05 Oct Launch Your Home-Based Business
Did you know that over 75% of entrepreneurs start their own business at home? Well, so can you. If you’ve had an idea about a business you’d like to run, rolling around in your head, for a while now, this is the time to get going. There are several steps you need to take and here they are:
1. The Business Plan
This is where you write down all your plans. It is not enough to just think about them. Make them concrete by formalizing them into a plan of action. Consider the business plan to be a map. You are here and you want to go there, so the business plan will outline all the routes to follow and the pitfalls to avoid. There are several sections to a business plans: General Summary, Financial, Marketing, Sales Strategy, Abilities and Skills you have, etc. I would spend some time either reading a good book and/or taking a class on how to write the business plan. You can search online for templates to use that will give you the structure of a business plan is written. A Business Plan, in addition to getting you organized and detailed, will aide you in finding funding. Potential investors want to know what you know about the business you plan to operate.
2 The Business Entity
Sitting down with a good accountant to discuss how you are going to set up your business is a good idea. Will you be a sole-proprietor, an S Corporation, an LLC, partnership, non-profit? Knowing what each one of these entities means and how they relate to income and expenses is extremely important. This is the deciding factor that will influence your tax obligations.
3. The Legal Business Name
You’ve come up with a really great business name and now it is time to make it yours. Registering your business means filing a Fictitious Name Statement, typically with the County Agency or the City Agency where you live. Check out the websites for these entities to see what is required of you. Keep in mind that you should not have a name that someone else has, so use the websites to search the names already registered. At the same time, give some thought to your website domain name; ideally it should be the same thing or something close to it. Check out the available domain names at the same time you check your available business name.
4. The Business Permits and Licenses
In many cities, you are required to obtain a Business License and pay an annual fee based on your gross income. Check out what is expected of you by visiting their website and look for a tab that might say something like: Starting a Business.
If you are selling a product, then you are required to get a Permit from the State in which you live. This will allow you to collect sales tax from your customers and then send it to the State Agency. Having a good accounting program in place will help you identify how much of the income you generate is taxed, at what rate and how much is due.
5. The Business Insurance
When running a business there are many types of insurance you will need to consider. Health insurance tops the list. Followed by: business liability, workers comp (if you have any employees), disability, loss of income, equipment, loss of inventory, etc. Every business is different and rules vary depending on the State you are in. A good insurance agent can help you wade through the options and policies that are right for you.
A new venture takes lots of work, but if you think of it as process, it becomes less overwhelming. Take one step at a time and think things through. I know that everyone uses a computer or a hand held device these days, but honestly? My recommendation is to use a notebook, where you jot down things as they occur to you…I carry mine with me everywhere I go because I get ideas at the strangest times! Once I get a few pages going, I then transfer them into the document I created in my computer which is organized into categories and sections; I see the growth of my business as the document gets longer and longer. This is my inspiration! I see the progress of the ideas in my head, to paper, to action!
I LOVE WHAT I DO AND LIFE THE LIFE I LOVE. And I know how you can too. Read more articles on this site to learn how too!