While many Americans think of the 2008 recession as a historical event that’s over, it shifted the cultural attitude toward job security, damaging the almost blind trust Americans had in corporations. Many people were shocked to discover that years of loyalty weren’t enough to keep them safe.
After hearing about the barrage of bad news about the loss of jobs, savings, and homes, you, like millions of other Americans, may have lost faith in the myth that a corporation would always provide for you, championing your well-being with a steady job, career-building training, a regular salary, a 401k plan, healthcare, and so on.
Like many others, you may be wondering if it’s a better idea to strike out on your own, relying on your talents to create your own business as a path to financial independence.
Here are some questions that you might have about starting a home-based business:
- What are some of its unique challenges?
You may find that many people are suspicious of a home-based business. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a commerce-based company or an interior design company. Lenders may not want to lend you money or offer you a line of credit. Customers may wonder if you’ll just take their money but fail to deliver a high-quality product or even fail to deliver anything at all. One way to sidestep these thorny issues is to not use your home address as your business address. Instead, use a real street address from a mail forwarding company like iPostal1. Besides making it easy to send and receive mail from a business address, you’ll also be protecting your privacy. You don’t want talkative salespeople or customers with complaints knocking on your front door.
Like any small business, a home business can easily flounder within its first year because of amateur business mistakes. It may not have a business plan or it may have an unrealistic one. It may be the wrong niche. It may be selling products in low demand. And it may have a clunky marketing and sales system. It’s usually a good idea to either launch a home business based on your business experience, get a business mentor, or take a business course.
- What differentiates a home-based business from a small business?
A home-based business is a small business, but unlike a traditional small business has low-overheads because the business is run out of the home, may be managed by only one or two people, and rely on the Internet to run its business. While it can often mean that the business owners work from home, some business owners–like truckers, seminar trainers, cleaning services, or interior decorators–may deliver their services outside the home.
- What are the most suitable businesses to start from home?
Almost any Internet-based business can be run from a home office. If you need more technical infrastructure, you can migrate your business to the clouds, and if you need more employees, you can outsource the work. It’s an ideal business for anyone who is a consultant or freelancer, as well as for someone who wants to run any kind of eCommerce store.
- How do you launch a successful business from home?
Here are the 3 basic steps you will need to create your home business:
- 1. A home office: Your office will need a desk, chair, a computer, a phone, high-speed Internet, professional software, a multifunction printer, furnishings, and filing cabinets.
- 2. A business plan: Your comprehensive business plan should include an executive summary, a company overview, products and services, market analysis, market strategy, and a financial overview.
- 3. Licenses and permits: When it comes to licenses, you might need a General Business License and a Professional or Trade License; and when it comes to permits, you might need a Home Occupation Permit, Sales Tax Permits, Health and Safety Permits, Sign Permits, and Construction Permits.
In conclusion, since it takes considerable investment capital to build any type of small business, it’s a good idea to start with a low-cost home-based business that leverages the power of the Internet to reach a worldwide audience to sell a product or to reach a wide local audience to deliver services.