Have you always thought of working from home? Being your own boss? Getting up when you want to and not having to sit in unproductive meetings half your day?
If you want to have a successfull home business then you should be ready to work hard, but more importantly, you need to choose the right home based business that fits your personality and skill sets.
If you’re ready to consider making the switch to this type of career, then you’ve probably already chosen a home based business model that you’re ready to start. The following are tips to help you get your business idea up and running:
1. Separate Your Workspace from Living Space – You work space should be separated from your living space, and well organized. Unless you are much better at working from home than the rest of us, you’ll get distracted if you try to work in the same space you live. Especially if you have other people living with you or kids. Find a comfortable space in your house and turn it into your office. Hopefully, it will be away from most of the distractions like the kitchen, TVs and other things that take your attention away from work.
2. Dedicate Working Hours – For many home based businesses, it doesn’t matter when you work, it just matters that you work. Find out what hours you are most productive and what hours you have available to you. Perhaps you are a night owl and work best in the middle of the night, when distractions are far and few between. Or maybe, like me, you’re sharpest at around 9 in the morning, after a few cups of coffee. Maybe you like to work for three hours each morning and three hours each evening. Also, do you work on the weekends? Every day? It’s important that you define to yourself when you are going to work so that you will be able to be productive with your home based business, as well not feel guilty during the times that you don’t work. Having a dedicated work schedule can help solve this and increase productivity.
3. Name your business – Of course you need a name, you cant go around the market without a brand name so get a unique and hopefully simple name for your business that suits and defines you in the market. Once you have a name, you can start advertising.
4. Get Your Marketing Started Right Away – If you are going to be successful with your home business, you’re going to make sure that you have a steady flow of customers. Whether that are providing products or services, you’ll need to get the word out that you are open for business and that you offer good things for good prices. The good news is that there is a ton of free marketing that you can do. Start a simple website and start business pages on facebook and google plus. Get your friends and family to help spread the word by reposting and sharing your information on all of the social networks.
You’ll also want to visit sites to find customers direct. For example, Fiverr is a great resource to sell your services and get new customers. There are hundreds of other elance or industry specific sites that you can also creatively market your product or service.
5. Assess your Finances – If you can, try to set aside a separate bank account and credit card for your business. Hopefully you can fund the account with money that you already had saved. While taking a business loan is an option, you’ll probably need to get steady income before you would qualify, so at first you should just focus on setting up your accounts. By using the same accounts for all of your business and only your business, you’ll be able to save a lot of time when you have to report your income as part of your taxes.
6. Register your Business – If you feel like your business will likely grow and be around for a few years, you should consider registering your business. In most states, you can file a “DBA”, which stands for “doing business as” for just a few dollars. This will legitimize your business enough so that you can open a bank account under your business name. As your business grows, you’ll probably want to incorporate or register as a limited liability company. If you’re sure things are going to work out, you can start this process right away, but it is kind of time consuming and you’ll probably have to hire an attorney to complete the process.
7. Setup an Accounting System – Every business needs to have an accounting system in place, to keep track of your income and expenses. Luckily, most small businesses can be reported on a personal tax form if they are a sole proprietor. Also, if you set up a business checking account and credit card, most of your information will be tracked there. To make a stronger accounting system, you should create a spreadsheet that tracks all of your financial transactions. You can also use a home business account software package such as QuickBooks to setup and track your business finances.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg on things you’ll need to do to create a successful home based business, but they are perhaps the most important part of getting started outside of doing the actual service or work that your business will be providing.