Working from the comfort of your home comes with a lot of appeal. You can take your conference calls poolside, work from a nearby coffee shop, and you technically don’t ever have to change out of your pyjamas. However, if you don’t have a few of the basics in place it’s not as great of a workplace as you would think. Here are some things to consider before starting a home-based business.
What Is The Product You Are Selling?
Figure out if you’re planning on launching a product-based business or a service-based one. Next, see if there’s any online accreditations or certification programs that you can take that would make your business idea more marketable. You’ll want to set up a website, email address, social media accounts and start thinking about how you plan to market yourself. Get laser-focused on creating communication assets and network opportunities through community-based platforms, content and media.
Do I Have A Business Plan?
In simple terms, a business plan is a plan for how your business is going to work and become profitable. While many success stories were written on one side of a napkin, a business plan is essentially a guide that outlines execution strategies to reach your goals. Business plans are great when you’re just starting a home-based business. This gives you help when challenges arise, you can refer back to your business plan and identify a strategy forward quickly and seamlessly.
How Can I Think Big?
While you might be a “small business,” you don’t need to act like it. The early days of starting a home business are an exciting, educational-rich time period. Think about it like your professional playground to learn, iterate and improve your processes and product offerings based on market needs. No matter how much expertise or job-specific knowledge you might have, there will be challenges along the way when you’re operating a business from your home. Over time, it’s the core fundamentals that you set in place in the early days that will allow you to develop your processes and ideas over time.
Speaking of operations…
Think About Contingency Plans, Processes and Procedures
Crisis management and contingency plans are a critical component of every business. Thinking about potential risks early on can give you an advantage through sheer preparation and foresight. Preparing for the unexpected allows you to do the “mental strategizing” beforehand. So at the moment, you can act on mitigating risk quickly and from a strategic point of view.
As a home business, this can be anything from executing operations procedures when a client faults on a payment or when your tax statements are due. Implementing sound operations and procedures early on will empower you to quickly identify any areas in need of improvement. For example, if you’re forgetting to make your bill payments every month, or struggling with a paperwork mountain, you need to make some adjustments to your operations. Consider automating your administrative processes so that you can focus on building your business. Your small business needs to be developed to drive revenue, make onboarding clients easier, advertising your services —while keeping your accounting organized.
The key here is to develop easy-to-follow organizational processes that you know will work for you and your business.
Acknowledge Your Wins
In some ways, running a small business is like earning a self-taught MBA. Kind of like a crash course in the fundamentals of business; but applied in real-time and with minimal training. Which means that on some days, there isn’t anyone around to celebrate your wins. Regardless of how big or small your home business is, culture starts with you. Whether you have ambitions to transform your small home business into a mega-operation with a team, or plan to keep things scaled-down and profitable, culture is based on your professional conduct and dedicated effort to celebrating your everyday wins.
Be Honest About Your Schedule
We can oftentimes find ourselves trapped in the “to-do” list. Mounting inboxes or constant research and development can leave you feeling overwhelmed. When you’re running our business out of your home, it can be easy to stray from the normal 9-5 work schedule. Set a schedule that you can dedicate a set number of work hours to each day and stick to it. You’ll be able to assess over time when your peak hours of productivity are, and when it works for you to take a break. Remember, “errand time,” can quickly contribute to procrastination toward your work in a momentary bout of feeling uninspired.
Address Process Gaps Quickly and Leverage Automation to Scale
Remaining agile and quick at identifying process gaps, will allow you to scale more quickly and earn more control of your monthly income. However, you must develop a sharp sensitivity to identifying tools and opportunities for automation. A superpower of the best entrepreneurs is the ability to be fast, but not without compromising strategy.
When you address process gaps as fast as possible, armed with technology that supports automation, you can innovate and bring solutions to the market more quickly and in a highly-scalable way.
Get Your Business Insured
There’s no denying that starting a home business is an exciting venture. It’s one that offers an opportunity for flexible living and personal achievement.
If you’re ready to start your home business today, make sure that your new undertaking is protected with insurance. Some entrepreneurs assume their home insurance will cover their business because it takes place in their home, but this is not the case. If you use your laptop, printer and desk for your home-based business, they likely wouldn’t be covered. Your home insurance liability also ends where your business begins. A classic example, a client slips on your icy driveway and sues you. You wouldn’t be covered because they came to your house (which happens to be where your business is) – but not your official place of business.
If you’re thinking of starting a home business our small business team can help you identify the best coverage for you. Most home-based businesses are quite straight forward and premiums can be affordable, most under $500.