Setting up a home business is something that most people can do these days. Maybe you have a big budget and have spent years researching what you want to sell, or perhaps you’re a student or busy parent wanting to earn some extra cash. Maybe you just want something productive to do with your spare time and have decided to set up a business on a whim. The accessibility of the internet has allowed more people than ever to be able to either set up a side hustle to earn extra money- or even quit their day job altogether and go full time.
If you’re considering setting up a business, here are just a few things to think about to make sure you’re getting off to the best start.
Decide on a Business Model
Will you set up your own business from scratch, purchase a franchise or sell products for a company that offers multi level marketing as a way for individuals to create their own mini business? If you’re starting from scratch by yourself, you will need to come up with a good idea for what you’re going to sell. Are you going to sell products, and set up your own niche store? For example, you could sell a certain style of clothing that would appeal to a specific audience- that way you have a good unique selling point and aren’t in direct competition with bigger stores. If you’re going to be selling products, a supplier like leelinesourcing.com can help you to locate everything you need for the best prices. Another option could be to sell services such as design or writing, or even sell homemade products. When you sell digital items or services, you don’t need to store stock or ship products which can make things a little easier.
Even if you’re a small, home-based business and you still have a full-time job as an employee elsewhere, you have to register as a business. In most cases if you’re working alone and not hiring anyone else then you will be classed as a sole trader. It’s not complicated to do, just a couple of forms and then each year you submit a tax return which will tell you how much tax you need to pay. If you don’t like the sound of the paperwork, you can hire an accountant relatively cheaply to sort it all on your behalf. You need to make sure everything is registered and done by the book to ensure you don’t end up with fines or penalties and to make sure you’re paying the correct amount of tax. In most countries, you have a ‘tax-free allowance’ meaning you can earn up to a certain amount before you gave to pay tax. However, if you work as an employee or claim state benefits these will be included too, so you may already be over your allowance and have to start paying tax on your business income from the start. It can be worth getting into the habit of putting away money each month in advance for your tax bill so it’s less of a big payment to make at once.
Set Up Your Office
When you work from home, your own office space is essential. You need a space in the home that’s dedicated to working, this helps you to stay organised as well as help you maintain a good work/ life balance. If you only ever work from your home office then it’s easier to switch off at the end each work day, you can close the door and be done with it until your next workday. This can actually help you stay more productive. In your office you will need a good-sized, sturdy desk and a comfortable desk chair, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of your time sat there so you want it to be comfy. A powerful computer that can handle the software you need to run your business and all other tasks is important too. Before launching, purchase all of the office equipment and stationery you’re likely to need, this will be everything from a printer to pens, stamps, envelopes and good storage solutions. Make the room itself look nice too, light neutral coloured walls will make it look spacious, and living plants are a professional looking, unfussy way to add colour and texture.
Decide Where You Will Sell
Once you’re all up and running and know what you will be selling, you will need to decide where you will sell. If you want to sell directly then you’ll need a smart looking e-commerce store. You’ll also need to work with a marketing team to get your name out there to the right customers. Selling with an online marketplace like eBay, Amazon or Etsy can be good for those first starting up as you get your own little store right away for free (although you do pay fees on sales) and it’s easy for customers to find you.
Get Active on Social Media
Utilising social media is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your small home business. Network by connecting with other small business owners, look to make friends as well as just business connections. That way you meet people in the same boat as you, you can support each other. You can link swap, retweet each other’s offers and much more. Ask satisfied customers if they would be happy to leave you a review on social media too, Facebook has a review tab specifically for this that you can add to your social media profile. Good reviews are worth their weight in gold and can sway any customer that are considering making an order from you but are on the fence. So work on getting these up and onto your social pages as much as possible.
Setting up a home business could teach you new skills, give you something productive to do in your free time and earn you money. If all goes well it could become your full time job! Why not give it a go?