Have you been thinking about starting your own home-based business? If so, you are in good company. Per Incfile, about 15 million startups are home-based businesses, and about half the businesses in the United States today are run from the home. The advantages of starting a business out of your home include low overhead, a flexible schedule, and the opportunity to be your own boss.
At the same time, successfully running a business out of your home requires a particular skill set. If you are creative, self-motivated, organized and resilient, home-based entrepreneurship may be just the career for you. Here are a few tips for launching your own home business.
How do you start a business from your home?
A good business starts with a good idea. Some of the most successful businesses in the world today began as great ideas in small places. You’re more likely to be passionate about your idea if it’s something you already are invested in or care about, so think about what you love doing and are good at, and what needs you might fill in the market. Once you have a clear view of your business, write up a plan that will help you lay out its components. You will need your business plan if you intend to seek grants or investors.
Make your business official.
The fun part is coming up with a great name and branding for your business. The not-so-fun part is registering it as a legal entity. You may opt to create your business as a limited liability company, which can be done with the help of a registered agent — or, if you feel up to it, you can register yourself. You will also need to register with government offices such as the IRS. Make sure you have a good business account and the right insurance.
Delegate and outsource for better productivity.
Small business owners are usually good at multitasking. But too much multitasking reduces productivity and strains your mental well-being. So, even if you’re trying to save on overhead by doing as much as possible yourself, be mindful of where you need help and outsource accordingly. One professional service you may consider is the help of a good bookkeeper. Save your energy for the job of running your business.
It’s possible to manage payroll yourself, especially with high-powered payroll software that can handle calculating net pay, depositing directly into employees’ bank accounts, tracking overtime, and many other important items.
Know how to attract customers.
Home business success isn’t just about having a great idea or product. It’s about marketing it effectively. You need to be aware of who your target demographic is, where they tend to get information, and how they tend to shop. Data analytics can help you figure out where your potential customers reside in the digital as well as the real world, and how to reach them.
Social media ads are a great way to gain extensive reach at little cost. But depending on your product and customer base, you may also need to pay for more traditional advertising in your community. If you’re selling a new plugin for WordPress using an e-commerce site, digital media is your best advertising option. If you’re starting an artisanal bakery from home, you need to alert your neighborhood with news ads and flyers.
Keep your momentum going.
Unfortunately, as Lending Tree notes, the failure rate for small home businesses can be discouraging. But if you know the challenges you can expect to face, you are likely to overcome them. Small businesses fail when they overspend on startup costs or overestimate customer demand. Bad habits that will take their toll over time include procrastination, poor communication, and disorganization. If you’re working from home, a disorganized space could bring about negativity and a loss of focus, so make sure to declutter and keep things clean. Remember, you are working for yourself — so when you slack off or cut corners, you are harming yourself in the long run.
Getting your own home business started can be both rewarding and exciting. If you proceed mindfully and know the legal ins and outs, your small business idea could very well become a thriving and lucrative project.