The advantages of starting a home based business outweigh the time and small expense involved in setting up a viable business. For the long term, the overhead costs for starting a business in your home are very low. The government provides several tax incentives for individuals who have businesses set up in their home. There are some strict rules and regulations that must be met to qualify for the home-based business deduction but once confirmed, the tax refunds for having a home based business are very lucrative.
In addition to the tax advantages, home based business owners have no daily transportation expenses. home based business owner has unlimited flexibility in balancing work and family commitments. Using technology for communication and business processes makes working from home a sensible and practical solution to the high price of gasoline, commuting time and costs of buying new clothes.
Home-based businesses play a crucial role in the free enterprise system. These entrepreneurs contribute to the overall economy as well as the financial viability of their families. The ultimate dream of a home based business is to provide financial independence for the owner, their family and the community at large..
Some of the most widely recognized software retailers and cosmetic companies had their beginning in a garage. Companies like Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Lotus and even the cosmetic giant, Mary Kay, were initially started as home based business enterprises.
But, like any other type of business, a home-based business requires initial preparation, start-up capital, registration and ongoing marketing. Home based business are traditionally set up as a sole proprietorship. The home based business owner has to be an expert in all phases of the business. At some time in the business start up process, the home based business owner must know the details of the operational, strategic, legal, financial and marketing concerns.
The following checklist covers the essential points to help you stay focused so that you can set up your own home-based business.
Plan to Succeed
Every business needs to create a comprehensive business plan. The business plan will focus your efforts from selecting a product to sell all the way to the actual marketing of the product. This plan will cause ideas to generate and perhaps new methods of distribution for your business.
The basic business plan contains a, executive summary, mission statement, marketing plans and profits that you want to achieve. The business plan is the blueprint that will guide you to your desired results. It is of utmost importance to prepare a draft of your business plan. The business plan will keep you on focused on your goals. If you intend to seek any type of funding for your business, it is imperative that a business plan is part of the start-up process.
Selecting the Business Structure
The selection of your long term goals for your business will determine which structure you chose for your business. The choices include:
o Sole Proprietorship
There are several different types of Corporation structures that you can choose. There are specific tax implications for each of the choices listed. Deciding on the business structure for your home based business enterprise is perhaps one of the most critical decisions you will make.
You can search online to find out the specific requirements for each of the business structures listed. Your decision will have far-reaching consequences and will depend on important factors like capital, ability to do business in specific locations and the type of your business you are starting.
To register or not to register?
It is important for all legitimate business to register their business name. For tax and other proprietary purposes you should secure all necessary business licenses. Registering your business protects the name of your business. It is also important to become aware of the compliance requirements in your area. Local zoning regulations should be acquired to assure you that the business does not contravene local zoning laws.
Insurance for Your Business?
It is just smart to purchase insurance for your new business if you need to acquire financing. Business insurance is a prerequisite of lending institutions in case you plan to borrow money for your startup operations For online businesses that do not sell physical products, having insurance is a choice.
Remember to keep all of your receipts when you purchase any office equipments or supplies. Your new computer, fax, printer, cell phone stationary supplies, and business cards are necessary business tools and are all tax deductible for your new business.
Home-based entrepreneurs also require better time management skills than a corporate employee. Home based business owners must learn how to leverage their time and money. It is easy to get off track when your office is located in your garage, a den or the basement. Decide how much time you will devote to your business each day and stick to your time schedule.
Automate as much of your business as possible so that you are always available to your customers. Schedule each phase of your business day and set up systems that will automatically reply to inquiries. Automation of your menial tasks is a critical element in your overall time management strategy.
Businesses are longer restricted to brick and mortar locations. There are no limits to the number of customers that home based business owners can acquire. The home based business owner can no longer limit themselves to doing business in their local community. The Internet allows global business interaction from anywhere in the world. Having one website may not be sufficient to accomplish the level of success that a home based business owner requires.
Home-based businesses compensate for their lack of a physical presence with a virtual presence in the World Wide Web. This presence may take the shape of several websites on several domains.
Organization & Automation
To conduct business in a professional and efficient way, it is important to organize everyday tasks into simple automated processes. Your home office should include everything you need to complete a transaction. It is easier to stay on top of daily tasks when the work-space is well organized. It is so much easier to complete the daily grunt work when these menial tasks are automated.
Inventory and Supplies
For home based business owners who sell physical products, it is important that these products are kept in a specified location. If you use your garage to keep stock you need to know the exact dimensions of your garage that is designated for this purpose. The best way to handle stock is to have the company send and maintain the bulk of your inventory. This eliminates a time lag for your customers. If you sell digital products, this process is handled automatically.
Open the Door and Let Business Begin
You are now ready to open the virtual doors of your home based business to the global community. You have completed all the steps to insure that your business will be successful. You have a product, a website that allows you into the global marketplace.