If you have ever dreamed about becoming an entrepreneur but lacked the initial capital to start your own business, here’s the good news: you can start your business at home. In fact, you may actually love all the benefits you will get by running a home-based business. Yes, apart from leaving the 9-to-five job you hate and being your own boss, having your own home-based business also brings convenience, flexibility, reduced costs, and the ability to scale down or up whenever you want without big financial losses.
So, with so many advantages of a home-based business, second thoughts are out of the question. Yet, it may be intimidating when you have no idea where to get started. So, here are a few things to consider that can help you set up a successful home-based business:
Keep your business legal
First things first, setting up a home-based business requires you to take care of a few legal stuff if you want your business to function legally. Start by choosing a business structure. Do you want your home-based business to be a sole proprietor, a partnership, an LLC or a corporation?
Secondly, make sure you check with the laws and regulations in your area to determine which documents or other legal procedures you must follow to register and set up your business. You may want to ask for the help of a lawyer on this one to help you make all the steps for your business to function legally.
There are a few important applications that you must take care of, depending on the type and industry of your business, such as applicable permits and licenses, sales tax permits, and even an employee identification number.
Next, one very important step is to insure your home-based business. There are multiple things that can happen, such as a break-in or a natural disaster and destroy everything that you have invested in for your business. What kind of insurance do you need for your home-based business?
Most entrepreneurs who run their businesses from home use their home insurance and that is perfectly legal. If your business only has a few business-related visitors and accounts for less than $10.000, you generally don’t need a commercial property type of insurance. However, it is imperative that you check whether your home insurance covers all the risks that your home and your business are exposed to. For example, if you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you may want to get Florida hurricane insurance as well.
Set up a dedicated office area
Setting up a dedicated office area is more important than you would think. First of all, you would certainly not want your customers to be wandering around your entire house when visiting your business. That is why it is important that you limit their access around your home by having a room or two designed specifically for welcoming customers.
Secondly, having an area specifically for your business-related activity will make customers perceive you as a professional. No customer would like to have to go through your bedroom to reach your office because it is simply not professionally. So, you can also consider creating a separate entrance that leads to the business area.
Moreover, you may have no idea about this one, but having a dedicated office area can actually help you stay more productive too. It isn’t quite encouraging to start working when you are in your cozy pajamas and feel like home. However, a home-based office can give you the right attitude and motivation to start working on your tasks.
Don’t forget to be professional
One of the peaks of running a home-based business is the fact that since you are at home, you may get a little bit tempted to act like you are still in your pajamas. We get it, working from home can sometimes be a little bit demotivating. However, that is why it is important to make sure you will never arrive in front of your customers as you have just rolled out of bed.
The best way to make sure you remain a professional is to create a schedule and stick to it. If you know that you are expecting your customers to show at your house at 9 AM, make sure you wake up early enough to get ready and put your professional attitude on.
Making people know about your business is another challenge that home-based businesses face compared to those who have a defined company location. If your business would be located in a huge shopping mall which has a spectacular traffic every day, it would be inevitable for consumers to see and come inside your location. However, it is wrong to expect that potential customers will know about your business when all they can see is just a house. So, it is your responsibility to make sure you play the word-of-mouth game well.
Marketing is imperative for all businesses, no matter their size, industry or location, but for you is paramount if you want to have success. and, in today’s digital era, it just makes sense to build a strong online presence so that your target audience can connect with you. Moreover, if you are running your business from home but also plan to fulfill order deliveries, it is recommended that you create a professional company site where potential customers can see and order your products.
Consider your billing options
Like it or not, we live in the era when most customers prefer to use their credit cards to pay for the goods and services they purchase. In fact, accepting credit cards can actually help you increase your sales by up to 40% compared to cash payments. So, even if you are operating from home, you may want to consider accepting credit cards too as a payment form. Al you have to do is to have a point-of-sale (POS) system and a merchant account.
Starting your home-based business can be intimidating because there are many things to take care of. However, these tips can be a good way to get an idea of what steps you need to follow in order to set up a successful business that you can run from your own comfortable home.