Starting a home business can seem like a great idea. It’s your chance to ditch those painful 9 to 5 working hours and to do something that you’re passionate about. Without the proper planning and preparation, however, your home business can easily turn into a money-sucking disaster of a project. So, roll up your sleeves and do your research before making the big leap. To get you started, we’ve provided this helpful list of ten things to know before you start your home business venture.
Ten Things to Know Before You Start Your Home Business
Unless what you’re offering falls under the category of products or services, you don’t have a true home business. So really think about what you will be offering with your business. Products are tangible things that a person is able to physically possess for a fee. Services are intangible like baby-sitting, dog walking, or lawn care and maintenance. By knowing what category you fall under, you’ll get your business off to the right start, be able to define it more clearly, pinpoint a client base, and market to the right people!
2. Start-Up Costs
Most home businesses actually lose money in their first year. Sure, you might be one of the lucky few who turns a profit, but that’s not very likely. Be prepared to do some spending as you get started, and know where those start-up costs are going to come from ahead of time. You will likely need some kind of financing to get things off the ground, unless you’ve got savings you can dip into. You’ll probably have to pay for things like office supplies, website design, marketing, and more.
3. Your Target Audience
Just as it’s vital to know what you’ll be selling, you also have to think about to whom you’ll be selling. By knowing who your clients are, you can tailor your marketing to appeal to them, and you can start building a client base with ease. In some cases, target groups are simple to determine. A person who is starting an in-home daycare, for example, would want to target working parents of young children. In other cases, the lines might not be so clear cut, and some research will be required.
4. Local Laws
No matter where you live or what kind of business you are planning on starting, you are probably going to have to be in compliance with some laws governing home-based businesses. Do your research and know the rules at the state, country, and national level. Then, make sure you follow them to a “T”! Breaking some simple law is a good way to find your business shut down before it has even started.
5. How Much Space You Need
Most businesses are going to require a physical presence in your home. This could be as simple as room for a desk and a computer. Or, you could need an entire area devoted to your business. In some cases, every room in your home might need to be changed to accommodate your business. No matter what the case is for you, know how much space you’ll require ahead of time. Be realistic so you don’t run into any snags along the way.
6. Help and Support
As a new home-business owner, you can’t be expected to know everything. Therefore, it is imperative that you look around you and find sources of support. This might mean joining the local Chamber of Commerce, identifying others with similar or related businesses, or simply finding a helpful community of like-minded people online that you can talk to. This will prove invaluable to you at one point or another.
7. Growth and How You’ll Handle It
A lot of home businesses start out very small and non-invasive. Over time, however, the lucky ones will grow—often beyond your control! You need to be prepared for unexpected growth, as ironic as that sounds. Know what you’ll do and have strategies in place to manage your business if and when it starts to expand.
When most home businesses begin, they are one or two man operations. While you’ll likely be able to manage things with little help at first, you may quickly find that you need extra help. Be prepared to take on employees, if necessary, and know the rules on hiring people, fair pay, and all the tax documents you’ll need to fill out to do things by the book.
9. Online Presence
These days, it is virtually impossible to run a successful business without having some kind of online presence. People want to be able to find out more about your business by typing it into Google. That’s why it’s so very important to start making an online presence for your business right away. This can be a website, a blog, or anything else, but it needs to be something that makes you look good.
10. Tax Write-Offs
Every home-business owner wants to save money. Fortunately, there are many tax write-offs for home business owners that can keep you out of debt. If you aren’t aware of these write- offs, however, you can’t take advantage of them. Do your research, know your stuff, and save your butt!
This article was written on behalf of 522 Digital, LLC, a provider of various services such as Website Design and Search Engine Marketing to help you establish an online presence and reach your customers better.
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