Gone are the days when a home-based business meant little more than working from a desk or pursuing a hobby for some extra pocket-money. These days just about any business is possible to run from home, although of course some are more suited to being home-based than others. The following discussions will interest you if you are starting, running or growing a home-based business:
Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of running a business from home for quite some time. Perhaps recent circumstances, whether personal or work-related, are the reason you are considering a home-based business. The reasons for starting a home-based business vary and can overlap, but there are a few scenarios that make starting a home-based business an excellent idea. You may be currently employed, but are worried about job security.
Maybe you’re employed, but are simply tired of working for someone else. You may have been out of the workforce because of family demands from children or elder care or perhaps you anticipate the demands of family taking you out of the work force in the near future. Starting a home-based business can offer a safer, lower cost alternative to test the waters. While home-based business can be a more economical route to starting your business, know that even more than other startups, home-based businesses can take some time to get to the point of supporting you. If you’re starting out while still employed or part-time, or as a side or additional source of income, this shouldn’t be a problem. If, however, if you think that the money will be rolling in the day you start your home-based business, absent some serious prior negotiations and commitments, you’re likely to be disappointed.
No matter what your motivation, the following considerations are important:
• Who should start a home-based business?
If you’re thinking about a home-based business, but worry that your personality may not be suited for it, you may want to reconsider. As more and more people start home-based businesses and employees work outside the workplace more often than not, we have had a chance to see how different businesses and arrangements have worked.
• What type of home-based business?
If you know that you are the right type of person to start a home-based business, you’re ready for the next step. Now it’s time to plan the type of business you want to launch. This decision may be complicated by other factors besides your chosen desire.
• Home-based businesses and Special Regulations: Before you start implementing any concrete plans for your home-based business, realize that there are federal, state and local laws that may regulate the type of work that can be performed in a residential setting. And regulate can mean anything from restrict to prohibit.
Running and Growing a Home-Based Business: Presenting a professional image is of the utmost importance, as is networking by getting your business out there. Insurance needs for a home-based business will vary depending on the type of business you operate and whether you own or rent your home. Special tax deductions may be available to you if you run a home-based business. Then Deciding when it’s time to expand your location and or hiring employees is a big step, but one you may have planned on all along
Like most small business, you’ll have to aggressively market yourself, taking into account your product or service, as well as your time and cost constraints. But advertising can be somewhat of an extra challenge if your business is home-based. Being home-based could impact your business image in the eyes of others, so you’ll have to be even more aggressive in getting your business the professional recognition you deserve. You may not be able to hang a sign on your house, but you have other options for marketing. You can advertise online, in print or through broadcast; a number of advertising programs just for small business can target geography or time period or demographics of buyers, making your ad buy that much more efficient. You can create or hire someone to design a professional looking website (a virtual base) for your business, and nobody has to know that you work out of your home.
Don’t forget promotions on a local level. Depending on the business you are conducting, this might be a place to start. For example, you can add your business’s name to a t-shirt as a sponsor for the local high school, sponsor a town little league team or donate a give-away for a charity event. These are excellent ways to start a conversation in your local community and get some more press coverage. Your business may be home-based, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to scale down your advertising. In fact, the opposite may be true, because you may have a few more dollars to spend than the business down the street renting a storefront.
Only you can make this decision about whether your business is ready to leave home. But once you make the move, you’ll face the all of same challenges small business owners face when running and growing a business. But the good news is: You get your house back.