Working from home is not as simple as quitting your job, making an office out of your bedroom, and then start selling products or offering services around your town. Financial freedom does not come that easily because a home business has more sacrifices than rewards at first. You have to wait for it to peak before you can truly say that you are indeed a home businessman who no longer needs regular paychecks and paid leaves to enjoy life and attain financial security.
The idea of owning a business straight from the comforts of your home at your own time is really exciting and ecstatic. However, the journey towards achieving the actual success will definitely be time-consuming, stressful and at times, frustrating.
As you read this post, you will be familiar with creative ways to make money fast from home. Also during reading start writing down your ideas and plans according to these guides towards jumpstarting your biggest avenue to work from home, and actually earn from it.
Choose a Product Or Service
What do you want: sell a product or offer a service? If you will sell a product, what kind of product will it be? Are you planning to make one on your own, like homemade soaps, or retail items, like antiques or collectibles? Selling products will also include possible problems on storage, delivery, ordering, manufacturing, packaging and retailing. Needless to say, selling tangible products can entail bigger capital as there are more facilities, personnel, and volume required before the business can actually start its operation.
If you want to offer a service, do you even have the skills or technical expertise to back it up? With this type of business, your biggest investment will be your own time and skills, so lacking in that department will definitely not help you gain reputation and credibility amongst your target market. Also consider the extra manpower that is commonly needed for a service-type business, plus the equipment – usually industrial levels – that might be necessary.
As much as possible, choose something that you really have knowledge on or something that you really love. The excitement wears off after stress and frustration set in, but passion will always be there regardless of the hardships that you will face in running a home business.
Lastly, as early as in the conceptualizing and planning stages, check possible suppliers, distributors, and partners, preferably near your area, just to make sure that everything is really practical for you. It might surprise you, but working from home does not entail exclusively working from home. There are raw materials and finished products that will come in and out of your house. There will be clients that you have to meet outside or entertain right at the comforts of your workstation. There might even be stores involved, like in the case of makeshift shops and in-house stores, literally.
Set Your Mission and Vision
What exactly do you want to achieve with starting a home business? Financial freedom? You surely can go even more specific, like a certain level of income, future investment like a new house or car, longevity in the business, expansion to different states and cracking the Fortune 500. Google and Amazon both started as home businesses, but look at where they are now.
Your vision will be your beacon when things get rough and the road ahead already seems dark and dead-end. It will bring you back to your core, which is very important because a home business simply starts in a dream with a lot of risks to your professional growth and personal life.
Meanwhile, your mission will keep you on track and looking forward to a specific action that you want to do.
From the point of view of customers, a mission and vision are commitments to doing right and offering high quality. They show to the public that you are aiming at a positive direction, and that you are doing something not out of a whim.
Size The Competition, Size the Market
This is where feasibility study and market research come in. You need factual data and statistics to back up your plan, most especially if you will approach banks and private investors for your startup capital. You cannot be successful with a business if you do not have a market for it – people who have money and are willing to spend them.
Researching about the competition will help you achieve improved products and services, marketing strategy plan, business structure and customer relations management. It will also show you your exact position in the industry within your specific market or location, which is important to identify fields of improvement and development. You also do not want to go overboard the standard pricing and quality that customers prefer from your potential competitors.
Starting a business that has no competitor is nice because you have a whole market for yourself. However, be aware of the dangers because lack of competition breeds substandard quality. For practical reasons, it is also necessary to check thoroughly why a certain business has not been set up in your place or elsewhere as well. It is either you are a business genius who have thought of a brilliant idea that no other businessman has ever thought of before, or other businessmen are just not dumb enough to invest in a suicidal venture.
As much as possible, study the systems and strategies of your competitors. Adapt what is a success and throw out what is a failure. Learn from other businessmen’s mistakes.
Double Check Your Location
Your home might be conducive for living, but is it also marketable? Look at your population, foot traffic, culture, employment rate, salary level and social class. This is still classified as a home business, practically and legally.
Location is not a problem if your business will be entirely online. However, do understand that you might still need to receive, store and distribute supplies, which all require space. Is your house built for that?
Register Your Business
Working from home is still working wherever you stay, so you need tax identification number unless you want IRA knocking on your door. That means you have to make things legal, whether you are employed or freelancing. If there will be an actual commercial transaction happening, like when selling products or offering services, you have to be registered to become legal. This covers the registration of your business name and brand, and getting the trademark for your logo, tagline and product/service.
Procuring a business license is also required, but additional licenses might be necessary depending on the type of business you have. For instance, business falling under the health and food industries will need additional EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) and sanitary permits prior to operation. Some states also require documentary approvals from the Health Department and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Organization).
Fortunately, some states no longer require permits after registration has been done. Home and small business may even operate without a business permit on certain cities.
Finally, your legal structure should also be thought about because this will affect your government support, loan capacity, tax amount and allowable number of personnel. Check if your small home business venture is more appropriate for a sole proprietorship, partnership (probably with your spouse or parents), company, LLC or corporation. A small business normally falls under company.
Check special requirements from the Department of Consumers and Regulatory Affairs (state-dependent), Office of Zoning (for any form of land cultivation and development for commercial purposes), Department of Health (for anything that concerns public health and safety, like with a catering business) and the Department of Transportation (for public space regulation).
Hire and Train
A mom-and-pop normally does not need additional hiring because all the family members help out with the business. However, if you will need extra hands from outside, like for production, servicing, delivery, selling, etc., you certainly need to learn the intricate system of hiring. There are seminars given by local governments for home and startup businessmen to assist them in the hiring and training process. Usually, free trainings are also provided by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).
Identify areas where you will need extra hands, so you do not have to over-hire.