In today’s tough economy, more business people are turning to self-employment as an option for their future. Here’s what you need to know to start your home-based business and get it off and running smoothly.
First, you need to decide what business you want to start, what your experience is in that business, and how you’ll attract customers. You should take a good look at your experience and expertise in different areas, and decide what it is you really want to do for your avocation. You need to look at similar existing businesses to see how profitable they are, and how you’ll compete with them to attract your customers. Then you need to look at funding for your business, and how you’ll finance the venture. Once you have the background information researched, here are some other things to think about before you open your business.
If you’re starting a service-based business, you may not have that much information and paperwork to manage. You can keep it all on your computer and manage it effectively. However, if you’re going to be selling items, you’ll need things like invoices, receipts, reports, and accounting methods. For most people, hiring a CPA to manage the accounting takes the weight off their shoulders. You can usually deduct the cost of your CPA on your income taxes, too. If you’re disciplined enough, and want to take the time, you can use an accounting program to keep track of your business expenses and income, too.
If you’re selling merchandise, you’ll need to accept credit cards. There are many sites online that allow you to set up a business website and accept credit cards through their site. This is an excellent option for many small businesses just getting started on the Internet. They usually offer several options for creating and maintaining a website with your products and services, and they’re usually very easy to navigate, so you don’t need an expensive web designer for your business.
Marketing Your Business
To get business, you need to advertise. You also need to network with your friends and family to make sure everyone you know understands you’re opening a new business and looking for customers. Online campaigns can be surprisingly affordable, and so can pay-per-click ads. Locally, check with local national television affiliates (like your local ABC, NBC, and CBS stations). They often offer affordable advertising that can help you reach a broader market than just relying on the Internet.
Starting a home business may not be for everyone, but it’s one way to add to your income and beat the tough economy at the same time.