You’ve spent years working for someone else and now you have finally decided to start your own business in the comfort of your own home. But, there’s one big problem: you have no idea how to start…
Here are six easy(ish) steps you can follow to help you start your home business:
1. Why do you want to start your home business?
Because you think it will be a doss? Or because you quite like the thought of working less for your money? If that’s true then think again. Working from home does not mean you don’t do as much work – the reality is you probably work twice as much, and twice as hard if you want to make any money. The upside that that, however, is that apart from the taxman and bills, all the money is yours…you are not lining the pockets of your employer and getting paid a pittance in the process.
2. How will you fund the business?
This is the one area that stops a lot of mums in their tracks when it comes to starting a home-based business. But if you really think through your plans you’ll probably find that you don’t need that million pound budget to at least get the business started. You can look into loans, borrowing from trusted family and friends, getting investment or even crowdfunding.
One area that many people forget to budget for (or raise money for) is pay for the early months. Unless you’ve been building your business up gradually alongside work, the chances are that you won’t make enough money to pay yourself your desired final salary. So, when you’re doing your coatings, you should factor this in – budget for at least six months worth of pay to be on the safe side.
3. Where will you work?
At home of course! Yes, that’s obvious but where exactly will you work? From the kitchen table? From a garden office…or that trendy coffee shop down the road? Where will you meet prospective clients? These are all questions worth asking yourself before you get started.
It’s also worth setting a schedule for your home working so you don’t blur the lines between home and work life – that can really grate you and the rest of the family, and won’t make for a positive experience for all concerned.
4. Is it feasible?
Another rare that’s often overlooked is the research and business planning. So you’re a great saleswoman who could sell snow to the Eskimos – good for you! But that doesn’t mean you can sell any and every service to people who just aren’t interested or don’t have the money to buy it. Do your research before you quit your job, or start spending money buying products and developing a website etc. This will save you lots of time and money.
5. Make yourself known
Another area that a lot of business mums leave out is money to properly market and promote their business. Spending £50 on flyers (that stay in a box in the shed somewhere collecting dust after a month) and a couple of hundred pounds on a website (that no one knows about besides your best friends) really isn’t enough.
Marketing and promotion is crucial when starting a new business – whether you work from home or an office, you need to have a water tight promotion plan. Set aside a decent budget for the entire year, and plan your attack accordingly. This is one area you should not skimp on.
6. Register your business
As if you don’t have enough to think about – you also have to register your business one way or another. Speak to an accountant about the best legal structure to use – you don’t always have to register as a limited company from the outset, but sometimes it can work to your advantage if you do.