This blog asks the question whether you need a business plan for a home-based business? Well, of course you do.
As the picture/banner for this article quotes President Dwight D. Eisenhower:
In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
The other saying that I like is that a moving ship is easier to steer. I.e. you can change the course of something that is moving and taking action, but if you never leave the dock, then your direction is pre-determined – i.e. you are going nowhere.
What kinds of plans do you need? You need a marketing plan, how to get customers or distributors in your business. You need a financial plan, how to budget your limited financial resources. You nee a time plan, how to spend your precious time. Most people dedicate a certain number of hours a week in the evening to starting their home-based business while they work full time. I suggest putting those hours on your favorite calendar sotware took, then honor yourself by keeping the appointments that you’ve made.
Here are some other ideas to consider
In today’s economy, many people are out of work, desperately trying to find jobs or other sources of income to make ends meet. When their plans to be successful in their chosen career faile, some people turn to home business for that income. If you wish to follow in their footsteps, then you will need the proper knowledge like the tips found in this article.
Remember that most all expenses related to your business are tax deductible. Don’t forget things like a portion of your internet connection. You can deduct some of the cost from your profits, but you cannot claim more than 50% if you also use it for personal use. This is slightly easier if you file a separate tax form for a corporation, but in all circumstances, be sure to keep your personal and business expenses separate.
One good way to jump start your home based business is to send emails to your friends notifying them of your business. This will not only give you your first set of customers, but they can also act as advertisers as they tell more and more people of your business.
Find out how to accept credit card purchases for your home business. There are several wonderful web sites online that can help you with the process. You can also check with your bank to see if they can help. You need to make it as convenient as possible for people to buy your product; if it is a hassle, they probably will not want to bother completing the deal.
Figure out the money involved. If necessary save as much money as you can before starting your home business. There are always unseen charges that you will have to deal with, and it is best to pay these with available money rather than a credit card. Don’t think that you can walk into a bank and loan money. Most banks will need to see a proven track record.
If operating an in-home business is what you need to stay home with your young child, consider operating a childcare facility in your own home. Once certification and licensing requirements for legal operation in your locale are met, your need could become a good opportunity for yourself as well as many of your neighbors who also need reliable and trustworthy care for their children.
Analyze any business first to determine if it is a scam. For example, there is a business now that’s popular on the web, and everybody is asking “Is Empowr a scam business“? While there are many people making several hundred/month to up to two or three thousand dollars, the newbies that get into the business are highly suspicious. It’s not a perfect business, but whatever business you get into, get the facts and check out the reputation before you jump in with both feet.
Market your products through affiliates. One example of this is trading links with other home businesses in similar or complementary fields. Join affiliate programs, and choose products that complement what you’re already selling. In this way you can increase your income without increasing your inventory or work.
To reduce distractions keep your office off limits to children. Have set work hours that enable you to run your business and still have time for your family. Older children should understand not to disturb you while you are working. For your business to succeed your family needs to be supportive and respectful of your work schedule.
One key advantage that a home business has over a large company is flexibility. A home business can more readily adapt to new opportunities and new ideas whereas a large company will have to spend more resources and time making an adjustment. You should therefore organize your home business with this flexibility in mind such that should a new opportunity present itself, you can quickly shift gears to profit from it!
If you plan on selling products from your home business online, you must be sure to choose a good merchant account. A merchant account will enable you to accept credit card payments both online and offline. A top-of-the-line merchant account should have totally secure transactions, be able to be integrated into your shopping cart software, and should deposit payments to your bank account in a timely manner.
Look to the internet when you need supplies for your business since you can find these products at wholesale prices. Online shopping will reveal a mass amount of product with competitive pricing for the purchase of this kind of product. Your sales tax certificate will give you the ability to purchase from wholesalers.
For a consistent cash flow for your home business, create something that will allow you to do your work once and profit from that work, over and over again. E-books are a great example. By selling electronic books online, it takes away any production costs and provides a steady flow of funds for your business.
Never underestimate the power of freebies. Your products should always be delivered on time, but also consider what goodies you can pack in your shipments as well. Free promotional items or other goodies will entice customers to come back. It is also a testament of your dedication to your customer’s satisfaction.
Every expenditure you have should come with a receipt. This makes it easy to keep track of how much you spend on home business supplies. It also helps you keep track of the cost of running your business every month. Keeping accurate records of your expenditures is also useful in the event that you ever get audited.
If you are able to sell your home business product wholesale, look for businesses that would benefit from your product’s presence. After you’ve narrowed down your search results, email each company and ask if they’d like a free sample pack of your product. This tip tends to yield excellent results!
The homepage of your business website should be an advertisement for your product. While this doesn’t mean you should go for over-the-top, flashy presentation, you should make sure your content points out why they want to explore your website. Convincing your customers to familiarize themselves with your product is the first step to convincing them to buy it!
A good home business tip is to keep any and all receipts related to your business. Keeping receipts is very important because you’ll need them as proof when it comes time to do your taxes. You’re going to need proof for every single deduction you take that’s related to your business.
As stated before, people desperately try to find sources of income in today’s economy. One option they turn to for income is starting a home business. Using the tips found in this article, you should be able to start your own home business and bring in main or alternative income to sustain yourself.