Starting your own business is a big, and sometimes scary step. The best way to be confident is to be prepared. Below are some questions you need to ask yourself before quitting your job and starting a home-based business.
1. Have you identified a need?
Identify a need in your area that isn’t being met, and match your skills to that need. Maybe you and your friends have discussed the need in your area for an affordable scanning service. Why not take a class to learn about scanning and digital image manipulation? Then your skills will meet a need, and you can offer affordable scanning services to your community. Most of all, make certain your idea is practical. Personal branding is an absolute key in every business; don’t get totally hooked on an idea that has no future.
2. Have you analyzed your income needs?
Remember to take into account all the benefits you may be giving up when you quit your current job. Put yourself into a better financial place by eliminating as much of your personal debt as possible. Pay off the credit cards, your car, and any other outstanding debts that eat your income each month.
3. Do you know the law?
Ignorance is not a defense for ignoring zoning and other laws. All it takes is a few phone calls to make sure you are going to operate within the legal guidelines, but foregoing operating within the legal boundaries can cost you a lot of time and money. Some communities don’t allow any form of business to operate from a residential area. If applicable, check into laws governing product labeling, product safety, interstate commerce, and postal regulations.
4. Do you have a business plan?
Believe me, it will do wonders to focus on exactly what kind of business yours will be, who you are selling to, how you will sell, how much to charge, how much it will take to start up, what internet marketing tools you need to have, and where all the money will come from. This is your road map.
5. Do you want your own business?
Do you want your own home business badly enough to work long hours without knowing how much profit you’ll end up with? Know how hard you are willing to work without being certain of the outcome.
6. How much of your own money will you have to put in?
Or how much credit you can expect from suppliers? Have you talked to a banker or lender to see what is expected of you?
7. Are you organized?
Organize yourself and your business! Get organized from the beginning, because it won’t take long for things to start piling up. Organization equals professionalism, and clients will quickly be able to tell if you are professional or not.
8. Can you run a business?
Do you have the ability to organize, prioritize, and manage money, time, projects, and people? Check with your local SBA because they have lots of free resources to help people trying to start a new business. They also have free business templates that you can download at www.sba.gov.
9. Have you thought about creating a website for your business?
Research all the possible avenues of advertising available to you and choose the methods that will benefit your business. Even if you aren’t selling anything online, create a nice, clean, professional website for your business. If you don’t know how, then get an expert to do it, such as Tulsa Marketing website design, as they have online assistance. Remember that the Internet is quickly becoming a preferred medium for business. You can incorporate your website address into all your advertising media, such as your business card and letterheads. This makes your business seem more professional and credible!
10. Have you set aside your budget for marketing?
You need to figure out to what extent you can set aside money for marketing. Both offline and online advertising are needed for almost every home-based businesses, and you should know your budget for marketing. Be smart about it. If your coverage is within your local neighborhood, you could print some flyers together with your website address and your phone number. However, if you cover in a much larger audience, such as national or global, you may start thinking about Google Adwords, Facebook ads, and other methods. Social media is often utilized, so you can set up your business page, get some followers, and get more likes in your Instagram photos or tweets on Twitter.
11. How are you going to do your bookkeeping?
Find the proper bookkeeping system for your business. You must keep accurate records of all financial transactions related to your business.
12. Do you have access to equipment you’ll need?
Locate and price all your equipment and supplies. In fact, it is a good idea to talk to others in your business, if possible, and see what equipment and supplies they started with, what things they could have done without, and what things are vital to start-up. Take stock of the supplies you may already have on hand, and see where you stand. Some common supplies of any office-based service will be a computer, decent printer, fax machine or modem fax; some businesses may need even more supplies. Write down every little thing you may need. And while we’re on the subject of supplies: Don’t be wasteful, or buy things you don’t need right now. If you can make do with your old equipment until you start making money, don’t buy that new computer just yet.