12 Typical First Steps For Starting A Home-Based Business

12 Typical First Steps For Starting A Home-Based Business

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


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.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]


“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.


2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.


5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:


“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via


[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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