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How To Start A Home Business

Aug 17, 2007
Taking the leap of faith and starting a home based business can be an exciting and daunting experience at the same time. While there are numerous reasons why people are drawn to the concept of a home based business the challenge is getting it off the ground. Unlike several decades ago, having a respectable home business was unheard off.

In fact if you didn't have a shop front or office then you were considered to have a questionable business operation that lacked credibility. Times have certainly changed and so have our lifestyles. These days with the modern advances in technology you can comfortably setup a home business and compete successfully with much more established and larger businesses without any noticeable decrease in credibility.

In fact many of the multinational technology companies we know today as household names started out in dorm rooms, in the garage or a spare bedroom. Below are a few handy steps to help you get your home business off the ground.

1. Decide on your business structure. While you may be working from home you will still need to register the business and deciding on the business structure can be a critical decision. You hardly want to settle on a structure just because it is the easiest to setup or most cost effective only to have to restructure the whole business when it gets larger. If you don't want to invest in an accountant to help you with this step there are some useful resources available at any local library about the different business structures and the benefits each structure can provide.

2. Decide on a name and register it. You will need to register your business name with the appropriate business authority in your area so that you can commence business operations. Rules and regulations differ from state to state and from country to country so consult your local government business department and they will be able to assist you on the forms you will need to fill out.

3. Decide on where your business is going to operate from. If you are lucky enough to have a spare room then you are pretty much set with getting your business going. You can probably get by with a table, chair, a filing cabinet, phone and computer in the early days. If you need other things relevant to your business you can get them later on when you are starting to create some turnover. Don't worry about not have the perfect business setup from day one as your success won't be determined by how beautiful your office looks. If you don't have the luxury of a spare room then you might need to make do with a temporary office table that you need to setup and pack away at the end of each day.

4. Invest in business stationary. Probably the most important aspect of getting a business off the ground is making sure people know about it. Tell your friends and family that your open for business. A useful and cost effective way to promote your business is to get business cards designed and printed. While your at it you might as well print letterheads as well. With the abundance of cheap online printing companies out there this can be quite inexpensive and certainly well worth the small investment. Either use the available templates provided by your printer or engage the services of a cheap graphic designer from your local university to get them designed for you.

5. Start marketing. Its all well and good to have your business open but in order for it to stay open you need to have customers. Unlike having a shop front or office people aren't going to just stumble across your business and wonder in your doors. You are going to need to do some leg work. Whether it be a telemarketing campaign or a direct mail campaign you are going to be the one that needs to do that if you want your business to grow. There are many wonderful small business associations that you can join that can give you useful advice and resources on how best to maximize your small marketing budget most effectively.

Starting a small business can be such a rewarding experience and once of the ground the fun is just beginning.
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