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Home business ownership can be a path toward both financial stability and personal autonomy. It allows you to put your skills and training into the service of your own dreams, not someone else’s. Plus, for the socially conscious entrepreneur, managing your own business is your opportunity to live out your principles and values and contribute through your company to the overall well-being of your community.
Of course, home business ownership is not for everyone. It requires self-motivation and organization. To launch a successful business and keep it thriving demands careful preparation and attention to detail as well as a big-picture vision. If this sounds like you, the National Association of Sales Professionals shares some steps you need to take to create your home-based business.
Before you run with your great idea, make sure it’s an idea that will actually fly in the existing market. To determine this, you will need to figure out who your target demographic is and where they are located. You should determine whether a real demand for your product or service exists, and what kind of competition you face, when it comes to fulfilling it. It’s important that your product be in demand for more than a little while so you can grow your business.
A business plan is far more than a to-do list (though to-do lists are good, too). It is a comprehensive outline of your business, as well as an assessment of its place in the market. Your plan will detail your company’s mission statement, a description of products and services, your team’s organization, business location, and financial projections. The purpose of your plan is to help you build your business strategically. It also can be used to demonstrate viability to lenders or investors. Over time you can return to your business plan periodically to help you stay on target and organized.
It’s essential that you start your business with a budget and that this budget contains a sufficient amount of capital for your startup, as well as padding for additional expenses or setbacks along the way. You don’t want to have to dig into your personal savings and put your private finances at risk. If you are not already equipped with the capital to launch your company securely, find out whether you qualify for a small business loan. There also may be grants you qualify for, depending on your demographic, the nature of your business, and what you have to offer your community.
Making your business legal and official may not be the most exciting part of becoming an entrepreneur, but it’s necessary. First, you will need to decide on a legal structure for your business. Many home business owners prefer to register as a limited liability company. Given the potential risk of having a business overlap with your personal property.
Next, you need a plan for how to stay on top of finances and payroll. With a payroll service, you can track and approve timesheets, take advantage of automatic wage and tax calculations, and pay your employees with same-day direct deposit.
Your marketing plan should flow logically from the market research you did earlier. You know who you want to reach and which medium will work best for attracting them. What you need to do now is craft a marketing campaign that truly reflects your company’s brand and showcases what you have to offer that is unique. Potential customers should be attracted to the authenticity and professionalism of your marketing content. You should also bolster your marketing with a plan for client retention—reasons for first-time customers to become long-term ones.
Having a clear sense of what goes into starting and running a business. This will help equip you for success, and for dealing with challenges that may arise. It’s good to be as informed as possible, moving forward into entrepreneurship.
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