Starting a business from home can get you on the path to financial freedom. You can follow your dream to become your own boss. Whether you are an entrepreneur already or just want to start on this path, by reading on you can learn all types of advice that will help you on this incredible journey. Starting a business from home will be a stressful and hard journey, but it can be totally worth it if you put the time and effort into it.

Start with an idea

All businesses start with an idea. Have you found a way to revolutionize a service that people frequently use? Are you particularly good at performing some task? What are you passionate about? These are some things that you will need to ask yourself before you get started. Generally, people who want to start a business from home were inspired by something, causing them to start figuring out ways to put this idea into effect.

Be specific

It isn’t good enough to have an idea of what you want to do; you need to be specific. What makes you different from everyone else that does the same thing? If you are going to be successful you need to set yourself apart from the other companies. For instance, if you are a blogger, you will want to find a niche that you are good at and figure out what makes you different. No matter what your idea is, you need to find some way to make yourself stand out amongst everyone else, or you can get lost in the mix.

Find something you’re good at

It is also important to not just find something that you are good at, but something that you are also passionate about. There are going to be some days that you will struggle and knowing that you are doing something that you are passionate about is going to be so helpful here. If you don’t love what you are doing, you will be more likely to give up on your dreams. Your passion for your idea will be what carries you through all the hard days.  

Play to your strengths

Passion is only a part of making your idea a success. You need to be sure to play to your strengths. Everyone is unique, having their own talents and skills that make up who they are. Some people may have a talent for numbers, making it a good idea to start up an accounting business. Other people are creative, which is why blogs or selling homemade goods are a good idea. Sure, people can develop talents and grow but when you are starting a business you want to work with what you currently have. Businesses are stressful enough without trying to be something you’re not.

Past jobs and hobbies

Don’t know what your skills are? Take some time to think about your competencies when starting a business from home. You can generally take a close look at your hobbies or past jobs to discover what you are good at. There are core skills that made you excel at your job. For instance, if you were a manager, certain skills helped you achieve this position and keep it. Managers possess high levels of communication and organizational skills. Salespeople are great at communication and marketing.

Enhance core skills

Once you identify what your core skills are, you can leverage these to help you decide on your business approach. This will also help you to determine your weaknesses, so you know what you will need to work on to succeed. For instance, if you have a weakness for marketing, you will want to work towards honing these skills to be successful.

Never forget those core skills and talents that you have. You can learn other things along the way, but you will want to build a foundation from the natural talents and skills that you already have. This, along with your passion for your business idea, will help you take your idea from just an idea and turn it into a business.

Knowing the rules and regulations and other business necessities

There are rules and regulations that businesses must follow, otherwise, there could be some significant consequences to deal with. This can be especially true for home businesses. This section will go through the essentials of starting a business.

Permits and registrations

You will want to check to see what permits you may need, as well as any business and operational licenses that you may need to legally run your business. Make sure that you have all your tax registrations in order. Are you a part of a homeowner’s association? You will need to check the rules of your association and may even need to ask permission before starting your home business. There may be restrictions about home businesses in your homeowner’s association, so you need to check with this before you can get started.

If you don’t know where to start with these things, there are plenty of online resources that can help you through the process. One place to turn to is SCORE, which is a non-profit organization that gives free business advice to people. You can also check out the U.S. Small Business Administration. These are excellent resources to help you know what to expect when starting a business from home and you may even get some expert tips that can help improve your chances of being a success.

Insurance policies

Those may be the basics for starting your home business, but these aren’t the only business necessities that you need to do when starting a business from home. You do need to update your insurance policy. People who run their business from home get very little coverage (or even no coverage at all) for their home business. This means that you will need to add an insurance rider to your current renter’s or homeowner’s policy. If you have a delivery person picking something up or a client come to your home and they slip, you will want to ensure that you have the proper coverage for this. This could add about $100 a year to your current policy.

You also have the option of purchasing a small business owner’s policy. Whichever route you choose, this is a wise investment when you consider that you can get the protection that your business needs. Whether it’s an accident at your home or to protect your home business from damage or theft, investing in insurance is one of the best things that you can do.

