You’ve watched as your friends did it. You gave them advice and inspiration. When you saw how that worked out, you secretly drew up a list of your talents and skills. You know your budget, and you have a kitchen table on which to work. You’re all set to bring your secret to life.
However, those beginning their own home business need to know a few things. If the legalities aren’t handled, then your home business won’t even get off the ground. Here are five things you need to know to get your business off the ground.
- Hire A Lawyer And Accountant
Other than permits and licenses, there are aspects of business that must be handled legally. You have a name for your home business, but it must be cleared, meaning no one else is using it. It must be registered.
You’ll decide a legal structure for, let’s say, your arts and crafts business. It can be a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or a partnership. Your business will require insurance, and an attorney will know what’s covered and what insurance companies are best for your particular business.
An accountant will be able to advise you on tax structures, a business bank account, and methods of financing your business. Then you’ll write a business plan and a marketing plan. The accountant will set up your books, bank records, tax reporting, and all the financial requirements of your business. They will also handle any IRS employee matters if you need help in your business.
- Market Research
Sure, you have a good idea for an arts and crafts business. So do upwards of 40 percent of the entrepreneurs in the almost half-million population of this country. Can you stand up to the competition? Do you charge a better price, work faster, and/or give discounts and coupons for your work that the competition doesn’t?
How do people requiring your products hear of it? You can’t do market research without reaching out to potential customers. Do they respond to email or direct mail research questionnaires or postcards? Do they answer social media research efforts?
- IT Support
No one can run a business, at home or otherwise, without computers. Networks for you and your employees are a must, as well as any devices used in the field. However, computers and devices run into snags. Your business information could be lost. What should you do?
The answer is to establish a good business relationship with an in-home computer repair company. These professionals will come to your home, examine your computer, and effect repairs on the spot. They can also set your office with its devices and network up correctly before you get started.
If you’re worried about affordability, then compare the reasonable prices with the cost of malware and the other pernicious things that can make a hash of your computer and business information. Compare it with the time lost from your business (time is money), and you’ll have a good idea in using them.
- Ready, Set, Go!
The legalities are settled, the public has responded well to your business idea, and your computer and network health is secured by an in-home computer repair professional. All that’s left is to cut the ribbon, and you’re in business. Now your focus should be managing and growing your business. Management could be left to you while your employees handle the actual creation of your arts and crafts. What about growing your business, though?
- Growing Your Business
Today’s advertising embraces not just digital marketing, but print and personal marketing as well. You’d be surprised how many consumers pay attention to T-shirts, car wraps, banners, and yard signs. People have their noses buried in their smartphones and tablets, yes, but they also notice brightly colored, catchy items with your business name on them.
There are dozens of ways digital marketing can benefit your business. Splashing your digital banner across websites from whom you’ve gotten permission is a great way to reach potential customers. While entrepreneurs use Bonanza, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy to sell their wares, many entrepreneurs have their own blogs or websites.
Keep in mind that no matter how many websites are on the ‘Net, video sells faster than text. Your website or blog could be the 50 millionth, but if you have excellent meta-data and video, your consumers will find you faster.
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