision is to be the market-leading credit repair and debt negotiation service in Australia, offering the best value, fast and friendly, no-result no-fee advocacy services to our customers to help them and their families improve their financial future.

When I started six years ago, my vision was different of course. Back then, my vision was just to focus on helping local finance brokers to fix their clients’ credit reports on a no-result no-fee basis. And that was fine at the time. I was incredibly happy with the small business I had created. I’ve just evolved with the business as it’s grown and so our vision has changed.

In order to work out if your business is relevant and could potentially be an income-earner, you need to go and research the market you are looking at entering. Ask yourself why you think your business is relevant today, and how it will be relevant in five years’ time? What are your potential competitors doing? What are they not doing well? Is there a niche that competitors haven’t filled that you could fill with a local business?

If you’re comfortable that there is a niche in the local market that you can fill, and it’s a service or product that people will want in the future, then go for it.

Victoria Coster, CEO, Credit Fix Solutions and author of “From Zero to CEO”