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Home-Based Business Startups Tips

[ 0 ] Jul. 1, 2014 | SBO Editor

Woman working in home office

Starting a home-based business is a great option for first time entrepreneurs. First-time entrepreneurs often find it easier to start a home-based business and grow it into a full-time venture complete with an outside facility or office.  Starting a home-based business is a good way to test the entrepreneurial waters while saving lots of money on overhead such as rent, utilities, insurance and more. You can start on a part-time basis and develop this business into a full-time homemade success.

In searching for the right business to start make sure you choose something that you love to do. You will be spending a lot of time making the business work, so you must enjoy what you do.  There are probably business ideas that will occur to you that would do well in your community, but if you don’t love that particular type of business, skip that idea and keep thinking.  Find something you love to do and then figure out how to get paid to do it.

Home-Based Business Startup

In researching the type of business you’d love to start, make a series of lists of what you’re interested in and see what you’re good at.  Are there are common denominators? Do you like sports, pets, fixing things? What types of businesses could you start that relate to your interests. An individual who loves parties and music might want to consider starting a mobile DJ service.

Communities have really relaxed their rules on residential and commercial zoning now that so many people are working from home. But if your home based business means that you’ll have to have huge trucks delivering goods, then beware, your neighbors might not like it and might turn you in to the local authorities. You will not be able to set up a restaurant at home or a dry cleaning business or a commercial parking lot right on your front lawn. To find out about local zoning laws, call your town office and county clerk’s office.

Take a trip down to your county clerk’s office and register your home-based business name. You will receive a Business Index number and can then use that Business Index number to open a home-based business checking account. The U.S. Small Business Administration is a good resource for information. Visit www.sba.gov to learn more.

Most of your customers might never see your home-based business office, so impress them with your professionalism and attention to detail by selecting a good looking stationery system consisting of high-grade letterhead and business cards.  Get a separate phone line so no one answers the phone and just says, “Hello,” which could turn off potential customers.  Get an answering machine or voice mail and you are in business!.

Examine your insurance policy to see if you need to beef up your liability insurance or add on any other type of coverage. There are many add-ons to consider including: business interruption insurance, business property insurance, disability insurance, non-owned auto insurance, product liability and much more.

Print up a flier, get involved in local clubs and other networking opportunities, send out a press kit to local newspapers, prepare a direct mail piece, try and place yourself as a guest –an expert–on local TV or cable, investigate advertising , become active in local civic groups and associations, offer to give a speech at a local club or gathering, send out discount coupons, send out holiday greeting cards, teach a class at adult education, attend trade shows as a guest or exhibitor. All of these methods will help you generate business and customers.

Even though you might not plan to do your own taxes–and we do endorse the notion that you visit a professional accountant for tax assistance–it’s a good idea to get a grip on basic accounting principles and bookkeeping skills.  Look into a local adult education course, browse through bookstores and find a “how to” manual or enroll in a local community college, but get a little accounting help under your belt.

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Category: Features