Starting a New Home Business - Ask Yourself  These Questions

I love the excitement of starting up a new home based business. I enjoy trying out new ideas and approaches with the new venture. I dream the big dreams and hope to obtain some of them (if not all of them). I am sure you have those same feelings as well. Organization is imperative when starting any business. Some say that a well funded business has the best chance to sustain losses until it’s profitable. However, if you are on a shoe string budget like me, money management is the key.

The place you need to start with your home business is with the pen and paper or word processing software and a PC. One thing I learned about starting businesses is there are so many variables involved it is not possible to “keep it simple” if you try to run the entire business without some type of plan. Not knowing or not being able to prioritize your needs with your business can result in bad money management and eventually failure.

Writing down what your business is about helps put your business into perspective and helps you define your immediate needs and hold off on spending on items you don’t need right away. Most recommend you write a business plan. You can buy software to write a plan and go through a set of questions to write one. You could always research how to write a business plan online.

Whether you use software or not to write a business plan you could always ask yourself the basic questions. Getting to the basics means a lot to me. It provides a foundation to your ever evolving business plan.

If you are starting your own home business, try asking yourself these questions. They may help you in the same manner as they help me:

1. What is your business name?

2. Is your business registered as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or Corporation? – This is very important for tax purposes and banking.

2. Explain what you business does in one short paragraph. – Describing your business in a few sentences helps define the main focus of your business.

3. What products does your business sell? – List any product your business is selling and any variations of its availability.

4. Who does your business sell to? – This will help you define your market (if any) Try to describe the personality of the market and why they would want to buy your product. It may provide a starting point for your business’s marketing strategy.

5. How do you want prospects and customers to contact you in regards to the product your business is selling? – You may decide that you don’t want prospects to call your home number and you may need a separate phone line or a toll free number. This is part of defining your daily operations and costs.

6. Does your business need a web site? – If the answer is “Yes”, then you will want to think about what type of site you want and how you are going to build it.

7. How is the business to receive money? – A very important question! Do you have a business checking account to receive checks? Does your business accept Credit Cards? Pay Pal?

8. How does your business make money? – You should know how you can make a profit on the product you sell. You should know all of your costs to run the business. This way you know how much product you need to sell each month.

9. How much money are you going to spend on marketing? – Marketing your business should be the priority and you should realize that you will need a budget to market your product. You cannot sell your product if your market does not know about it. Also, you may want to start out with a very small amount and try different methods until you learn how to market your product correctly.

Asking yourself these basic questions may help you shed light on areas of your business that you may have not taken into account. After all, it can be overwhelming running a home based business. Asking basic but tough questions about your business can help you identify the immediate and long term focus of your business and most of all sustain your business until it reaches profitability.

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