Starting a home-based business is a lot easier than you might think. You can start with your own, or even buy an existing one. But the real challenge comes not in running the business, but in making it grow.
The main perk I love about a home-based business is the flexibility it gives you. However, the potent allure of working from home may also become a real problem unless you have a game plan from day one. Sure you can wake up and walk to work. Most home-based business commutes take less time than a walk to the corner store. Yes, you can toss the tie thankfully! Make-up isn’t needed and you will save a ton on gas, dry cleaning and stolen food in the office fridge (I do often wonder who stole mine many times). Keep in mind that you are still running an actual business. You need to run it as such if you plan to prosper.
A neighbor, friend, or even someone in your family will see you at home and think that you’re accessible all the time. They might also think you can talk anytime, help them hold a ladder, go to the gym or just catch some television show with them at 11 am. These are just a few of the pit-falls of a home-based business worker and they need to be avoided at all costs. Distractions will suck your focus, time, and productivity. In many cases distractions cost you cold hard cash.
Here are my top tips for keeping focused on your quest to make your home-based business grow into a success.
- Formulate a true business plan and then have a lawyer read it over to give you tips on any areas where their expertise might be helpful to you. Knowing your exposure before you start is a key step and can often be priceless. Buying a home-based business can alleviate many of these worries since, in most cases, they’ve already done this step for you. Our site is chock-full of loads of great options to consider in our Home-Based category.
- You need to map out some goals for your new home-based business by asking yourself some basic questions. Where do you want your business to be in one month, six months, a year or even five? Every business can use a business plan as a road map to aid in your success.
- You will need to establish a dedicated office area. Trying to run a business from one end of your kitchen table is a major no-no. Once you’ve established where you will work, think about what office equipment you’ll need to get your work done. Utilizing technology and easy-to-use software packages can aid you to keep up with the big guys for less than you might think. If you do not have an extra room think about setting up a partition to create an office area.
- Set your daily schedule and stick to it at all costs! Taking a catnap in the afternoon seems appealing but should be avoided. Always keep normal business hours. Sure you can work in your underwear but your clients shouldn’t know this. You don’t need to sport business attire but be professional. Customers will expect you to answer your phone during normal business hours of 9am-5pm.
- Protect yourself and your business. This is often overlooked and knowing what type of business license you need to have is a critical step if needed. The self-employed can often be cleaned out personally if their business fails. To learn more read our article: ”The One Critical Mistake You CANNOT Afford to Make If You’re Starting Your Own Business: Find Out What It Is And How to Avoid It!”
- My last tip is not one to be skipped or when tax day rolls around you may be in for a big shock. You need to do some homework and familiarize yourself with the applicable tax laws - both state and federal. You’re entering a new arena in the wonderful world of taxation. Make sure to spend time now to discuss your options with your accountant or with another qualified professional who can advise you about your tax situation. In addition, make absolutely sure that you check with your local zoning commission. Many local zoning laws preclude you from running your business from your home. Often your local S.C.O.R.E. chapter can be of some invaluable advice in these matters.
Carpe Diem My Friends