Starting a home-based business is a much better alternative to the idea of waiting until you’re financially solvent to move into a proper office. With present-day tech tools, options of hiring telecommuters and DIY marketing, you would be surprised at just how much you can achieve as a one-person startup. However, being successful at this is not something that comes easy and there are some rules of running a home-based business that you’ll have to abide by. Here are six of them.
1. Come up with a plan
Unlike a business idea, a business plan is something that is much easier to evaluate, something much more reliable. In the business world, reliability is a must. No matter how simple your business plan is, you need to put it in writing. Keys to success, marketing evaluation, and executive summary are the very basic topics you need to handle as soon as possible. If you’re lucky, while writing a business plan, you’ll discover just how many gaps you have in your original idea. While this may sound like a paradox, it’s definitely lucky to learn of them in advance, rather than to do so once your business is already out there in the open.
2. Register your company
While running a home-based company may be a good idea, keep in mind that a lot of potential clients don’t see a person in their closet-office as an ideal partner. Instead, you need to present them with a real company and a real brand, at least in form, even though you’re probably running a one-person startup or employing remote workers. The first step on this path requires you to choose a name and register a company. After this, you’ve got some branding to do.
3. Get the necessary funding
Just because you’re not leasing an office and hiring in-house workers doesn’t mean that you can just enter the business world without a financial backup. After all, there’s equipment to purchase, certificates to apply for, software licenses to pay and much, much more. So, you need to consider the type of fundraising that you’re about to pursue. Getting a loan or selling an asset are probably two most common procedures, however, a tech startup can also try out a crowdfunding as an alternative. Platforms like Kickstarter are particularly great for this.
4. Prepare the home office
There’s a reason why traditional offices are designed the way they are, which is for the sake of productivity. Now, in order to achieve the same thing at home, you need to design a home office. This is why it’s good that we’ve already addressed the issue of funding. While a dual-purpose room may seem like a better alternative, by picking a room and setting it as a home office only, you can deduct a part of your utilities as a cost of doing business.
5. Set some ground rules
At last, we come to the issue that every single home-based entrepreneur and telecommuter encounters at one point. Namely, you need to set some boundaries, some ground rules and let the people know that, just because you’re home, you’re not available for private matters during work hours. This is particularly difficult for those who live with a roommate or a family. Needless to say, this is absolutely necessary and if you put it as a sensitive request instead of a bitter remark, you shouldn’t meet any opposition. The sooner you get this over with, the better.
6. Plan for expansion
At the end of the day, you need to think about what you want out of your business in the long run. First of all, you need to decide how long you intend to stay a home-based business. If you aim to move to a proper office in a couple of months, overinvesting in your home office may not be a great idea. On the other hand, some people are more than content with the idea of staying a home-based business for good, mostly due to the flexibility that such a business model presents them with. Aside from this, the lower overhead also means lower risk and easier way of achieving profitability.
At the very end, running a home-based business is a lot simpler than running a traditional business, which is why some people mistake it for being easy. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your organizational abilities and your skill; nonetheless, in a business model as specific as this, it would be for the best if you were to use an opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Only then can you hope to achieve success.