If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a recent survey, nearly 60 percent of Americans have thought about starting their own small business at some point. But despite these strong aspirations, only a fraction of people actually take the plunge and start their own company.
There are a number of reasons why this might be the case — from lack of confidence to not knowing where to start — but whatever the reason may be, it’s important to remember that starting your own business is within reach if you’re willing to put in the hard work.
Following these 6 essential tips for starting a successful home-based business gives you the best possible chance of achieving your goal.
1. Do your research
Before you start any business, it’s important to do your homework and make sure there is a market for what you want to sell. You can use sites like Google Trends or Knack to get an idea of whether people are searching for what you want to offer.
2. Get organized
Once you know what type of business you’d like to start, it’s time to get organized. You will need to be able to cover all your bases, so you’re prepared for the future of your small business. Determining your startup costs is an important step that many entrepreneurs overlook.
Even if you have a great idea, if it’s going to take a lot of money to get it off the ground, you might not want to even bother. Startup costs include the cost of starting your business, the initial inventory, website, payment gateway, and shipping accounts to name a few.
3. Define your mission statement
This is important. You need to be clear on what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. It will drive your direction and decision-making. Write it down and read it often, or tell a friend or family member and ask them to remind you of your mission statement when you get off track.
4. Make a business plan
Once you get started, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of your new business and forget about your plan. But you should keep your plan at the forefront of your mind.
The most important aspect of a business plan is to show how you will make money from it. Answering this question means that you have to be realistic about this project. You’ll also need to decide how long you’re willing to wait before you can begin to recoup your investment.
Know exactly what it is you will be selling.
In this business, it is absolutely vital that you plan ahead. You need to know exactly where your income will come from and how much you need to save up in order to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur. Set a target date for when you want to be financially independent and make a plan for how you will get there.
Prepare your income taxes. As a sole proprietor, you are responsible for preparing and filing your own income taxes.
Making the product was only one phase of the process. The next is getting it out there in the marketplace.
Here’s where you decide how you will get your product to the customers. You need to develop that plan now so that you know how long it will take to recover your startup costs and turn a profit.
5. Choose your home-based business structure
A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business structure. Its owner performs all of the company’s business functions and is often the first choice for a new business.
This type of structure offers the easiest and least expensive way to pursue business, but it gives you no protection from personal liability. In other words, your business assets and income can be seized to pay off your debts; moreover, you are responsible for paying taxes on the entire amount of profit that you earn.
The only legal requirement is that the business name is registered as either a DBA (Doing Business As) or a trading name, which costs about $15.00 at your County Clerk’s office. This includes 1 set of Corporate Minutes, from $149.00 (prices vary depending on the state).
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6. Get advice and assistance
As early as possible and iterate over your business goals until you see improvements. The earlier the better because you will be able to make corrections early in the process to avoid costly mistakes.
Hopefully, this article gave you a starting point to begin figuring out what your goals are and how to get there.
Knack scales home-based businesses and maximizes their earnings by solving productivity, payments, and analytics through a single product that scales, sells, and ships.
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