Many people dream of working from home because of the flexibility it offers and the ability to avoid commutes, save money, and keep away from workplace drama. Likewise, many people dream of owning their own business so they can keep their own schedule, be their own boss, and reap the financial rewards and satisfaction.
Starting a home-based business offers the best of both worlds, but starting your own business is a titanic challenge, and working from home can have its own difficulties like trouble separating work and private life.
Starting an online business is probably one of the easier options for a home business, but depending on what you’re offering, you may need to actually see foot traffic in your home. No matter what route you take, you’ll need to clear some significant hurdles before your home business is a success.
Generate Your Business Ideas
Like with any business, the first thing you’ll need is a plan. You need to assess your interests, talents, and skills to determine ideas for your business, and you’ll need to be sure your idea is feasible to operate out of the home. This includes making sure you can conduct the essential work from home and ensuring you abide by all regulations. For example, you wouldn’t be able to run a manufacturing business in a residential neighborhood.
Financial services, tutoring, therapy, arts and crafts, social media management, and marketing are all just some ideas that work well for an in-home business. You need an idea that takes advantage of your skills and requires minimal equipment or alterations to your home.
Does Your Home Work?
You can have the best idea in the world for a home-based business, and you’ll still need to consider whether your home makes sense for it. Do you have the required space, and does your home lifestyle permit your idea? These will likely be easier questions to answer if you live alone, but if you have a spouse or children to consider, you’ll need to think about how your family coming and going will affect the business and vice versa.
Roughly 50% of small businesses are home-based, so it’s certainly possible to make a home business work with any circumstances. It’s just important to know how you’ll make it work before getting invested.
Every business requires you to buy equipment, but there are limits on what you can reasonably keep in your home, and your business should be planned accordingly. Things like new computers, printers, accessories, smartphones, and office equipment should be no problem, but you might want to think twice before renovating an entire room.
It’s a good idea to ensure your workspace has good lighting as well, and you should have a dedicated break area in the house where you can break from sitting or get your thoughts together.
You’ll also need a reliable home Internet service, like Sprint home Internet, to keep in contact with customers. This becomes even more essential if you’re running an online business where you should have a broadband connection. If possible, you should be connected to 4G LTE, or even 5G, though this may be impossible in rural areas.
If your business idea requires you to have a license, you’ll naturally want to take care of that as soon as possible. You also need to plan for your taxes and determine whether you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (you will unless you’re a sole proprietor). You’ll want to look into small business insurance plans as well because the homeowner’s insurance attached to most American households won’t be enough to cover business liabilities.
Lastly, you’ll need to think about the kind of help you want to have. A virtual assistant can work wonders for smaller home-based businesses, but as your business grows, you may have to consider hiring additional employees.