The Internet has made it possible for millions to work from home. Whether it's freelancing, running an e-commerce site, or selling through platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy, many love the flexible hours and independent or secondary income of working remotely. Keep reading for 9 tips you can use to get your own home business up and running.
1. Pick a Business Name
Pick a business name that features some type of personal meaning to you and get a domain name even if you have yet to plan out your site. Most domains cost less than $10 per year, so you need to secure the one you want before a someone else does. Start with at least one page for the time being until you decide how to expand your web presence.
2. Plan it out
One of the most important steps is to write out a comprehensive business plan you can use as a strategic guide for your home business. Your plan will have to be able to adopt and grow over time. However, a good business plan is like a guiding light as well as a to-do list that takes you to the place that you'd like your business to be. Make sure to make constant updates to stay on track.
3. Predicting costs
Home businesses have operational costs, even if they are typically far less than a traditional business. You need to calculate what your startup costs are going to be long before you begin taking other beginning steps. Figure out how much money it will take to keep the business afloat so you can know your minimum income requirement.
4. Plan For Taxes
As your home business makes money, set some of it aside to keep up with tax liabilities. A good rule of thumb is 20 percent of all your profits. Start setting this aside early on and then enlist the services of an accountant to make the quarterly payments the federal government and most states use. This will ensure that everything is up to par and there won't be any surprises later on.
5. Establish a Business Structure
In order to have a fully legitimate company, you need a business license. You can usually do this through a local bank in most states. The license doesn't cost much money and it separates your business from a personal venture.
6. Determine Product Or Service
Products or services that fill a need or solve a problem are great things to sell through a home business. Consumers are constantly searching for products that provide serious value, solve a common problem, or simply make them happy. Cater to any of these, and you will likely have a winner.
7. Build a Marketing Plan
You need to know who your customers are and how to reach out to them if you want to have an effective marketing plan. Online prospects and customers are great, but the physical world still has many potential customers out there waiting for you too. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you.
8. Set Up Your Email
Maintain a business email account that's separate from your personal email. In fact, your business email should use the business domain name for all your work-related emails. Keeping all your emails in one place will help you stay organized as well as keep a consistent front for your customers.
9. Build a Website
Instead of using your own exclusive server, use a shared server for your home business website. This is known as virtual hosting, and for a small business, it's really all you need. Unless, if you wind up with a ton of viral videos or a really active forum, you might need to switch over to your own server.
There's of course so many more tips and tricks than this to running a home business, but these 9 pointers should be get you started in the right direction.