Are you considering starting a home business? You’re not alone! According to Forbes magazine, 52% of all small businesses are home-based. Starting a home business is a great option for people who don’t have the start-up capital to set up their business in an office or storefront.
Idea’s to Start a Home Business
If you’re ready to start your own home business, here are the steps you need to take to get started!
Step One: Come Up with a Business Idea
Coming up with the right business idea is often the hardest step. If you are having a hard time coming up with a great idea you should consider your skills and experience. What are you good at? Do you have a lot of experience in a certain area? Do you have any hobbies that you might be able to turn into a business? Think about what skills or experience you have that would be of value to others. You’ve got to be realistic when approaching such a monumental venture. For example, have you got a quick enough laptop to suffice the running of your entire operation? Have you got a printer, like the hp laserjet, that has an updated driver to ensure your business remains functional? There are so many questions that must be answered, to enable a thriving enterprise.
Now consider complementary skills that you can learn quickly. By combining your existing skills with some newly learned skill you should be able to come up with some unique ideas that take advantage of your existing skills and expertise.
Step Two: Define Your Target Market
Identifying your target market is critical to the success of your home business. Who is most likely to buy your product or use your service? Consider their age range and income. Will there be enough demand for the product or service you are hoping to sell?
Step Three: Research the Competition
Virtual every business has competition. It is important to know who your competitors are so that you can make your business stand out from the crowd. Look at the websites and social media pages of your potential competition to see hpw they’re positioning themselves in the market. Look at their approach and see how you can differentiate yourself. Now is the time to be unique! Taking the time to research your competition now will help you figure out what your target market needs and wants. Your business needs to stand out by addressing a specific unmet need or offering more value than your competition.
Step Four: Test Your Idea
Your idea may sound great on paper, but until you put it on the market it will be difficult to know if there is potential for success. You could start by introducing your product or service on a very small scale. Ask for feedback and focus on testing and improving your idea. You might even consider offering your product or service at a discounted rate to gain experience, feedback, and potential referrals.
Step Five: Establish Your Budget and Write Your Business Plan
A well thought out right business idea will help you establish your budget, including start-up costs and future expenses. Since you will be working from home, your main expenses will be setting up a home office, purchasing any necessary equipment, producing your initial inventory if you’re selling a product, and marketing your product or service.
Step Six: Finance Your Business
If possible, it’s best to use your personal savings to start your business. Don’t rely on high-interest bank loans or credit cards for your start-up capital. You could even talk to your family and friends to see if they like your idea enough to invest some money. If you go this route, have an attorney draft an agreement for you both to sign to avoid any future misunderstandings.
Step Seven: Apply for Permits and Obtain Liability Insurance
Every state and county has its own laws pertaining to running a business out of the home. Before you start investing a lot of money in your business, check your local regulations to find out what permits and licenses you will need. You will also need to comply with tax laws and possibly your homeowner’s association rules as well. Talk to your insurance agent to find out what additional coverage you are going to need.
Step Eight: Choose a Legal Structure, Open Your Business Bank Account and Set Up Your Accounting System
Now it’s time to decide on the legal structure of your business. Whether you set up as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or an LLC, it is crucial to separate your business assets from your personal ones, right from day one. As soon as you’ve registered your home business you should open a business bank account and apply for a credit card for your business. It is also critical to set your accounting up the right way to avoid issues down the road.Turning to a professional accounting service like temp CFO Accounting is the best way to ensure that your books are set up correctly, right from the start. They can help you make sure you are complying with tax laws to avoid headaches at tax time.
Step Nine: Launch Your Business
Now that your business structure is in place, it’s time to put all those ideas to work. You need to let your potential customers know that your business exists and how it’s different from the competition. Convince them to take the risk of trying something new.
Word-of-mouth advertising will be your new best friend, so make sure you have social media accounts set up right away to allow customers to talk about their experiences with your business. Create a website early on so that people can find out more about your product or service, how to contact you, and your hours. Be sure your website links to your social media profiles, too. Adding a blog to your business website is a great way to attract new leads, stand out from the crowd and establish your business as an expert in your chosen niche.
Step Ten: Plan for the Future
Don’t forget to plan for the future. As your business grows, modify your business plan to include future plans for adding new products or services and hiring employees or subcontractors to help you with the workload. It’s never too soon to start thinking about planning for your retirement and obtaining health insurance, too. Remember, you are the boss now, and you need to take care of your employees, starting with you!