How to Start Small Business at Home

By Rhonda Campbell

  • Overview

    The Internet has made it easier to start and run a small business at home. Whether a business is operated over the Internet or at a brick and mortar location, a great deal of time may be required to get the business financially strong. For this reason, choosing a business that links to your passions is optimum. Starting and operating a business in your field of passion can provide ongoing rewards.
    How to Start Small Business at Home
    • Step 1

      Brainstorm and land on a business name that sets your business a part from other businesses in your industry. A business name helps to create brand. In time, when customers hear the name of your business, images of your products and services will immediately come to memory which may, in turn, lead to a sale.
    • Step 2

      Write a business plan. Craft a business plan that includes specific summary of your business. List details on the products or services your business will offer. An effective business plan also includes detailed marketing plans, details about your senior management team and well researched write-ups on your competition.

    • Step 3

      Decide on ownership. Identify the type of ownership your business will operate under. There are sole proprietorships and partnerships. Those are companies owned by two or more people. There are corporations which are publicly owned businesses. As the IRS notes, "A corporation conducts business, realizes net income or loss, pays taxes and distributes profits to shareholders." Lastly, there is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). Depending on the type of business you start, you may or may not meet the requirements of an LLC. Contact your state's requirements for an LLC to determine if your business meets this classification.
    • Step 4

      Register With local and federal agencies. Apply for an employer identification number (EIN). If your business is a sole proprietorship, your social security number may be used as your employee identification number. You can apply for an employee identification number online or by calling the Federal Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933. International applicants should call 1-215-516-6999. In addition, you can complete a SS-4 and fax or mail in your application. Form SS-4 is a two-page document that should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
    • Step 5

      Get insurance coverage. Research different insurance provider offerings. Talk to current small business customers and ask them for the names of reputable insurance companies that cater to and effectively meet the needs of small businesses. General and professional liability insurance coverages are among the most common forms of insurance for small businesses. If you hire employees, be sure to get worker's compensation insurance. Even if you have homeowner insurance, you may still need to get additional insurance to cover your small business. Check with your homeowner's insurance provider to find out if your need additional coverage for your at-home business.
    • Step 6

      Build a team. Assess the talent around you. There are companies that are family owned, companies that are started with no more than two people and companies that complete extensive projects by using consultants and contractors.
    • Step 7

      Market and promote. Spread the word about your business. Let people know that your business exists, the types of services and products that you offer and how you can be contacted both on and offline. Press releases are effective and inexpensive tools to reach the media. They spread the word about your business. Postcards, business cards, direct mail letters and a professional designed Website are also effective tools used to market and promote a business.
    • Step 8

      Keep at it. Maintain a positive vision. Running a business can feel daunting at times. Ample rest and positive self-talk will encourage you to keep going during lulls or incredibly busy seasons. In time, you may see your business grow in the number of consultants, contractors or employees you hire in addition to an improved return on Investment.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging

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