Home Based Business Guide – Work from Home

How to Start a Home based business

Having gone this far, you must have gained some insights on what running a home based business entails. If you think you like to start a home based business, let me take you through how to start a home based business that will stand the test of time.

Define your objective

People start home based business for different reasons. Some people start their home based business because of the fear of job security. They want to have a back up to cushion the effects of sudden loss of job if it eventually happens. Some want to have a second income to supplement their current earnings. People also start home based business so that they can stay close to their family. They believe that having a home based business will give them time to look after their children. On the other hand, some people start home based business by reason of their redundancy at the place of work or inability to land  a suitable job. So, why do you want to start your own home based business? Without clearly defining the ‘why’, your home based business may not achieve your objective(s).

Assess your skills and traits

Everyone is endowed with certain gifts and talents. Possibly, you have developed you skills in certain areas. It is time to take your personal inventories. List all your skills and natural giftings. What is the level of your experience? By the time you finish with the list, you can then start asking yourself what possible home based business ideas can you start based on your talents, skills and experience. With this, you will be able to come up with two or more hoem based business ideas.

Select the right home based business

There are different home based businesses out there. Having defined your objective for your decision to start a home based business, you need to sit down and evaluate all the options available to you. Choosing a home based business that meet your objective should be your priority while profit making can be secondary. If you make the mistake of making profits your main focus, you may soon realise that quiting a corporate job to start a home based business can be like jumping from frying pan into fire. Contrary to the belief of sme people that home based businesses are easy to operate, some home based businesses are stressful and time demanding.

Have a business plan.

You may not need a business plan for a hobby. But if you actually want to start a home business, you need to develop a business plan.  Most successful home based businesses available today will trace their success to having a good business plan from the start. If they have business plan, then you must follow the suit. You should have both short and long term plans for your home business.

Read: How to prepare a good business plan

Obtain necessary permits

You should endeavour to comply with the zoning requirements of your area. Obtain necessary permits.

Have business insurance

I need to stretch that your personal or house insurance does not cover your business. You need to obtain a separate insurance for your business in order to limit your risk exposures.Insurance needs for your home based business will vary depending on the type of business you operate and whether you own or rent your home. Generally, home based business insurance include public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, employer’s liability insurance, home isurance and motor insurance.

Create work schedule

It is advisable that you maintain regular business hours for your home based business. Let people understand your business hours. The fact that you work from home does not mean that you are available for errands or non-business related visits. If you create a regular business hour, people will also respect your private hours. People will not be knocking at your doors at odd hours.

Observe break

Those people that work from home will understand that one can be busy from morning till the evening without having a break. This usually happens when you do what you love. Unlike corporate organizations where there is an official break time. You are the one to determine your break time. This may not fall into the regular break hour. The most important thing is that you should observe break. It is good for your health. It also helps you to stay refreshed. You will not easily suffer burn-out.

Avoid distraction

Is it possible to avoid distraction when you work from home? It is possible. You can achieve this by creating a separate work area for your home business. The earlier you do this the better. For example, my job demands that I need to work from home most of the time. Therefore, I have a separate room for my home business. My children have grown to understand my work schedule. If their mom asks for me, their response will be ‘dad is in the office’. Even though you work from home, you have to respect your own office. If you don’t, no one will do.

Network

Because you work from home, you may likely spend most of your days at home. In order to avoid isolation or loneliness that comes with home based businesses, you need to make conscious efforts to socialise and network. You should set aside certain day(s) of a week to socialize and meet with people.

Have a mentor or mastermind group

You cannot know it all. Seek for mentor. This can be a person having competence in the area of your business or someone you consider successful in his/her own business. You can also belong to associations of like-minded people. For instance, if your home business is blogging, you can join association of bloggers. In their meetings, they discuss best practices, current development and other things that can benefit their members.

Be self-disciplined

If you work at home, you don’t have anyone to dictate to you or supervise you. Nobody will force you to wake up at a particular time in the morning. If you are not self-disciplined, I will say that home based business may not be a good option for you. Self-discipline involves saying ‘no’ to some activities that are not productive such as watching of television.

