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Guide To Starting A Home Based Business From Scratch

Aug 17, 2007
Would you like to be your own boss? Choose your own hours, set your own deadlines, work to develop your own business idea? Many people dream of going into business themselves, but fear that they don't have the resources. A home based business can be the perfect solution.

Running a business from home dramatically reduces start-up costs. All you'll need to get going are things you probably already have - somewhere you can sit and work, a computer with a good internet connection, and a secure place to store files. If you need equipment or materials to put together your product or service, you may be eligible for locally-based grants or low-rate loans. Visit your local library or look online for further information. Talk to your bank about the business services it has to offer, but be ready to shop around - sometimes the banks which are best for individuals are not the best for companies.

To get your home based business going, you'll need a business plan. You can find free advice online which will help you to create one of these for yourself, or you can pay an agency to commission one from an expert. This plan could help you to secure funding. It will also help you to determine the practicality of your idea. How many competitors are there in the field you want to work in? How will you find or create a niche market for your product or service? The internet makes it easy to look up other companies doing similar things. This can also help when you're trying to work out how much you should charge. Your business plan will help you to balance your expected earnings against your costs, including the tax which you will incur on any profits. Your local tax office can advise you on this and can also let you know which expenses you can write off against tax. As you are based at home, your company will be responsible for paying a share of your home fuel bills and computer and telephone costs.

Once you have the basics of your business operations worked out, you need to start thinking about how to promote it. One of the disadvantages of being based at home is that, without advertising, nobody will know you exist. Fortunately, there are several low cost and even free ways for you to promote your company. Wherever its activities are based, a website is an important starting point. Even a locally based company looks more professional if it has a good site. If you have good html skills, you may wish to design your own website, or you could pay a professional designer to create one for you. If you choose the latter option, make sure that you see examples of the designer's existing work first. Your website is equivalent to the lobby of your office suite - it's the first thing most of your customers will see, and they'll judge your company by it.

Once you have a website, you'll need to make sure that people know about it. Make sure it is listed on the major search engines and try selling your product or service on internet auction sites to create links back to your site. If you're worried about using your home address in promotions, consider getting a P.O. box or ask your solicitors if you can have mail sent via their offices.

As well as online promotion, you may wish to promote your business in your home area, especially if you are offering a locally-based service. There are many options for doing this, including flyering, advertising in local papers and shop windows, or getting involved in community projects. Whatever you choose to do, the rewards will be all your own. Though you'll have to put in a lot of hard work, you'll be doing it for yourself.
About the Author
Dassana Jayalath is the editor of InternetBizIQ newsletter. Visit http://www.DassanaJayalath.com/ to get more information on online internet business opportunity.
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