Well, there are (at least) 10 major steps to starting a business. The fact is, starting a business is hard work, involves a lot of factors and takes planning. Starting a home based business adds the additional variable of how does it impact your family.
But with diligence, hard work and, most importantly, patience, you can start a business that is successful and meets your personal goals.
Here’s our top ten steps on how to start a home business
Step 1: Do you have the time and, if needed, money to see this effort through?
So you have been thinking about starting your business. It may have been that idea on the napkin at lunch or just a lifelong dream. The first step of starting your own business is coming up with an idea.
Step 2: Determine What Products or Services Your Small Business will Offer
The next step to starting a small business is to carefully consider these types of questions:
- What are you an expert in?
- What do you have to offer?
- What can you make, build or create?
- Do you have the education, skills (and licensing) you’ll need to compete in the marketplace?
- Does the product or service meet a demand that is prevalent?
- Is your product or service dependent on seasonality or weather (e.g. snow plowing or lawn care)?
In order to be successful, your product or service must meet a consumer need and must be competitively priced.
Step 3: Determine if you have your family’s support for starting a home business.
Members of your family may need to make sacrifices or lifestyle changes in order to accommodate your business goals. They need to what you are doing and how it may affect them in terms of money that may need to be spent and time away from that will need to happen. While this may be your business, it will impact your family. So the lesson here is communicate, communicate, communicate.
Step 4: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses and Your Competitors
Know what is helpful and harmful to your business opportunity. No matter what the size or scope of your new business, you will find incredible value in conducting a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT Analysis helps you to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your market. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses as well of those of your competition, you can develop a marketing program to maximize your strengths and that can help differentiate you from your competitors.
Step 5: Build a Home Business Plan
Whether you start from scratch or use a business plan template, all potential new business owners should have a business plan. This process helps you to develop and understanding what type of business your are trying to build and the action steps you need to follow.
Step 6: Choose a Business Structure for you Home Business
When starting your own business, you must determine what form of business entity you want to establish. This impacts your liability, legal and tax considerations. The major forms are:
- Sole Proprietorships
- S Corporations
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
It is a good idea to talk to your accountant and/or lawyer on the best structure for your personal financial situation.
Step 7: Choose a business name
Choosing a business name is an important part of the business planning process. Your name should reflect your brand, your product and your culture. Additionally, you need to make sure it is properly registered and protected. And don’t forget to check if the domain name and social media outlet names are available.
Trademark infringement can be a big risk for your business. Before you pick a name for your business, you can us the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to see if your suggested name, a similar name, or close variations of it, is trademarked.
Step 8: How to register a home business
Be ready to check your local and state requirements for registering a business name, for getting an EIN number , for required licenses and permits, and register for local taxes.
Check out your state agency’s registration requirements here Small Business Administration.
Step 9. Get a Room
Setting aside some space in your home to work on your business can be just the thing that fuels your new business. Moving from a hobby to a real business is a wall many amateur entrepreneurs never get over. They simply lack the focus and dedication to make their home business a priority. Many successful small business owners attribute their early success to making the business a top priority and setting aside specific hours each day and a place in the home where they would work on the business. Important to note that the space you set aside specifically for your home business can be a much needed tax deduction so don’t miss this important step early in your business planning.
Step 10. Be Diligent and Be Patient….and Have Fun
Starting your own business take hard work. And it takes time. So whether you are making a hobby into a businesss, building something new from scratch, or reselling somebody else’s product, just remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint.