How to Launch Your Home Business and Set Yourself up for Success
You’ve been thinking about it for a while. You want to launch your home business, but it’s a big risk and it’s something you won’t be able to do overnight. If you’re not sure where to start then you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ideas to use as a jumping off point for your new home business.
Start by Saving Up
Your reasons for wanting to work from home could be having more family time, being your own boss, or living a certain lifestyle. The simple fact of the matter is, though, that none of those dreams can come true without money.
When you go from the full-time working life to the full-time home office life, you want to make sure you can do so comfortably. It’s important to feel some pressure, but you don’t want to risk losing something like your car or your house.
To avoid a precarious financial situation, start saving money well in advance of your launch date so that you have a few months of living expenses set aside.
Slowly Ease into the Home Office Life
Next, begin working in your chosen field on the side.
During this phase you’re going to work a lot and likely lose a bit of sleep. Even though this isn’t fun, it’s useful so you can gauge whether or not you can actually do what you want to do full time.
Plus, the added income will help you to build up your savings. If the side money doesn’t begin coming, then you know you need to switch to doing something else for your home business.
Create a Professional Space
Avoid distractions by turning a room in your house into an office and use it only for your work. Make this room comfortable, but keep it professional and business-ready. Set it up with everything you need: a computer, a printer, coffee and tea maker, and other equipment you need for your business.
Launch a Website
Depending on what you’re doing from home, it might be a good idea to invest in a website. For instance, if you’re one of the best personal trainers in Toronto, you can build a website around that. A website will help you to showcase a portfolio of work to attract more clients.
There are a couple different ways to go about building a website.
The first way is to hire someone to create a site for you. This can be done well for a few thousand dollars, but the downside is you won’t learn much about your website if you have someone else create it for you.
The other option is to build your own website. Building a website is an easy process and can be done for free once you have purchased a domain name. If you’re nervous about building your own website, there are sites out there that help people just like you to create a website, even if you don’t have a lick of coding ability.
Develop a Business Strategy…
Before you leave your full-time job, develop your business strategy. Go into detail about the income you’ll need to cover your expenses and the services and products you’ll offer to make that income. Ask someone with experience in launching a home business to look over your business strategy once you’ve drawn it up to make sure it’s solid and viable.
You can find free business strategy templates online to get yourself started.
…and a Marketing Strategy
If you offer massages in Toronto, you need to be able to tell people in Toronto you offer massages. That can’t be done without a marketing strategy. Develop a few ideas for marketing campaigns to gain new customers and clients once you go full time.
Understand the Legalities
The least fun you’ll have with your home business is understanding how taxes and other legal issues work. Typically, if you’re launching a home business you’ll have some state paperwork to file to get your business name and make your business official.
You also need to understand the implications of taxes. Once you’re your own boss, your taxes will no longer be taken out of your paycheck. Dig into the tax rates so you have a general idea of what you’ll have to pay when tax time rolls around.
Develop Contacts and Join Networks
Find people who are doing something similar to what you’re doing and get their advice. Working from home can often be lonely, but having connections with people who are doing similar things can help to get you through the lonely periods.
Join professional networks, too. If you’re a travel writer, see if there are other travel writing organizations you can become a member of or conferences you can attend.
Read. A Lot.
One of the most valuable things any person can do is read. Read up on your industry so you can know what to expect and avoid common pitfalls. There are thousands of books on a range of topics that can help you in launching your business.
Launch When You’re Ready
When it’s time, leave your old job with grace. Then go home and develop a schedule for yourself so you can stay on track and continue to grow your business.
Getting Used to Working from Home
It could take a while to find a schedule that suits you. You might also find that it’s difficult to separate work time from personal time because you’re technically always at work.
Therefore, create a clear divide between work time and personal time. One of the ways discussed earlier was to have an office that’s only for work. Another method is to try to complete your work while others are out of the house so you can focus and crush projects.
Working from home is a rewarding experience and one that allows you to live the lifestyle you envision for yourself. Best of luck in making the transition into your new home business!