Do you often hear of home business success stories? But you know of several people who’ve made a go of it, but it didn’t really pan out? It’s hard to figure out if it’s the right thing for you when you’re receiving mixed signals.
Having a home business can be the best thing that’s happened to you and your family. But it’s not always a bed of roses. There are unique challenges that face work-from-home moms, that moms who work outside of the home don’t have to deal with.
Tip #1 What are the Four M’s of a Home Based Business?
You won’t have to spring for office space and your expenses should certainly be less, but you’ll still have started up costs with opening a business out of your house.
Money. Although it’s possible, it’s not likely that you’ll start a business without any upfront costs. But depending upon the business you start, your early expenses can be as little as $10-$14 for a domain name and $8-10 for your first month’s web hosting, although with coupon codes you may be able to get started for much less.
Material. If you’re selling products, you’ll have the expense of the raw materials.
Manpower. Whether it’s your significant other who helps you or, or the labor of your children, you can often save the cost of hiring employees when you use what’s right in front of your nose.
Machinery. Minimally, you’ll need a computer and internet access, when you’re selling your services, but if you choose to sell physical products, you may have to invest in additional equipment.
Tip #2 What are Some Tax Benefits of Your Home Based Business?
Just because you no longer receive a regular paycheck doesn’t mean that you’re not responsible for paying taxes. But, it does mean that you can take advantage of tax write-offs that are available to home workers.
In order to maximize your tax deductions, you should have a dedicated space in your home which solely houses your work at home business. Also, if you have meetings in your home with clients, vendors, or affiliates, use that dedicated space for those meetings. Contact your accountant or tax attorney for more information on your specific situation.
Tip #3 What are You Selling – Products? Services? Or Both?
Some businesses solely sell physical products, which others focus on selling their services. There are some businesses, though, which actually sell both products as well as services. In order to be successful, you have to actively market whatever it is you’re selling.
Some things to consider:
- Quality – Is the quality of your products or services up to par? Can you stand toe-to-toe with your competitors, or do you provide an advantage they don’t?
- Cost – Are you more expensive than the others? Are you able to justify your price with continuous business, or are you priced so high that you barely have buyers? You have to find the right price point which allows you to sell your product at an amount that allows you to make a living, and provides the client with the exact product or service she needs.
Tip #4 Where are You Selling? Online? Offline? Or Both?
As a writer, you’ll want to sell your services both online and offline, but as a web designer, you’ll need to focus on selling over the internet – unless you’ve noticed local businesses who need your services. A person who sells a product that’s heavy – like furniture, may want to focus on their local area to avoid high shipping costs.
Take a look at your product or service and determine where your target audience is – online or off, and focus your efforts there.
Tip #5 What’s Your Patience Level?
So you’ve set out your shingle, and you’re ready to accept orders. But people don’t know who you are yet, so it’s dead. Can you handle that? Will you spend commit to spending 45 minutes to an hour each day marketing your business – even after business begins to pick up?
As a home-based entrepreneur, there are several challenges associated with running your business, but if you go into it with your eyes wide open, you’ll be prepared to face the challenges – not that you’ll have an immediate answer for all of them – and determine the best course of action as they appear.