Guidelines for Successfully Launching Your Home-Based Business
Starting a home-based business is a great choice for individuals considering taking the first steps into entrepreneurship. Advantages of a home-based business include low startup costs and a flexible working schedule. As a home-based business owner, you can set your own goals and establish your own pace for growth or development. Whether you plan to expand your startup beyond your home or whether you hope simply to secure a sustainable cash flow doing work you enjoy, here are some general guidelines for getting your home business off the ground.
Write a business plan—even if it’s just for yourself.
If yours is a small startup, your business plan may be basically a to-do list for getting your business launched. It will open with an executive summary stating the main purpose of your business, what goods or services you intend to offer, and your ultimate goals. You will also need to describe your company’s structure, including any management teams, and lay out a financial plan, a marketing plan, an analysis of the competition, and financial projections. Remember, if you are planning on applying for loans or attracting investors, you will need to show them your business plan — in which case, keep it professional and comprehensive.
Decide on a business type.
Whether you opt to create your business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation depends on the nature of your business. Small home business owners might want to register as an LLC for the sake of the added protection and tax advantages it offers. Registering your business as an LLC is not difficult. Check on the business regulations governing an LLC in your state before you proceed, however. You will need to name your company, select a registered agent, file your certificate of formation, and get an EIN (employer identification number). While there are attorneys who specialize in business formation, it’s usually cheaper to do it yourself or use a formation service.
Use informed marketing to reach potential customers.
A small business owner needs to know what demographic they are trying to reach, and how to reach them. Spending a lot of money on marketing that won’t attract the customers you’re seeking is really just throwing cash away, so do your research about who is purchasing what you have to offer, and how best to attract them. Make sure you have an attractive and easy-to-navigate website and use analytics tools to figure out which methods are working to bring in new customers. Getting savvy with social media is a good way to expand your marketing reach without much financial output.
For a low-overhead business, consider becoming a consultant.
If you aren’t able to invest a lot in start-up costs, an affordable home business option is to become a consultant in your field. If you are going to attract businesses or individuals, however, you will need to have a proven record of success, as well as interest and talent. You may also need licenses or certifications, depending on the industry. Some popular consulting business ideas include fund-raising, internet technology, accounting, and editorial services.
Develop time management skills to stay organized and productive.
One major challenge home-based entrepreneurs face is the loss of productivity due to disorganization or lack of motivation. This can be a vicious cycle since the more disorganized you get, the harder it is to meet goals, and the less rewarding your work becomes. So, be organized from the very beginning. Set yourself assignments for each day, prioritizing the most important. Take advantage of scheduling apps on your devices to keep appointments and meet deadlines. Practice mindfulness so you complete every task thoroughly. Organize your workspace so everything has a place where it belongs and is easy to access.
There are many resources available for new entrepreneurs, from accounting services to advice on home-business design, so if you are uncertain about any phase of the start-up process be sure to reach out to a professional. For your small business marketing needs, schedule a call with Free Press Marketing to discuss your business goals and how best to achieve them.
Image via Pixabay