article

The Top-Three Considerations When Starting a Home-Based Business

By Realty Times Staff via Realty Times

bluehammer

If you’re considering starting a home-based business, you're in good company. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of all businesses are run out of the owner’s home.

If you’ve already weighed the pros (flexible lifestyle, lower operating costs, increased tax benefits, no commute) and cons (hard to separate work/home life, loneliness, business viewed as unprofessional), and decided a home-based business is right for you, here are the top-three things to consider as you get started.

1. Setting Up Your Workspace

Setting up your home office is priority No. 1 for your home-based business. Without a doubt, having a dedicated office space equipped with everything you need to run your company efficiently and professionally will be key to your success.

Now, you don’t have to necessarily create a new office, but rather a workspace that's set up solely for business purposes, a setting where you feel comfortable working — and that's relatively free from distractions.

Keep in mind you can deduct any expenses related to the setup and ongoing use of your home office on your taxes. What are some necessities for a home office? Typically, that's largely industry-specific, but in general, you will need the following:

Office supplies. Setting up a home business from scratch can be a daunting task, and you don't want to spend several days or weeks buying supplies you didn't realize you would need. No one wants to bite more than they can chew, so visit the home office of a colleague or friend and make a list of supplies they use. Your best bet is to stock up on supplies like envelopes and stamps, printer paper, pens and file folders.

Appropriate technology. At a minimum, you’ll need a laptop or desktop computer for you and any employees as well as a printer/scanner and high-speed Internet connection. Think about other devices and software that would make your workday easier. This might include a headset and video camera for video conferencing or project management software to keep you and any employees or contractors on track.

Phone system. If you have customers or vendors who need to reach you by phone, you should invest in an office-only phone system. Consider the nature of your business and volume of incoming calls you expect. For many small businesses, investing in an interactive voice response system, which allows you to create automated prompts to more easily field customer calls and route calls to different departments, will save you time and money, while increasing customer satisfaction.

Backup plans. At some point, something will go wrong in your office — your Internet or phone connection will go down or your computer will crash — and you'll need to have a contingency plan in place. Do you know of a nearby co-working space? Is your work backed up in cloud-based storage? Do you have a local IT professional on speed-dial? Think through the worst-case scenarios and plan how to keep your business running smoothly.

2. Establishing Sound Budgeting Principles

Developing a realistic budget for starting and running your home-based business is essential to its success. While you'll no doubt save money on renting office space, you're still bound to incur a wealth of one-time and recurring expenses.

With that in mind, research how much money you’ll need to set up your home office, market your business, secure licenses and permits, and pay any employees or contractors. Find accounting software you feel comfortable using. For small businesses, Business News Daily recommends QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books.

3. Developing a Proper Marketing Strategy

One of the biggest challenges for home-based businesses is marketing a product or service. This is one area where you don't want to cut corners, especially if you have plans for growth. By working from your home, you’ll need to work harder to market yourself as a professional and reputable business.

At minimum, you’ll need a website, cohesive social media presence and professional business collateral (business cards, brochures, fliers) to get your name out there. Ideally, you’ll work with a marketing expert to create a comprehensive marketing plan — an expense that will pay big dividends down the road.

Want to estimate your home improvement costs before talking with a contractor? Claim your home for free with bluehammer to estimate costs, secure your home inventory and learn more about your home.

* THIS REPORT IS AN OPINION THAT MAY BE INACCURATE AND IS PROVIDED SOLELY AS AN INFORMATIONAL TOOL NOT DESIGNED TO PROVIDE DEFINITIVE ANSWERS. ALL ELEMENTS ARE OFFERED “AS IS” AND BLUEBOOK EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS, AND GUARANTEES OF ANY NATURE, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABLITILY, NONINFRINGEMENT, TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, ACCURACY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL BLUEBOOK (OR THEIR SUPPLIERS) BE LIABLE FOR ANY GENERAL, DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THOSE RESULTING FROM USE OF THE PRODUCT, INCLUDING : (1) RELIANCE ON THE MATERIALS PRESENTED, (2) COSTS OF REPLACEMENT GOODS, (3) LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, (4) DELAYS OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTIONS, (5) AND ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF INFORMATION) WHETHER OR NOT BLUEBOOK HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Know what you should pay for your home improvement projects with bluehammer.Claim your home. It's free!

Popular


Replacing Your Kitchen Dishwasher

Mix water, moving parts and wear and tear and you get a dishwasher replacement project

Can't Sleep? Why Your House Might Be To Blame And What You Can Do About It

Not being able to get sufficient sleep isn't just annoying. Beyond making you grouchy and causing you to yawn all day, it can threaten your immune system, impact your memory, and injure your back. There are a number of potential reasons for your sleeping issues, but your house probably isn't helping. With a few fixes, you may be sleeping soundly in no time.

Exterminating Pests: A Guide to Family-Friendly IPM Pest Warfare

Your home is a safe haven for your family, a harbor from the rough waters of life, an abode full of treasured memories and love. But sometimes it can become a home for uninvited guests of the six-legged variety. When this occurs, it's time to take action. Addressing and preventing pest infestations keeps your family healthy and staves off potential damages to your home. Here are the steps necessary to take before and after noticing signs of pests in your home.

Tips For Decorating Rooms That Are Long And Narrow

Distract attention away from an awkward room shape and create a pleasing design using these pro tips.

Replacing Your Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Replacing your old sink and faucet can make a big aesthetic and performance difference in your kitchen.

Replacing Your Toilet

The work horse of the bathroom, the toilet is the most used appliance.

The Best Paint Colors For An Enduring Look In Your Home

Trends come and go. If you paint your walls the "provocative and thoughtful purple shade" of Ultra Violet, as Pantone, itself, calls it, you're probably gearing up to repaint them in whatever the color authority deems the "it" shade next year. If you'd rather pick a paint chip or two and keep your space the same for the long haul, you'll love these colors that endure.

The Essentials Checklist for Newly Married Homeowners

After a beautiful wedding celebration and exotic honeymoon, you and your loved one are ready to settle in and enjoy your newly married bliss, especially in a new home. Although putting together a house can seem like an everlasting project, you can make it your home right away with the following new-home essentials.

Trend Alert: Convert a Dresser or Vintage Desk Into a Unique Bathroom Vanity

It's one of Houzz's deign trends for 2017, and it gives you a chance to express your style, add a character piece to your home, and maybe even save some money at the same time. It's the bathroom vanity conversion, and it just might inspire you to make a change for the better.

5 Home Upgrades For Your Vacation Rental Space

Vacation rentals are experiencing a surge of popularity as websites like VRBO and Airbnb make them more accessible. Guests can find a place that fits their budget, location and accommodation needs. Hosts can easily list their property.

See More Articles