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Make a Plan Before Taking The Plunge: Set Your Home Business Up For The Best Chance of Success

Running a business from home is the dream for many. You get to pour your passion and creativity into something you really care about instead of being stuck in the rat race. There’s no commute, and you get to work from the comforts of your own property. For lots of people it’s a win-win situation. But setting up your own home business isn’t all plain sailing, and more goes into it than you might have realised. Here are a few things to consider before you take the plunge.

Set Yourself Up For Success With a Good Office

First things first, if you’re going to be working from home it makes sense to have an area that’s dedicated to working. This helps to keep work and your personal life separate, and when you’re done for the day, you can leave your home office and return to it your next working hours. When you work for yourself it can be easy for these lines to become blurred, you can end up working all hours, and this is actually bad for productivity. It puts you at risk of burnout and becoming overworked. Transform a spare bedroom, attic, basement or conservatory into an office and make the space pleasant to work from.  Nice decor, a good sized desk and comfortable chair are essentials. You’ll also need a powerful computer, good office equipment and all of the stationery and other accessories that most commercial offices use just on a smaller scale. Think paper, stamps, envelopes, paperclips, post-it notes and other everyday office essentials.

Register Your Details

When you work for yourself, whether it’s as a sole trader, a partnership or limited company, you need to let the relevant authorities know. This means everything is registered and legitimate and you can then pay the correct taxes. This might sound a little scary and complicated, but really it’s just a case of filling in a few forms- these days it’s mostly just done online. Each year you fill in a tax return and pay the tax you owe based on your profits. You can hire companies like Akshar Accountants to take care of all of this for you if you don’t want to do it yourself. It’s relatively hassle free, and if you keep back some of your profits each month and put it into a savings account, then you’re not left with a big bill to pay at the end of the financial year.

Decide Where To Sell

As a home business, in most cases you will be selling your items or services online instead of directly from your door. So you will need to decide where it is you will be setting up shop. You could have a website created, but you will need good marketing techniques to boost it in search engine listings and make sure the right customers know about it. For this reason, it could be worth starting off selling from an online marketplace instead as well. Ebay, Etsy and Amazon are all good choices, and as your website becomes more established you could switch to selling solely from there instead. That way you avoid fees charged every time you sell, although you will likely need to pay for yearly hosting, website design and a marketing company to promote you. This can be relatively complex so unless you know a lot about marketing yourself then it can be best left to the professionals.

Budget Carefully

When you’re first starting out with your business, unless you’ve spent significant time saving beforehand, chances are you won’t have a whole lot of money to get started. For this reason, you need to be budgeting carefully and spending your money wisely. Using business budgeting software can be useful, and of course having a contingency fund can help to keep you out of the red if you run into trouble. Anything from a burglary to a fire or flood could damage important equipment or leave you out of business for a short while, so it’s worth having some money to keep you ticking over until your insurance pays out.

Invest in an App

As well as an excellent, well presented and fast loading website, your business should also have an app created. This is something large businesses got on board with years ago, but SMBs are still to catch up. More sales are now made on smartphones and tablets than on laptops and computers, so this is information you really shouldn’t overlook as a company owner- even if your business is small and run from home.  An app is stored on the customer’s phone meaning your details are only ever a click of a button away. You can communicate offers or messages via notifications. One other fantastic benefit of having an app created is that it makes your company look more trustworthy and reliable. As a smaller business, this can be something that’s tricky to achieve, with so many scams and fraudulent sites out there you have to convince customers that you’re one of the good guys. No scam company will go to the effort of having a high-quality app created and plus it needs to be verified, so this is a good route to take.

Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

Finally, it goes without saying you should be focusing on your own businesses success. However, you need to be keeping an eye on your competitors too, since when they make a move, it can affect you as you’re all after the same customers. Conduct thorough market research to make sure your products, pricing and everything else is right and that your competitors aren’t pricing you out of the market. Stay up to date with technological advances, and make sure your competitors aren’t making changes to their business that could render yours obsolete. Read your reviews as well as theirs, make sure you’re not missing anything important.

What steps did you take to maximise your home businesses chance of success?