How do you start a business from home in Malaysia?
Hi, my name is Lynn. I am a full time mother with 2 kids residing in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from my motherly duties such as taking care of my kids and family, I also run a successful business which I operate from my home.
The above picture is me communicating with my customers via Zoom Cloud Meetings app at my living room. Usually I will put on my business attire when I am talking to my customers online to look professional even though I am at home.
My home business operates on a combination of online to offline marketing and drop-shipping model.
In this article, I will share 5 key points on running my business from home.
These are the things you should consider if you are planning to start your own home business.
1) Is there a demand?
Just like with any other business project, the first thing you have to do is a demand analysis.
You have to decide if you want to be in a business to sell services or to sell physical goods or product.
If this is your first home based business, my advice is to focus on selling physical product.
Selling a type of service will require you to put in more of your personal time and effort.
If you are going to sell product through your business, the questions you should be asking are:
- What product are you going to sell?
- Where to source for the product?
- Is there a market for your product?
- Where are you going to sell your product? Are you going to be selling your product online or offline?
- Who are your competitors for your product?
- What marketing channel are you going to use? Are you going to use print advertising such as flyers or online / social media advertising such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogging etc?
- What is your expected profit margin?
- How are you going to deliver the product you are selling?
- How do you handle after sales service for your product?
2) Start up capital
The second thing you have to consider when starting a home business is capital.
How much money do you have as a start up capital for your business?
If you don’t have the capital, sorry to say, you have to find it.
Even though it is your home business, you have to treat it like a real business and not like a hobby.
How much do you need as a start up capital?
For my own personal business, I’ve started it with a capital of less than RM1,000.
3) Sourcing of product
When you have your business start up funds, the next step is to source for product you want to sell.
Sourcing for product to sell can be quite challenging for someone who has never done any business before.
My advise is, do not source for cheap and low quality product from China. I’ve tried that approach before by sourcing for product from online portals such as Alibaba, AliExpress, Taobao etc and the end results was not good.
Reason being, cheap products from China would not be able to give you big enough profit margin to sustain your business.
Furthermore, since it is cheap, anyone can buy the same goods from China and become your competitor overnight.
You want to avoid this situation especially if you planning to market your product through online channels.
Next, lets talk about gauging the demand for the product you want to sell.
Preferably, you want to sell a product which can be used by both men and women, young and old and by every ethnicity in Malaysia.
You want your product to have a big potential market as much as possible.
4) Find a local fulfillment partner
This is the mistake that I’ve learnt when I first got started.
Because mine was a small home business, I did everything on my own.
I did the product sourcing, overseas stock receiving, product storing, marketing, product delivery, accounting, customer service etc all by myself.
I thought I was saving money but what it did was creating a lot of unnecessary stress for myself.
Here’s my advice, do not run every aspect of your business by yourself.
What you can do is partner with a local fulfillment company for your business.
That company should help you by providing a support platform for you to run your home business.
For my home business, I partnered with a company located in Kuala Lumpur which has been providing me all the business support I needed.
How and where do you find these type of companies?
That comes to my last point on this article.
5) Get a business mentor
If you want to be successful in your home business, my advise is, find a business mentor or coach.
You have to find someone who has him or herself built a successful home business and learn from them.
My home business grew quickly when I was introduced to my mentor back in 2017.
The local company that I currently partnered with was referred to me by my mentor.
Another benefit of having a mentor is to minimise your business mistakes so you won’t waste any of your time and capital.
So far, things have worked out fine for me and I am very grateful for the guidance and teaching of my mentor.
The company that I’ve partnered with is handling all my product fulfillment and delivery. That has freed me to focus on the important part of my business which is “marketing”.
My focus right now is on online marketing through my blog, Facebook Live, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
There you have it, 5 points I want to share on starting a home business. I hope my article has been helpful to you.
Do you want to know which product is selling well during Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia for my home business?
If you do, you can click the link below to learn more.