By Kirk Bannerman
There are a great many types of home based businesses and there
are numerous reasons why people choose to start a home based
business. Some of those reasons include:
1. Dissatisfied with their present employment situation.
2. Out of work due to being laid off or downsizing by their
3. A need to be home more with young children, an infirm family
member, or aging parents.
4. A yearning to be their own boss.
Whatever your particular reason for exploring a home-based
business, there are a few common steps you need to take in order
to launch your business.
First off, you need to come to grips with reality...be realistic
in your expectations. Far too many folks read advertisements
that are hype and imply quick money, and lots of it, from a
home-based business start-up. It will certainly take a year, and
in some cases it may take up to three years, before you begin to
truly make a significant profit from your business.
I have helped a large number of people start up their own
home-based businesses using the Internet. Over time, I have come
to recognize two of the most important factors for identifying
people that should NOT start a home based business. If a
prospective entrepreneur says something like...
I'm broke and need to make some money, fast!
I want to start a home-based business, but I don't want to spend
anything on it until after I start earning some money.
...it is certain that they have not addressed reality and, with
that mindset, they will most certainly fail.
It takes a lot of time to successfully market and promote a new
business. If you are planning a home-based business in order to
spend a lot of time with young children or care for the elderly, a
full-time business (and income) may not be a realistic objective.
Second, spend some time researching your business idea. Make sure
there is truly enough of a market for your product or service.
It's easy to fall into the trap of having a hobby or passion for
something that you like to do and just assuming that you can turn
it into an economically viable business.
Third, learn as much as you can about small business. There is a
wealth of information available on this topic and the US Small
Business Administration is probably as good a place to start as
any. Just go to http://www.sba.gov/ and navigate to the sections
dealing with home based businesses.
Fourth, write a business plan. It is your roadmap to reaching
your objectives. There are numerous articles on the Internet
and in libraries that can assist you in developing your business
plan as well as addressing the many other issues involved with
starting and operating a business from home. As a starting
point, here are a couple of Small Business Administration
website locations that should prove useful:
And last, but not least, seek the advice of a tax professional.
Your first reaction may be that you can't afford such expenses
right now; but, in reality, you can’t afford not to seek such
advice from the very beginning of your home business start-up.
They can advise you about ways you may be able to reduce the
amount of taxable business income at the end of the year.
Paying for an hour or two of consultation with a tax professional
at the beginning will probably save you much more than that
amount later on down the road.
I never cease to be amazed at the number of people that seem to
think that some magic is somehow created when you put the words
home based in front of the word business. It's still
business...it just happens to be based in the home.