Time management

If you work from home, you will have a lot of things demanding for your attention at the same time. You should learn how to prioritize. Planning ahead what to do in each day will help you stay focused. With adequate planning of your time, you will be able to achieve much within the limited time you have. Have ‘to do’ list. You start your day by focusing on the most important things. After you have completed these, you can have time for other less important things. If you are not good in this area, I suggest you go for training because, without good time management skill, your home based business stand the risk of failure. The failure will not be because the idea is not profitable. Every home based business idea require skills on the part of the owner to succeed.

Marketing

Nobody may know about your home business unless you market it. The same way you need to market your product or service, you need to market yourself. You can participate in speaking engagement. This will offer you the opportunity to market yourself and your product or service at the same time. Ensure that you always appear professionally. This will improve people’s perception about you and your business. The fact that you work from home does not make your home based business less superior to other businesses.

Don’t allow employees or customers into your private rooms

Don’t allow people to encroach into your privacy. Let your employees know their limits and boundaries. Meet clients outside your home if possible.

Success secrets of some profitable home based businesses

Having read this article this far, I think I need to share with you the success secrets of some profitable home based businesses available today. Nothing happens by chance. If you want to join the league of these profitable home based businesses, you may need to borrow their business models. If you study some profitable home based businesses available today, you will discover they have the under-listed points in common:

Various customers

You will notice that they have various customers. They have grown their home based businesses to the point that they don’t need to depend on one customer. They achieved these through excellent customer service. They don’t relent on building their clientele. They maintain existing ones and they keep adding new ones. Some of their customers possibly come through referrals. Therefore, they don’t need to spend much money on marketing and advertisement. If your home based business depends on one customer, you may soon be thrown out of the business suddenly.

Auto pilot

You will also notice that some profitable home based businesses available today are process-driven. They take time to create a system for their businesses which makes it easy for them to operate seamlessly. Some of these profitable home based businesses available today leverage on technology to drive their businesses. They have website (possibly ecommerce website) that allows customers to place orders from the comfort of their home. You may not need to start at this level. The reason I am sharing this with you is for you to keep this in view. If you can take your home based business to this level, things will become easier and you will be able to make more sales.

Recurring revenue

What type of product or service do you sell? Does it generate one time or recurring revenue? Home based businesses with recurring revenue seem to grow faster.  If you sell product or service that people use often, you will enjoy better customer retention and you can easily predict your revenue. The shorter the recurring cycle the better.

Case study of home based business ideas

With all you have read in this article, let me demonstrate how you can apply the knowledge you must have gained especially on the success secrets of some profitable home based businesses. Let’s assume that you have accounting and computer skills and you come up with these home based business ideas:

  1. Computerization of accounting system
  2. Book keeping

Read: How to Start Bookkeeping Business

Computerization of accounting system will involve helping your clients automate their accounting system through the use of accounting system. You may not need office to render this type of service. This will be a good way of ensuring that you limit your business startup costs to the barest minimum.

However, immediately you finish the computerization, the client may not need your service again. This means that you need to start looking for another client. It is difficult to grow a home based business using this model. Remember I mentioned that the characteristics of some profitable home based businesses available today include various customers and recurring revenue. To set up your home based business on success lane, you need to find a way of having various customers and recurring revenue. To achieve this, you may offer support services in addition to the computerization. This will make you to retain the customer and the revenue will become recurring instead of one off fee. Also, if you do the work very well and your client is very happy, he will not hesitate to refer you to other people. Before you know it, your home based business will begin to grow.

Because there is little to what you can do alone, you can employ other hands so that your business can attend to various clients at the same time. You will come across small businesses that cannot afford to hire full time accountant to manage their books. You can add the provision of bookkeeping service to your portfolio.

For emphasis, if you want your home based business to grow, ensure you have many customers, develop a way of generating recurring revenue and you auto pilot your business. You home business should not depend on one customer. Auto pilot will also help your home based business not to depend on you at all time.

Read: 110 Small Business Ideas with Low Investment

I hope with the information shared with you in this articles, you have gained one or two things on how to make your home based business a reality.

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