How to Start a Business from Home

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Working from home has become a popular career choice and a it is a great way to get out of unemployment or get back to work while keeping a good work-family balance. Starting a business from home is not very different from any other business, but it has its own particular challenges. If you are wondering how to start a business from home the first thing you need to know is if your business is suitable as a work from home business, or find a business idea that is.

Business Plan

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It’s important to start your new home business off the right feet and the best way to do so is to write a business plan and make sure you can make enough money with your business idea working from home. Some things that sound great at first may not survive a more detailed examination, while other ideas that at first don’t seem suitable can actually be successfully run from home with just a few changes. Even if your business plan is for your personal use only and you are not looking at how to get money to start a business from banks or investors, try to include:

  • Your business model: How do you plan to make money
  • Your target audience and how to reach them
  • Your competitors
  • How you are going to produce and sell your goods or services
  • Money, equipment, permits and certifications you require
  • Risks associated with your business idea

This way you have a better chance to get it right when evaluating the potential of your work from home business idea, and identify any potential roadblock that would prevent you operating a business from home.

Things to Check Beforehand

One of the main problems you can encounter when trying to start a business from home is finding out at the last minute that your tenancy or lease agreement doesn’t allow you to. For example, you may not be able to start a home business if it’s going to involve people coming at times that could disturb the neighbours, installing some types of machinery. Some tenancy agreements specifically forbid you from registering a business at your home, but you can usually get around this by asking the landlord for permission in advance, provided your business idea is not a risk to the property and isn’t likely to cause problems with your neighbours. Can you make money selling on EBay without your landlord ever noticing? Sure, but you probably would get his permission anyway and it would give you peace of mind, especially if you have a very good tenancy agreement you are in no hurry to be kicked out from.

Setting Up Your Business

Once you have confirmed that your business idea is viable and that you can actually register it at your home it’s time to take a look at the legal requirements. Some business ideas will only require you to keep records and declare your earnings and expenses later on as self-employed, while others require more complex arrangements, equipment or even certifications and permits before you can start making money. Check out with your local business advice group or even your accountant what the most favourable setup is for you, as changing this later on can be troublesome.

Naming Your Business

There are entire treaties written about the best business names, and it is true that choosing the right business name is an important decision that you should take with care. The perfect business name is difficult to judge, but it’s a good idea to choose something easy to remember, suitable for your business niche and style and easy to spell on the phone. You’ll get bonus points if choosing a business domain name matching your business name is possible, especially if you plan on doing business online.

The first few months of a small home based business can be challenging, but once everything is on track and your marketing strategy has started to give results you will be able to relax and enjoy working from home doing something you really love, as opposed to just spending days on an office being unhappy about it. Learning how to start a business from home is easy, and there is plenty of support available either on the Internet or locally by looking at government agencies that work with entrepreneurs for grants or advice. Money is not a problem either, in many cases you can start a business with no money by learning how to use your resources effectively, so if you want to start your own business the only thing I can say is: Do it now and don’t miss the opportunity to work for yourself.

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How to Start a Business from Home, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.