Are you thinking about launching your own home business? Check out this guide to make sure you are ready for this new business venture.
Have you got a business plan in place? Do not even think about starting your home based business if you do not have a solid plan in place. You need to know how you will finance your business. How and where are you going to source your product? Who are you going to sell your goods or services to and how do you know you can offer them what they want or need? One of your first tasks will be to discuss your business proposals with your bank. Most have small business units offering start-up assistance, as well as specialized advice, in finance. Try your local chamber of commerce who will also be willing to advise. Many local authorities will be helpful too. Do not forget the need to be familiar with, and to adhere to, local and national regulations.
Where and to whom will you sell your products? You need to define your niche and research your market before you launch your home business. Use the web and local yellow pages to identify your competition. Study their sales copy, pricing, and products. When you find a product or service that you believe will solve your prospects problems then further define your target market by using demographics to help you. What sort of age group will be interested? Teenagers are unlikely to be interested in something better suited to married couples or to older people. Gender plays an important role here too. Think about using a survey to help answer these questions. Be sure to offer an incentive because you will find people generally reluctant to take part otherwise.
Do you have a sales strategy that appeals to your customers? You need to spend time developing a strong online presence and use social media to attract people to your website. Meet customers in your community or at events. Use traditional methods in conjunction with this, local papers, magazines, and posters. Be sure you have sufficient storage space and that is suitable for your type of product.
Set up your business legally. You will have to register your business for tax purposes. You may need special permits or a qualification dependent on the kind of product you plan to sell. Far better to have an accountant set up a basic bookkeeping system for you as accurate records are critical, particularly from a tax viewpoint. Keep track of everything you earn and invest in your business. Proper records will enable an accountant to set off much of your business expenditure against tax liabilities including rentals, consumables, advertising, and utilities.
Do you really have the skills and motivation necessary to operate a home business? You need to be totally committed to the whole idea of running a business. You must be under no illusion as this will need hard work and discipline. You need to commit yourself to a full daily work program with rigid working hours. Running a home business always requires a high level of self-discipline so be prepared for the necessity of working at least as many hours as you did as an employee. Do not launch your business until you have all basic requirements in place.
Do not think of starting before you can meet any commitment made to a customer or your dream will be over before it is properly begun. When all your plans are in place try to get them approved by a professional. It goes without saying that you will have to have the full backing of your family.
Do not rush into launching your home business before you are completely ready. Your preparations must be thorough. If you have been holding down a job it is usually a good idea to keep it going as long as possible so you have an income whilst making your preparations. Also, give proper notice and take leave of your job amicably. There is the unwelcome thought that, if you are unhappy with your new venture, you may be glad to resume your old job. Remember, when you leave in the right atmosphere, your old boss may be willing to offer helpful advice based on his own experience.