Starting a home business can be a great way to earn money without having to work for other people. The start-up costs of a home business are a lot lower than a bricks and mortar business, and it’s generally easy to get started. In fact it’s so easy to get started that unfortunately a lot of people fail at ever earning money in their home business. You can avoid this problem by asking and answering the following questions before starting a home business.
What kind of business will you have? – There are generally two types of home businesses from which to choose. The first is a service-based business where you charge an hourly or by project fee to consult or work on a particular type of work such as data entry, writing, bookkeeping, and virtual assistance. The second kind of home business is a product-based business. You can sell your own products that you create, or you can sell someone else’s products.
Who are your customers? – You must know who exactly your customers are down to all their demographics in order to be able to not only sell products and or services to them, but also to know what types of products and services they need to see from you.
What problems do you solve for your customer? – Customers care about the fact that you can solve their problems, so find a problem that your customer has and create a product to solve it. If you don’t know what problem you solve, it will be difficult to know what products are right, as well as how to market them.
What is the solution you offer your customer? – After you have identified your customers’ problems, you’ll need to be able to identify the solution to those problems. The product that solves problems is a product that can be sold again and again. Plus you will encourage your audience to buy from you again and again if it really works.
What will the total start-up costs be? – Make a list of the items you already have and the ones you need, and estimate the cost of starting up your business. When you first start you don’t need to buy the whole farm. Add things as needed as you earn the money and you’ll never need to go into debt for you home-based business.
How will you pay for the start-up costs? – Even if your budget is only 100 dollars you can start a home-based business. After identifying the cost of start-up, you’ll need to know where the money is coming from. It might be that you need to find a way to earn the money, or you might have a little bit of savings you can tap into.
Is your house/apartment zoned properly for your type of business? – Before you even get your hopes up, it’s important to find out if you are allowed to have the type of home business you are proposing in your neighborhood. Find this information out before you get started so that you can change your idea if needed.
Where will your office be located? – Do you have space to create an office or will you be working from the kitchen table? However you choose to do it, ensure that you have a dedicated space or a way to roll things into a space to make it a workable office during your business hours.
How does your family feel about your starting a home business? – Without the support from your family it will be really hard to start a business from home. You’ll need their support for quiet working time, for understanding that you do have a job and you’re not available 24/7 to be the housewife (if that was what everyone was accustomed to).
What are the laws in your area? – You may need to obtain a business license in your state, county or city or all three in order to run a legitimate business from home. Don’t worry; normally it is not very expensive but this should certainly be part of your start-up costs.
Do you need additional home or renters’ insurance? – Be sure to call your renters’ insurance company to find out if you need to get extra insurance, especially if you’re going to be keeping any product on the premises or purchase more expensive computers. In some cases you may even need insurance to protect you from law suits.
How will you keep your books? – Know what software you plan to use and what system you plan to use for keeping your books, and get a good start by using that system from day one. Keeping track of finances is an integral part to owning any business; without this step you won’t know when or if you’ve made money.
What hours will you work on your home business? – Know what time you can devote to your home business and stick to that plan. Even if you only have two hours a day, those two hours can mean a lot if you have it planned out and are focused in your endeavors.
How will you market your home business? – Knowing how you’ll get the word out to your customers about your products and services is half the battle. You can market with a website, social media, or a blog or a combination of all of the above. However you choose to do it, marketing is an imperative part of doing business from home.
Answer all these questions on a separate piece of paper and add to the questions as more come up while you’re answering these. Invariably an answer to one question will bring up another factor that you need to fully consider as you get started with your home business. If you do your due diligence and come up with answers to these questions right at the beginning, you’ll get started on a solid footing and become very successful.