Due taxes

Lastly, you need to remember your taxes. When you have a home business, you will have to pay your estimated federal taxes every quarter rather than once a year. Depending on where you have your home business, you may also need to pay out your local income tax and state taxes. The IRS has a Self-Employed Individual Tax Centre for people to learn all about their tax requirements. You can also consult with an accountant to get a better idea of what you need to do to be current with your taxes. You don’t want to end up with costly penalties.

Create Your Schedule

When you go to work every day, you have a set schedule. You must be in at a certain time every day. You have certain days off. You may work late or work on your days off sometimes, but there is a set schedule so you know what to expect on a regular basis before you go to work. You should treat your home business in the same manner.

Set a working schedule

Set a schedule that works for you and stick to it. This is essential to not only create boundaries in your life but to ensure that you keep a solid work-life balance. Starting a business can be stressful and time-consuming but setting a schedule can help you make sure that you meet deadlines without sacrificing your personal life as much. You need to dedicate time to growing your business, but you don’t need to dedicate every second of your waking hour or even times when you should be sleeping.

Follow the schedule promptly

You must also be sure to stick to that schedule as you would if you were leaving the house to go to work. Otherwise, you can run the risk of procrastinating on what you need to do. If you want to start work at 9 am on Monday through Friday, make sure you stick to it. There are some exceptions to this, such as if you have doctor’s appointments or something else very important to attend to. By sticking to a schedule, you are going to be more productive and this will help you to better grow your business.

Your Home Office

Similar to a set place to go for work if you work outside of the home, you need to have a set location for where you will work. Below are some of the reasons for this.

Financial aspect

One side of it is the financial aspect of having a home office. For the most part, you can deduct 100% of the costs that are directly related to your home office setup. This includes the purchase of items like a computer desk, computer, and printer. These are important to help you offset costs, especially as you are just starting your business.

Office expenses

There are also “indirect” office expenses that you can deduct. These expenses are prorated and are based on the size of your home office. Some of these expenses include your mortgage or rent, utility bills, and your insurance. You would be surprised to learn that a lot of people avoid these types of deductions because they worry that it will trigger a tax audit and they could be in trouble. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often in these cases.

Deduction in costs

To get this deduction, you need to use this work area exclusively for your work on a regular basis. Generally, this means that you cannot count the space as a home office if other people use the space for recreational needs, such as your child using the computer to play their video games. This deduction requires you to file a Form 8829. You can learn more about this form on the IRS website or you can consult with a tax expert for more information.

Proper work environment

Another reason why you need a home office is that this can help you get in the right headspace to get work done. If your home office is in the centre of activity in your home, you may not be as productive as you would like unless you work around the busy activity schedule of your family’s life. Ideally, you will have a quiet place where you can get work done and make phone calls as needed. You don’t want kids yelling in the background or dogs barking while you make calls as this could make you look unprofessional. If you have clients visiting you at your office, this makes it even more important for you to have a special home office space.

Finding a Mentor

A mentor is someone important for you at most stages of your life, but this can be especially true if you are starting your own business. You can learn a lot once you find a mentor who has already accomplished success starting a business from home. They can give you advice that will better help you to find success. They can also give you a lot of insights that they have learned along the way. A lot of established entrepreneurs enjoy helping others grow their business, so find someone who can offer valuable information for you, particularly, someone who has experience in your industry.

Conclusion

Starting a business from home can be a tricky endeavour but with the right advice, you can get started on the right foot. This has the important information that you need to be successful as you start your journey to be a self-employed entrepreneur. Starting a business from home requires you to have an idea and a plan on how you are going to achieve it. However, this isn’t possible unless you get a strong foundation to start with.

This article was written on behalf of The Brand Perceptionist by Alexander Ffrost. Alex is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for small business, and the creation of new stuff that no-one else has made or that beats the heck out of anything previously created. He loves starting and growing new companies in challenging sectors. Preferably with zero prior experience of the market or industry. In his spare time, Alex starts new brands and dreams of one day being Sir Alex. Or, alternatively, just designing another shirt with a “touch of Ffrost”.  To learn more about Alex and his awesome inventions, visit his website at www.alexffrost.com.