The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America, but many Americans who are considering starting their own small business from home don’t know much about what goes into launching a business. Below are a few simplified steps to get you on your way toward financial freedom as you start a small business from home.
1. Figure Out What You Have to Offer
Do you have a great idea for a new product to sell or a service that you are able to offer? Perhaps you have career experience in a field that you could turn into a business-to-business service that you are offering. Some common examples include web design, social media services, marketing, copywriting or public relations.
2. Evaluate the Market and the Competition
Once you have an idea for your business’s core function, you have to figure out whether there is a large enough market for it and what the competition is. This may take some research or a few surveys in order to do your best to predict the type of market you’re jumping into.
In addition, you should evaluate whether or not your market already exists or needs to be created. Some new products certainly have merit, but they are only going to sell if consumers realize that they could use them.
Finally, evaluate the competition and make sure that you are capable of delivering a product or service that can compete in quality and price point.
3. Develop Core Competency
There are certain chores that need to be done for a business to run smoothly and successfully, so you need to make sure that you have the capabilities to get them done until you have the funds to hire other people into your business. If you’re starting a small business from home, chances are good that you’ll be wearing multiple hats at the beginning.
This may mean some initial training to get you off the ground. Some of the needs include appointment setting, bookkeeping, sales, marketing and communications. You’ll need to be a salesman to some degree, setting up appointments and remaining organized. You’ll need to keep track of your finances and keep good books in order to know how much money you’re bringing in and sending out.
In addition, you’ll need to keep your office space supplied and maintained. You’ll also need to manage correspondence with clients and potential clients, which may include email and answering the phone.
Depending on the scope of your business, you may need to undertake marketing efforts to get the word out and drum up some business.
4. Evaluate Legal Issues and Insurance
New businesses may face certain legal requirements, including getting a business license, establishing your business name, and perhaps incorporating. It’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer and an accountant to make sure that you are covered on these fronts.
Furthermore, you may need various types of insurance depending on the type of business you are running. You don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable.
5. Predict Start-up Costs and Gather Funds
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what is going to get your business off the ground and running, it’s time to start figuring out what your start-up costs are going to be and securing the funds.
Securing start-up funds could be done through personal loans, credit, or savings. Obviously, you have to remember that if you are borrowing the money and owe interest, that’s an additional start-up cost. On the other hand, you may be able to find investors to buy into your business while leaving you to run it.
Once you have all of the necessary funding ready to go, you are ready for the final steps toward creating your own small business from home.
6. Make a Plan and Go
Make your plan of action and prepare to carry it out. It’s important that you break things down into small tasks if they seem overwhelming in their entirety. It is a lot tougher to take on and complete an enormous task rather than several small ones; even if they add up to the same end result.
Once you have your plan in place, it’s all about taking action and executing.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
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Manny Skevofilax is a consultant and speaker that assists his clients with successfully navigating the challenges of growing their businesses profitably. Since 2003, Manny helps businesses to enhance their financial results by using his experience in strategic planning, financial statement analysis, operations, and team-building. His consulting firm, PORTAL CFO Consulting, Inc., has attracted clients from diverse industries in the United States and abroad.
Manny can be reached at 410-808-3441 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.