If you’re looking to ditch the boss and the 9-to-5 lifestyle in one fell swoop, the home-based business owner might be for you. After all, who wouldn’t want to be their own boss and spend more time around their loved ones?
The benefits of home-based businesses seem endless. There’s additional personal freedom when making your schedule. You benefit from tax write-offs that employees can’t use, and working from home involves less financial risk than investing in a brick-and-mortar location.
That said, a home-based business is still a business, and like any venture, it comes with risks. With a bit of research and planning, you can avoid the pitfalls of your predecessors and be riding high. Here are eight tips for starting a home-based business.
Unfortunately, “home-based” is not synonymous with “no red tape.” Research the requirements of your local permit authority. Some cities ask home-based business owners to file and pay for licenses.
If you have a homeowner’s association, ensure they don’t restrict work-from-home opportunities. You should also set up a schedule to pay your self-employed taxes to the IRS every quarter to avoid costly fines or even jail time.
Opt for a virtual business address over a home address
Establish a virtual business address for your home-based business. You may be wondering why you can’t just use your home address, but there are practical reasons to invest in a virtual business address.
Imagine if any dissatisfied customer could see your home address just by Googling your business. Virtual business addresses keep your information private without inhibiting your operations. You can also use a virtual business address when your homeowner’s association or local zoning rules forbid listing your home address.
Lastly, you can use a virtual business address to intercept business mail without ever leaving your home, letting you enjoy the best of both worlds.
Do market research
Don’t start a business at home without researching whether you can fill a gap in the market. Look at your most successful competitors. Can you compete with them well enough to survive? If so, great. If not, develop your marketing strategy more before diving in fully.
Set up a winning website
In the days of the tech revolution, your website is synonymous with your image. Research and find a website builder that fits your needs. Gain an understanding of how to market your website, such as allowing guest blogging, taking partnerships, and incorporating search engine optimization.
Outsource some tasks
No one has all the skills necessary to operate a successful home-based business. Outsource any tasks you’re not good at, such as:
While being a jack-of-all-trades will serve your budget well, sometimes it just makes more sense to let an expert take the reins.
Maintain low overhead
Many novice online marketers invest in software and tools that they won’t use. Keep your ongoing monthly business expenses to a minimum. Ask yourself where you can consolidate your business software needs, and search out free alternatives.
Establish a daily routine
Working from home requires a different discipline when compared to working as an employee at the office. You need to be able to complete your daily tasks without a supervisor breathing down your neck. Develop a daily routine and put it on your calendar. Commit to finishing assignments on daily, weekly, and quarterly timelines.
Obtain business insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies won’t pay for business damage or business interruption issues. Contact your insurance broker to find out if you need business insurance, and if so, which plans to offer the best coverage for your needs.
Building a home-based business can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. It can also be a living nightmare if you don’t prepare yourself adequately. Following the home business ideas, you can be your own boss without writing your own pink slip.