Starting a business from home is an attractive prospect, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent looking to supplement your income or a worker on the cusp of burnout who craves some freedom. Starting a business from home has never been easier thanks to affordable and accessible technology and the internet. In the UK, for example, self-employment is up 30% in just five years and there are now nearly 4 million home-based businesses with nearly 1.9 million people working from their homes full time.
If you have a home office and do work there, then your office is a business. That means you are self-employed or run a sole trader business. Often a home business is described as a business where the office address is your home. Whilst, technically this is accurate many astute home workers prefer to use a neutral address for receiving mail and official deliveries. This is normally referred to as having a virtual address or a virtual office. We will be discussing this in more detail later in this article.
Starting a business from home might seem like a dream job, with flexible hours and no office politics. But it’s not all downtime and Netflix marathons. There are legal obligations and tax rules that you need to know about that vary depending on your business.
You’re probably not aware that turning your home into a business can have significant tax implications. Your council tax bill may increase, and you might need to pay business rates on your home if you’re making it available for hire to the public.
Choosing a Suitable Business
The success of your business is contingent on more than just completing a list of tasks. Nor will your business succeed out of the blue. Concentrate on your passion for what you do, use your strengths to market what you do best, and that’s how you will have success with a small business.
The old formula – find a need and fill it – still works. It will always work. The key to success is finding needs that you can fill that you want to fill, and that will produce enough income to build a profitable business.
It is important, however, not to be seduced by your own brilliant ideas. There is an old maxim ‘ There may be a niche in the market, BUT is there a market in the niche? So if you discover a service or product that isn’t be supplied it might well be because not enough people actually want it.
It helps to talk to people face-to-face who aren’t your friends or family about what you want to start. These people will give you honest answers about whether what you have in mind is something they’d want, and if so, how much they’re willing to pay for it.
Running your own business is all about making informed decisions. As a new business owner, you should always start with research.
Collect information to keep yourself informed about your competitors, from the number of employees they have, their annual revenue, and their main target audience.
There are some business lines where you’re going to have to fight for every piece of business you can get. In other words, it’s not a “pie” that’s going around for the taking – there’s limited demand and supply. So if there’s no real demand for what you want to sell, then you won’t make it.
Don’t worry about having it all figured out. No business owner has everything figured out on day one. You need to research the market, have a rudimentary plan in place, and do things like registering with local officials, if required, etc. But if you don’t get around to starting your business at all because you’re trying to make everything perfect before you launch, you’ll never get started.
The challenge of starting your own business from home is exciting and rewarding. The important thing is, to be honest with yourself about what you are willing to sacrifice and how your family will support you as you begin this journey.
For most aspiring entrepreneurs, the key to running a successful business lies within the product or service. What people often forget to think about, though, is how to actually deliver the product or service.
Don’t treat these vague questions lightly. These are details you need to get sorted before you start selling anything.
Starting a business from home is like buying a car on eBay and expecting it to arrive already filled up with gas. It sounds like a great idea, but the reality comes crashing down when you’re missing half the instructions and the dealer is nowhere to be found when you need help.
If you’re using your home office to house your business, make sure you’ve got a separate business bank account. And if you need to build a website and social media presence, hiring an expert can save you time and headaches. Trust me, they will be worth it.
Good businesses to run from home.
Your business will have more chance of success if you know as much as possible about it. This means doing your research into what already exists in the market, and looking at what your competitors are doing.
Figure out who your customers are and where they spend their time. Scout out each business that is currently serving them and see what you can learn from them. Reach out to promising prospects to set up initial meetings.
Fancy Yourself as a Coach?
Life and career coaching combine your professional expertise with your empathetic ability to listen carefully in order to guide others through life transitions.
Life/career coaches don’t come cheap, but they are able to offer clients special coaching sessions that can help them get out of a rut and become more successful in their personal and professional lives. These coaches will lead their clients through different exercises and activities that will raise their confidence and self-esteem; the results will be evident within just a few weeks.
You can also charge clients for writing top class resumes for them so they can grab the interviews and jobs they are looking for.
Do you speak a foreign language? Earn money as a professional translator. Specialize in a specific area of translation, like medical or financial translations. You can work on-call, set your hours, and work from home.
Create an Online Store
If you’re a passionate collector, an online store can help you turn your hobby into a full-time job. Creators, collectors, and curators can all use an eCommerce site to sell their wares.
Be a Private Tutor.
Are you a math whiz, a piano master, or a Shakespeare aficionado? Don’t just let your talents go to waste. You could be tutoring the next Mozart. Turn your passion and know-how into profit by becoming a tutor. There are private tutors out there who earn gazillions helping wealthy, aspiring parents get their kids into the best schools and universities.
Starting a small business? Good plan. Don’t jump into it with both feet. Small-business owners say that 80 per cent of their mistakes are small ones they could have prevented. Instead, try the experiment on a small scale and keep it simple. Take one step at a time, test the waters, then run where the action is.
Mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. Don’t get discouraged if you make some. Just look at them as learning opportunities and continue moving towards your goal. So keep it up, but most importantly, have fun!
Most importantly make sure you have a solid support base behind you that provides secretarial services and deals efficiently with your business mail. Clients here, at Hold Everything, know that regardless of the everyday problems and challenges of being a work from home entrepreneur you have the finest professional support with our virtual office.