Having a good idea is the first step to starting a home based business. But this is the easy part. If you want to have a successful business, there are many other things to consider.
Is a home based business right for you?
Before you invest your time, effort, and money, take a few moments to answer the following questions:
- What do you like to do with your time?
- Can you identify and describe the business you plan on establishing?
- What will be your product or service?
- Is there a demand for your product or service?
- Do you have the talent and expertise needed to compete successfully?
- How much time do you have to run a successful business?
- Are you a self-starter?
- Do you have the necessary self-discipline to maintain schedules?
- Can you deal with the isolation of working from home?
It is important that you work in a professional environment; if possible, you should set up a separate office in your home.
Is your business idea suitable for home?
There are many types of business you can run from home, here is a small list: Auction Business, Child Care Provider, Cleaning Business, Clothing Designer, Computer Consultant, Craft Business, Freelance Writer, Interior Design, Language Translator, Newsletter Publishing, Party Planning, Pet Sitting Service, Real Estate Appraiser, Resume Writing Service, Travel Agency, Web Design, and the list is so long to write it here.
Are you financially ready?
You have to look at your financial position before starting a home based business. Do you have capital to invest in this business, are you going to work part time to fund the business, or do you have a partner who is funding the venture?
With a little planning, you'll find that you can avoid most financial difficulties. Make sure you estimate Start-Up Costs, Operating Expenses, and Projecting Income (sales on a weekly or monthly basis).
Promotion is an important part of marketing, but promotion is not about making sales. Promotion is about getting your product or service known. Promotion is a long term investment which can eventually lead to sales. The easiest way to promote your home based business is by having people talk about you and your product or service. If a customer likes what they buy they will tell others. Therefore part of your promotional plan must include strategies to ensure excellence in customer service.
To sell you have to define the products/services offered, identify the customer demand for your product/service, identify your market, its size and locations, decide how your product/service will be advertised and marketed, and decide the pricing strategy.
Possible legal requirements
A home based business is subject to many of the same laws and regulations affecting other businesses, and you will be responsible for complying with them. There are some general areas to watch out for, but be sure to consult an attorney and your state department of labor to find out which laws and regulations will affect your business.
Some home based business doís and doníts:
- Have dedicated space that is used for your business and absolutely nothing else (The relaxed environment or working at home should not distract you from running the business).
- Establish regular hours, and start your day as if heading off for the office.
- You will need to have the furnishings and technological support of a commercial office including a desk, chair, filing system, computer, separate business telephone line and answering system, etc.
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