You’ve decided to open a home-based business, congratulations! With some hard work, your dream can come true – so don’t give up when the challenges start. Of course, the road won’t be very smooth, but with thorough preparation, you can give your business a strong and successful start.
Transforming your unused garage into a home office is just a first step. You need to write a plan, establish a budget, find clients and deal with all the paperwork. To go through this journey without any potential problems (or at least to reduce them), take a look at our guide. Here you’ll find all the essential steps you need to complete to start your home-based business. Read on, and make your dream come true.
Turn Your Garage Into a Workspace
The first thing you need to do is to turn your garage into a home office. The room should be spacious enough, so that you can work comfortably there. The best place to put a computer and other necessary equipment is a desk. You can buy a monitor stand or put the monitor on top of some boxes or books.
To organize the desk space, purchase some shelves. Keep all supplies, files and paperwork in one place so that you won’t forget to take something with you when you run errands. To save money on office supplies, visit local dollar stores and search for the items that are on sale. It’s better not to buy high-end items, because they may be too expensive, even if they are on sale.
Weather proofing your garage might seem easy in places like Southern California or Arizona, but if you live in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee or Denver it has to be on your absolute priority list. It might not be too hard to find garage door repair services in Detroit or New Jersey, but make sure they can insulate your garage door and make it free of leaks and drafts!
Write a Business Plan
If you want your business to be successful, you should create a business plan before opening it. This will help you organize your thoughts and lay out the steps for starting your business. It will also show investors that you know what you’re doing and that you have a solid plan for your business.
To create a business plan, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my main goal?
- What are my future goals?
- How will I achieve my goals?
- What steps will I take?
- How much money do I need to open my home-based business?
- Will I need investment from other people?
- How much revenue will I need before I start my business?
- What are the risks for my business? What is my competition? What do I need to start my business?
- Do I have any experience in this field?
- What do I know about my target audience?
- Will others find my business useful and appealing?
- What is my unique selling point (USP)?
- What is my target audience?
- Am I really passionate about my home-based business?
- What are the projected revenues?
- How much money will I be earning per month?
- What are the other costs?
- How much will it cost me to rent the place where I’ll work?
- Will it be possible to pay back the loan in 6 to 12 months?
Find Clients and Customers
Before starting your business, it’s important to define who your clients are and what your target audience is. By identifying your target audience, you will understand who is likely to be interested in your product or service. There are various ways to attract customers – from advertising in local newspapers, to social media marketing, to delivering free samples. All these options are beneficial for building brand recognition and attracting new customers, but they do require some investment of time and money.
Ask For Advice From Someone Who Has Experience in Home-Based Businesses
One of the mistakes that many first-time entrepreneurs make is that they are too confident that their business idea will be successful. Although confidence can be an asset, it can also keep you from asking for advice from people who have experience in home-based businesses and can share their advice with you. It can be beneficial to seek advice from friends or family members who have been successful in the same field as you or who have experience in running a home-based business.
Deal With Paperwork and Taxes
If you work from home, you will have to deal with various types of paperwork. It’s important to figure out what paperwork needs to be done and how much time and money it will take you to fill it out. There are various legal requirements in most states so be sure to check them out before starting your home-based business.
When working from home, you should always keep all receipts showing how you spent the money earned from your business. If you are paid by check, make sure that you save all checks in case there is an audit of your account by the tax authority. You should also file tax returns every year – even if you don’t make any profits during the year! The tax authority needs proof that you’re still actively working in your home-based business.
If you don’t file tax returns regularly, the tax authority could take away your tax ID number, leaving you unable to work in your home-based business anymore. In most states, if there is no profit in a particular year, taxes don’t need to be paid on that year – but you still need to file a tax return every year. This way, no one will think that you forgot about your home-based business or that you don’t need to pay taxes on it anymore.
Create a Website
Once you’ve established your home-based business, one of the main ways of attracting clients is through setting up a website where potential clients can learn about your services and contact information. You can hire someone to do this for you, or look for some platform that makes it easy to create a website without any prior knowledge of design or coding. Platforms such as WordPress or Squarespace provide templates where you simply add images and content.
Setting up websites like these is quick and easy – but it’s important to keep in mind that websites like these don’t fit every type of business, and they may not be the best way for you to attract clients and get customers online. So if you really want to succeed with your home-based business and build long-term relationships with customers, creating a website yourself should be your first choice.
You can always hire a designer to help you out with a simple website, or take a few classes and do it yourself. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Although starting your own business can be overwhelming, it’s important to organize your journey on a step-by-step basis. Remember to breathe and always have your to-do list at the ready. Don’t just concentrate on checking it off, either. See if you can set broader goals that keep you focused on what your bigger dreams are. It’s nice to have “To Become the Best in My Niche” reminder somewhere near your desk or where you can see it all the time to remind you of your priorities and not to be distracted by the million small things you have to take care of.