Starting a business is a dream of many people. In previous times, this was often very difficult to do without large start-up costs. However, the growing use of the internet, both for business, and for advertising, means there are more opportunities than ever to run a business from your own home. Here are some great tips to help you get started.
Decide What You Want to Do
If you’ve already got a business in mind, check out the competition. If there is a lot of competition in your niche, ask yourself, why would clients or customers come to you? You either need to be providing a different service, or be better and cheaper.
If you’re not quite sure what it is you want to do, write a list of any interests or talents you have, work through one at a time, asking yourself if this is something others would pay for? Is there any way to make a business from it? The best businesses involve something we love, and feel passionate about.
Once you have decided what you want to do, start planning. Can it be done purely from home, or will you need premises of some kind? Make a list of everything you need to get started; this can include staff, stationery, uniforms, marketing materials, resources and anything else you can think of. Get it all written down.
Next, make a business plan. Where do you want your business to be in five years’ time? And what can you be doing now to get you there? If you need any help with a business plan, there are some fantastic online templates to help you.
Even with a small business, run completely out of your home, you will need some cash to get started. This might just be to help you buy equipment, or as an emergency fund in case things don’t go exactly to plan. Considering a small business loan or line of credit would be a great idea. Even if it’s just for the first few months.
As well as a business plan, you’ll need a long term financial forecast. Again, you need to think about everything. Any money coming in, and everything you spend. Try to factor in any global financial issues that could affect you. Look at what your competition is doing. If they have a sale, will your business suffer? Making sure you plan your finances thoroughly can help avoid debts. Or at least you’ll know what you can expect to borrow and when.
If you are going to run a business out of your home, having an office space is going to be important. If you don’t have the space for a full office, at least make sure you have a separate space within a room. Having a separate space will help you separate your work and family life, making it easier to leave work behind at the end of the day. It will also help you feel in the working mindset, which can be difficult if you are trying to work at home. Remember, if clients are going to be visiting you in your office, it needs to be neat and professional. First impressions matter, so keep the route to your office smart and tidy also.
Working from home, especially with your own business, can be exceptionally rewarding, but getting set up can be difficult. There is a lot to think about. Try to keep everything organized. Plan everything to as much detail as you can. If you are worried about anything, or struggling to get started, speak to a small business advisor for help.