The Complete Guide to Starting a Business at Home: Everything to Know
Did you know that over 81% of small businesses don’t have or require staff? This means that you could start a business from home by yourself without any salary overhead cost.
While this sounds easy, starting a business at home does require some other costs and considerations.
Use this guide to get your business up and running properly.
Pick a Business Niche
Your first step is to choose the type of business. Make a list of your passions and things that you are good at because having an interest in your business will help it succeed. Don’t just copy someone else because they have been successful.
You can be broad in this stage since it will only be a general idea to help you in the next step. For example, you may want to start a consulting business or an eCommerce shop.
Decide What You Will Offer People
Once you have a general idea of your business you then want to see how you will entice people. What will you offer them as far as a product or service? This is where you narrow down your niche and find out what makes your business unique.
For instance, a consulting business may aim to help people financially or assist with physical fitness. This decision requires some expertise. You don’t want to choose a business in that you have no experience or knowledge. Therefore, pick something that you know or that you can learn quality.
Now that you have a solid idea, research it online. Look at your competition to see what they are doing and how far you need to go to be at their level. Do you offer the same value in your products or services? If not, then you will need a plan to get there.
Maybe you need to develop something slightly new or put a spin on an idea that already exists. Doing this kind of research helps you alter your idea and expand on it.
Write a Business Plan
After doing a lot of research, you should now know exactly what you plan to sell or offer people. At this point, you do not want to change your idea because it is time to write a business plan.
A business plan isn’t just for you. Use it to apply for loans and even partnerships in the future. Therefore, it needs to be thorough and professional.
Include a summary of your business, its goals and mission, required expenses, potential profits, and a plan for growth. Business plans are usually several pages long, so go into as much detail as possible.
Set a Budget and Timeline
A large part of your business plan is the budget and timeline. If you don’t have money saved then you also need to know how financing a business works.
Either you need to get a loan, save money, or get a partner to help you with the start-up.
Creating a timeline can also help. Maybe you have a certain amount of money that you can devote to your business each month. Setting business goals using milestones will help you slowly start your business even if it takes a long time.
Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
If you don’t have money saved or a large loan to support you then don’t quit your day job. Your current job will help fund your business, plus you need income coming in before your business becomes profitable.
Work on your business at night and the weekend until you can leave your current job to devote all your time to your investment.
Choose Business Legal Structure
This step is crucial to how you are legally tied to your business.
If you choose to be a sole proprietor, you are the face of the company since you are choosing to operate it in your name only. Therefore, you are responsible for any legal matters. For instance, if someone sues your company then they are also suing you.
Registering as an LLC separates you from your business. You are not personally responsible for lawsuits or liabilities. It does cost money to register as an LLC and has different tax formalities, which takes more time but it might be worth it.
Register Your Business
If you choose to register as an LLC then you need to complete the paperwork for your state. This includes applying for an EIN, which is needed for tax purposes and if you plan to hire employees.
Get a Separate Bank Account
Keep your personal and business income and expenses separate by creating a business bank account. This will help you monitor your profit margins and make tax time easier.
Create a Website
No matter what type of business you have, a business website design is the standard for promotional efforts. It is also a way to display your company information and is very helpful for a home business that doesn’t have a physical location.
On your website, create a virtual business address to make your company look more professional and keep your home address secure.
Market Your Business
Use your website to market your business. Add a blog to generate organic traffic and share them on your social media sites. Digital ads also help with marketing businesses online.
Organize Your Home Office
Set up your home office to stay organized. Keep a separate room in your home for business purposes so important documents don’t get lost. Also, have a filing system and a storage unit to keep any products.
Get Some Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may have friends that can offer advice or contribute as a partner. Professional services are also useful that can help with everything, from website design to marketing.
Starting a Business at Home
When starting a business at home, don’t concern yourself with how long it takes you. You may have a goal of setting up the business within a year. This all depends on your budget and time management.
Get additional help, by reading more of our Business articles.