10 Tips for Home-Based Businesses

Starting a home-based business is never easy. From advertising to zoning, there is always something that will require your attention. Here are 10 tips to keep you focused on your quest to make your home-based business a success.

1. Set a schedule and stick to it

The allure of working from home is powerful—but so is the appeal of spending more time with your family, or taking a nap in the middle of the day. Setting and maintaining a schedule for your workday is critical.

2. Set up a dedicated office area

You can’t run a business from your kitchen table. A successful business requires a fully equipped home office. If you have an extra bedroom, consider converting it into office space. If you do not have an extra room in your home, try setting up a partition to create an office area.

3. Always be professional

One of the perks of running a business from home is having the option of working in your pajamas, but your customers should not be able to tell that you just rolled out of bed. Maintain normal office hours and a professional demeanor when answering your phone or interacting with customers.

4. Don’t neglect marketing and advertising

Just because you build it doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. To succeed, you need to advertise your new business. Marketing and advertising don’t have to be expensive, but they must be part of your business strategy.

5. Familiarize yourself with applicable tax laws

You are about to enter a whole new world of taxation. To avoid ending up frazzled on Tax Day, take the time now to discuss your options with your accountant or another qualified professional who can advise you about your tax situation.

6. Check with your zoning commission

Make sure there are no zoning laws that will prevent you from running your business from your home.

7. Develop a business plan

Where do you want your business to be in six months? How about in five years? Many small business owners mistakenly think that a business plan is only necessary if they are going to have investors. But businesses of all sizes can use a business plan as a roadmap to success.

8. Get your business online

The internet is the single best way for a home-based businesses to reach out to prospective customers. Even if your business isn’t “e-” anything, you need a website that can function as an online profile for your company. Learn how to get a website up and running for as little as $100.

9. Do your market research

You may think that your idea for your home-based business is unique. But unless you do some market research, you won’t know whether or not your market is already saturated. Market research can help you find a special angle for your product or service, giving you an edge over your competitors.

10. Don’t get discouraged

Many businesses fail simply because their owners became discouraged after a disappointing trial period. You will have to show grit and determination to make your business succeed—do all that you can to make your business the success you know it can be.