These days a lot of us would like to work from home. It’s convenient, especially if you have children. You can save on daycare, transportation, and just the hassle of dealing with rush-hour traffic times. Though we all want to work from home, it can be difficult to do. One of the easiest ways to work from home is to start a business. Starting a business from home can be a difficult process. Over 90 percent of home businesses fail in their first year. Knowing the right steps to starting a business will ensure yours does not become a statistic.
The first step in starting a business from home is to find your niche. What are you offering to the public that is valuable enough for them to pay you for? After you have chosen what you want to do for your business, you need to look at your local and state regulations about operating a home business in your area. Some agencies require permits, home inspections, etc when starting a business from home. Find out what zoning laws apply to your neighborhood because some areas are not allowed to have home businesses at all.
The next step is to create a business plan. Even if you are starting a business that will solely operate from home, you need to create a plan for your business to follow. A typical business plan will involve the essential goals, income, expenses, etc that can span out to five years. It is good to get in the habit of writing business plans anyway. If you ever need to take out a small business loan, or even possibly expand your business outside of your home, you will need a business plan. The business plan will also ensure that your business is staying on track so that it does not fail. For information on how to write a business plan you can visit your local business bureau or even look online. There are plenty of resources out there and even companies that will assist you with writing an effective business plan.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a business from home, is they base it around being at home. They will work in their pajamas, set hours around their social life, try to do office work while watching a movie, etc. Starting a business from home requires dedication. You have to be willing to put in a lot of time, but also a lot of focus. Dedicate a home office area that is strictly for the business and nothing more. Create a separate phone line, email account, and even a post office box for the business. By treating the business as if it was a remote location, rather than at home, that way you are more apt to focus.
As you start any business it is essential to keep excellent records; especially if you are starting a business from home. Home businesses tend to be audited more than commercial properties. If you plan to write off a portion of your mortgage for your taxes due to the home business, you will need to provide proof that your home office is used for business majority of the time. Keep excellent records for all deductions, expenses, and client invoices. Use accounting software such as Quickbooks, Peach Tree, or even Microsoft Business; that way you can ensure your books are kept correctly if you are ever audited.