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Making it Work

Aug 17, 2007
Do you find that you spend most of your time stuck at home? Are you looking after children or an elderly relative? Are you disabled or ill? Are you retired, but not yet ready to stop taking an active role in the world? A home based business could be just what you need.

Running a home based business is easier than you think. All the information you need to get started can be found online or at your local library. Of course, you'll need to have a business idea - to know what product or service you could provide which other people would find useful. Perhaps you have craft skills which you could turn into a small-scale manufacturing business, or perhaps you are good at producing designs which can be used by other people. You might choose to work entirely through your computer - for instance, as an online tutor. Or you might wish to conduct your business outdoors but run a home-based office.

Whatever you decide to do, you don't need to do it alone. Grants and loans are often available from local government to help people who are just starting out. You can find free online advice on how to plan your activities so that you'll know how much money you can expect to make and how that will balance out against your costs. Your library can help you to contact locally-based support organisations. The tax office can provide advice to help makes things simple for the new business owner. It's important to know your tax status not only so that you can make sure you pay the right amount of money, but also so that you can properly record your expenses, some of which you may be able to claim back. When your work is based at home, your business is responsible for a share of your domestic fuel bills, telephone and computer costs.

If you are going to run your business efficiently, you would be well advised to set aside a dedicated work area within your home. This is particularly important if you have children or pets who need to understand that there are times when you shouldn't be disturbed. You'll probably need a computer in this area, as it will be useful for keeping your accounts even if no part of your work is based online. The internet can be a very useful marketing tool and is also useful for helping you keep track of what similar companies are doing. A business based at home has no obvious means of publicity like a storefront, so you will need to think of ways to let customers know that you're out there. Think about how to present your business so that it stands out from similar enterprises. Who will it appeal to? If you are providing a local service, you may want to put together a publicity campaign based in your home area.

Organise your work area so that you will have everything you need readily available. You'll need to think not only about the equipment and materials directly involved in your work but also about stationary, marketing materials and file storage. Even computer-based businesses generate a lot of paperwork, and you'll need to keep paper copies of all important legal and financial documents. Getting this right from the start can save you a lot of trouble later.

Once your business is up and running, what you get out of it will depend largely on what you put in. Working for yourself takes a lot of effort and it can mean putting in long hours, but those hours will be flexible, making it easier for you to attend to your other responsibilities. Once you are accustomed to your day to day routine, work will get easier. You will then be ready to start reaping the rewards.
About the Author
Dassana Jayalath is the editor of WebSuperTips newsletter. Visit http://www.WebSuperTips.com to access free ecourse : Newbie's Guide To Profitable Internet Home Business
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