Starting and running a home business can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there to help you no matter what stage of the process you are at. I’ve collected some of the best tips to help you fulfill your dreams of owning your own business.
To keep better track of your business’ finances open a separate checking account that is just for your business. Ensure that all of your business’ income and expenses go through this account. Practice good bookkeeping and keep track of every penny spent and earned. You may also want to get a small business credit card for expenditures.
Find your business supplies through online searches. Once you obtain a resale license, you can buy wholesale supplies. Online suppliers usually state their terms on their website. Look for the item costs, the minimum order required, and shipping costs. Many reputable suppliers online cater to small businesses and sell wholesale with small or no minimum orders.
Ask your customers to provide you with statements about your product or home business. They can talk about their experience with you or what they think about their purchases. Place this information on your website; it is a great (and free!) way to advertise to others. Happy customers will be pleased to provide you with a review, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Once you have an established domain, you are going to need to set up an email account or two that for that domain. It can really help you promote your business and have a more professional appearance in the business. It will also give you one more tool to use when organizing your business.
Whenever possible, use your business credit card. When you travel, eat out, and have other minor expenses, using your business credit card will keep cash in your hands and defer the payment. Using a credit card also helps to build miles or points on your card which can later be redeemed.
When you start a home business, one of your first thoughts may be: “Great! Now I can write off a room in my house on my income tax.” But get some advice from your tax preparer and take a critical look at this. It may not be worthwhile to take this write-off but lose that room to other uses.
Is your home business paying off? Considering the time you are spending on it, the remuneration may seem low. But if you are figuring your hourly rate of pay in comparison to an outside job, don’t forget to figure in commuting time and the cost of gas. The IRS figures use of your car at about 55 cents per mile. You should too. The savings from staying at home will make your hourly rate of pay look better!
Apply for a ‘Doing Business As’ license from the state where your business is located. This is the registration for your business name, and allows you to operate as a business. In most states, you have to pay twenty dollars a year to renew this license. Find out if you need other licenses for your particular business.
Give your customers a reason to order from you again. Send them coupons and discounts on similar products, or let them know about your new products. Offer upgrades and spare parts for the products they already have. Make sure they are satisfied with their first contact with you to order again.
One thing to watch out for when it comes to your home business is that there are many scams out there that feed off of greed. Be sure to always do a background check on any company that you are considering getting involved with before providing any personal information to them.
When your home business frustrates you and the stress levels go through the roof, try meditation. Take 10 minutes to sit and concentrate on your navel, or a spot on the wall, or a single word like “ohm”. You won’t even notice that the time is flying by, but once you’re done you should feel at peace.
Let visitors to your website know where they can make a purchase. If your offerings are in stores, be sure to tell visitors which ones. The easier it is for them to buy your items, the more money you’ll make.
Your home business should not overtake your whole life. A lot of quality time should be spent with your family. Don’t miss out on important moments in your children’s lives. You should treat federal holidays as mandatory in your home office. If the government says you should rest, do it! Your family will appreciate it and your brain will enjoy the break, too.
Do your best to keep your overhead low. Put the checkbook away and do not spend the money that does not need to be spent. There are always going to be things that you need to spend the money on so be sure that you do not spend it on the things that you only want.
A great way to get the word out about your product or service is samples. This is easy to figure out if you’re selling a physical item, but how can you show people what you do before you do it? Putting videos of your work in action on your website is a great method, or giving key note speeches at events which show a little of what you do but leave people wanting more.
Don’t get overwhelmed by your new venture. For every issue you have to handle, some someone else has been there, done that, and shared what they have learned. You can survive every obstacle that comes your way if you take advantage of the resources that are available to you.