How Do I Start A Home Based Business?

How can I start a home based business? An explanation on what the seminars and self-help books leave out when it comes to a home business start up.

When my husband and I first thought of starting up our own business from home as a primary source of income for me, and a secondary income for him, we read through several volumes of how-to manuals. Unfortunately, beyond a general idea of how to conceptualize, explaining what kind of energy a home business would require, and feel-good pep talk kind of articles, none of the information was straightforward, clear, and direct. After sifting through all the seeming helpful words of advice, we were still left with the question: So, what does it take to begin a home business? Through trial and error, we learned some valuable tips on our own.

Love Your Product/Service

If you're thinking of stepping out of a long-term career to devote the massive amount of time it requires to launch a successful and profitable home business, you must love what you're doing and the product or service you'll be providing. You need to be prepared for a slow go at the beginning. Like infants, companies crawl before they walk, so loving what you're doing is instrumental in enduring when you have questioning moments. And quite honestly, you will.

For example, if you've considered for a time that Grandma's fudge recipe should be shared with the masses, but you hate to cook, then it's not a good idea to market Grandma's fudge. Why? Because, at least in the beginning, you'd have to be in the kitchen whipping up batches of chocolate yourself before you could move on and have the financial resources to hire another company to do it for you.



Set Realistic Goals

If you've never taken a business course in your life nor read a book on business, then it's wise to sit down and write out what you hope to achieve with your home business. Don't censor yourself at this point. Describe in detail your biggest dream for starting a home business. When you've written your long term goals down, it's time to take a realistic look at what is feasible and when.

For example, if you're dreaming of setting your own hours, you'll be able to achieve that dream in part. However, the hours that you'll be setting for yourself will most likely be longer than initially anticipated.

Finances

It is important to be as specific as you can when itemizing financial planning. While it's possible to start up a home business with very little money and you don't necessarily need to talk with a loan officer at a bank to begin a home business, it is critical to know what your expenditures are in order to compare them against your income. Before jumping in and promoting your product or service blindly, find out what you'll be needing to package your product or what you might need to use in the course of a day when delivering your service such as office supplies, computer programs, packaging supplies, and gasoline

Some other financial information to be aware of concerns taxes. Most people aren't informed about how to proceed, what tax breaks for home business there might be for your company, or that you'll need a tax number if your profit is over a certain amount. Educate yourself! Contact a local lawyer who'll offer a free consultation and will answer your questions. Be sure to save all your receipts even for something like toilet paper. If an item is used in the operation of your business, it is considered a business expense.

Suppliers and Buyers

A company that specializes in a particular service such as computer repair doesn't have much need for supplies beyond what can be picked up at a hardware or computer store. A company that specializes in marketing a product in packaged form does. So, you've decided you love to cook and want to market Grandma's fudge. What do you do now? Any food product takes a little more consideration and planning for. You'll need to be able to list the ingredients of your recipe, know the amounts required, then contact a company that will nutritionally itemize your product. Typically, they also provide sterilized packaging, but in case they don't, you'll need to contact a company that does. Non-food products don't necessitate as much attention paid to health statutes. Whether making homemade soap, candles, teddy bears from old quilts, or purses from old license plates concentration should be on the quality of product and uniqueness of packaging.

Once you have a finished product to sell, you'll need to contact buyers. Begin with local retailers who might be interested in buying your product. You'll need to have a presentation, patience of a saint, and determined persistence. With the web bringing the world's market to the average household livingroom, consider marketing your product online. There are sites that offer shopping cart features for free. Don't forget to contact retailers in other communities as well.

Promoting Your Business

Advertising is essential in getting your business attention. If you're thinking television commercials at this point, think again. Word of mouth still is the most influencing advertisement a business has. Make sure when you're in the process of building a clientele that you ask your customers to pass along information about your business. It's free! Some other inexpensive ways to advertise are creating your own business cards and flyers, newspapers ads, promotional campaigns at local events, and building your own website. The most important ingredients are to be creative and take initiative.

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