How to Start a Home Business
Can you really start a business in the comforts of your home?
Thanks to the internet and a lot more innovations we have today, you can. Whether you hate the traffic or just need the extra cash, know that there are a lot of ways you can earn, one of which is through a home business.
What is a Home Business?
A home business does not necessarily follow the structure of traditional businesses, but still has the opportunity for earning. It can be anything where the “main office” is your home, only needing a relatively small or even zero capital.
While some home businesses allow you to go wherever you want to without hurting your profits, it is not a primary requirement.
The Advantages of Having a Home Business
- It has less overhead costs
Because you do not need to rent a place for people to visit, overhead costs decrease substantially. Despite the minimal costs, the reach can virtually be the same through the internet. With a home business, only the software, equipment, or materials needs taking care of.
- It gives you more time for business
Many little things add up and take a lot of your time every day. A home business gives you more time to work.
- It can be started even with your day job
Because there is a smaller sunk cost, you can build it little by little in your free time. This requires dedication as well, but not to the extent that you would have to give up your current source of income.
- You set your own schedule
Most home businesses give you freedom to work anytime, anywhere. You can manage its growth and be really hands-on even if you are on a vacation.
- You do not need a lot to get started
Even for less than $100, you can take the first step to earning some serious cash. All you need is one great idea and what is inside your piggy bank.
A List of Home Businesses You Can Start
Here are some businesses you can start at home with little to no capital:
- Graphic and web design
- Affiliate marketing
- Tax preparer
- Online selling (think eBay, Amazon, and Facebook)
- Interior designer
- Ebook and freelance writing
- Tutorial services
- Virtual assistant
- Dog trainer
- Online tech support
- Child care provider
- Dance instructor
- Music teacher
- Social media manger
- Video editor
- Online researcher
How do you start a home business?
Starting a home business consists of three phases: the decision phase, the planning phase, and the opening phase.
After the decision phase, you should have covered and have dealt with the following questions:
- What am I good at?
- What home business fits my skills?
- Is there a market for what I am offering?
- Is this market saturated?
- Can I afford to start this one?
- Can I meet all the requirements, both legal and special, for my business?
- Make an honest evaluation on your skills
Work with what you have, as they say. Before exploring your options, know first what you are good at. This is the most crucial step because it helps set up an ideal situation for you. While it may or may not be useful along the way, also list your weaknesses. It counters the ideal, allowing you to come up with something realistic. At the same time, it gives you some ideas on what business to start.
- Study the market and the competition
Whether you offer a skill or a physical product, it does not make any difference. You still sell. At this stage, know your target market. What do they want?
Moreover, study your competition. How do they appeal to the market? How can you compete with more established businesses? Especially if the market is saturated, you should know how you can stand out.
- Assess your financial situation
Can you afford to allocate money for the needs of your business? During the first months, expect the worst. You may end up not earning anything, if not working at a loss. Work out the costings, both of your service or product and of your capital.
- Learn the space your business would need
If there is some manufacturing or product storing involved, know how much space it would occupy to determine whether you would need to make changes this early on.
By the end of this phase, you should have completed the following tasks:
- Create a business plan
- Comply with the legal requirements
- Create your business plan
How are things going to work or your business? Aside from service offerings and their prices, you should also have marketing plans to get the word out. This part includes branding, and creating your customer avatar. Consider the business plan to be the skeleton of your business, a necessary part of the process.
- Comply with the legal requirements
Know the rules and regulations regarding home-based businesses, and comply. This includes having your business registered, and carrying a business license.
By the end of this phase, you should have done the following:
- Create a professional branding for your business
- Make a hassle-free way for your potential customers to reach you
- Set up a workable home environment
- Market and brand your business
This separate you from your competitors. Whatever the marketing plan you go with, it should be a product of research to get the best results. After some time in the scene, you will have established your identity that helps you stand out.
- Set up dedicate contact media
On deciding whether to use email, telephone, text, or any other medium, know what your potential customers use the most. No matter what you decide, it should be used for the business’ purposes alone.
- Set up a productive space
Now that everything is in place, you can get started! The space you would need depends on what your business is. The most important, however, is that the environment would encourage productivity.
With the accessibility we enjoy now, anyone can start a home business. Have an idea in mind? Don’t wait a second longer and create the next big thing.
Anne is a Senior Author for SBL. She began her career as an independent consultant for local businesses after graduating with a BA in Management. Since that time, she’s expanded to writing as well as consulting to spread helpful knowledge to small business owners across the country.