Working At Home And Making It Work: Home Business Tips

  | James Innes

Thousands of people all over the world run businesses from home. You too could be one of them. Here are some thoughts to bear in mind before you get started.

Start by preparing a business plan. It enables you to logically consider factors such as the market, competition, your strengths and weaknesses, projected cash flow and future growth opportunities. If need be, seek out professional input from an accountant or lawyer, who can be objective and provide insights into the business and regulatory framework that you had not considered. Also, if you are going to seek bank finance or outside investment, you will need a robust business plan in place before anybody is going to consider advancing you money.

As part of the planning process, create a mission statement for your business. This is a short, punchy description of your company and its services. If you are asked what your company does, you will be able to recite your set objective. This helps you appear confident about your products and may attract potential customers.

When beginning any home business, it is important to get your name out there on the market. One big way to do this is by giving away free products or samples, or coupons for discounts. Getting customers to try your product and service is key to building a customer base.

Nearly every business these days requires a website, which means you need banners and logos for the site, as well as content. Website creation can usually be outsourced to a freelance designer; alternatively there are online providers like SquareSpace now available. Whatever design or look you use for your website, carry this design through to your business cards, stationery, post cards, and fliers.

If you are not comfortable handling finance or managing the bookkeeping, hire a local accountant to assist you. They will manage, on your behalf, any tax and other filings that need to be prepared, and will make sure you stay on the right side of the law and the fiscal authorities.

If you are not tech savvy, find somebody who can trouble shoot IT support as, and when, you need it. Being offline for any length of time could harm your business, so make sure you are sufficiently covered in this area.

Make sure your business can accept credit cards. Either use a merchant account, or choose a payment processing service like PayPal. If you do not set up some form of electronic payment means, you will lose too many sales.

If you want your home business to succeed you need to set up a budget for the business. How much do you need to make for the business to keep running, how much can you withdraw, or invest in future growth?

Since your home is also your work place, make a point to get out of the house on a regular basis. Avoid the temptation to become too isolated. Have lunch in the park, grab a coffee at the bookstore, and go for a walk. Make sure you are breathing fresh air at least once a day.

Set goals you want to achieve daily. If you have nothing to benchmark yourself against, you will not be able to measure your progress. Also, set boundaries in your home, between your work and your home life. This will help your family respect your working time.

Many people work from home. Those that succeed invariably do so because they are organized, disciplined and know what they want to achieve. Proper planning and preparation are important to prevent poor performance.

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