The Small Business Administration estimates that 52% of small businesses are home-based. That number continues to rise as workers seek a better quality of work and home life. However, operating a home business is not as stress-free as it may appear. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.
1. Family Support
To effectively operate a home business, you need time uninterrupted by family obligations. Make certain your family is aware of, and willing to respect the time you need to meet your business obligations.
Working at home can be very lonely if you don’t structure your time to include social interaction. In a traditional job, you have co-workers to exchange ideas with and share your triumphs. Find some way to work that into your home business life by adding time for activities, such as finding other people operating home businesses to network with.
Like any business, capital is usually the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You have to figure out if you have enough money to fund the initial startup cost – either for a certain product inventory or a list of services and materials needed. There are many ways to get the capital. Some opt for loans, but I highly encourage someone who is seriously looking for a capital, to read more about how debt financing or payday loans work before going into it.
4. Financial Plan
Not only do you need capital, you also need to keep your financial books in order, making certain not to intermingle business funds with your home finances. If you put money from your savings into your business, account for it and pay yourself back. If you are paid in cash for a job, don’t spend it on groceries before entering it on the books as income that you have paid out to yourself. Set up a good bookkeeping system from the get-go and follow it to the letter. Make certain you have enough money to operate for a year and grow your business online without having to raid the family cookie jar to keep the business afloat. The fastest way to lose family support is causing them financial hardship to achieve your dream.
Every successful business has a strong organizational structure. For a home business, this is even more important because you need to be clear when it is business time and what is business space. That doesn’t mean you go into an office and close the door for eight hours every day. It means that you need a schedule that everyone knows about and space that is yours for working. Set up procedures for operating the business that are comfortable for you, but get the work done.
6. Legal Regulations
Make certain you are meeting all the legal obligations required by the city, state, and federal governments. A home business is a “real” business and needs to follow the laws for operating as a business where you live.
7. Marketing Skills
The blood of business is marketing. No matter if it is offline or online, you need to have the right skillset on how to market your products or services. Of course, since technology is rapidly evolving every single day, it is understandable that you cannot be good at all areas. How to appear on the first page in your target keywords in search engines or creating a Facebook ad are some of the things you need to consider doing. But if this is not your forte, you can always hire somebody to do it professionally.
8. Office Space
Set aside space for an office. Whether it is a closet, a garage, or a spare bedroom, you need some place that is for the home business. Everything for the business should go there when you stop work. The dining room table may be nice to work at, but precious documents can be lost if they are left around the house. Have a place for everything and keep it there when you are not working.
Deciding what equipment is needed is a big decision because of the cost and maintenance. Check if you need things like:
- a separate telephone line
- an internet connection
- a computer dedicated to the business
- a printer
- a fax machine
- a cell phone
- a xerox machine
Most home businesses start small and add equipment as it is needed. Assess what your business should have at a bare minimum and budget for it.
These are just some of the most basic things that you need to consider, not just for home businesses, but in any start-up businesses in general. It must be planned as carefully as any other endeavour you undertake if you are going to find the balance that is needed to make it work. .