What you need to consider when setting up a home business
Setting up a home business can be a daunting task. You will find many people will offer varying opinions on how to go about the process. If you can manage to keep it simple and rely on the help at hand however, the task becomes a little easier with some careful planning. I just thought i would share with you a few tips and a bit of a basic plan which will help you get set up and set in place some foundations when you are setting up a home business.
You are going to require an investment budget when setting up a home business. It is important to realise that whilst cheap may be the cost effective, short term route; long term, it may cost you a lot more. Consider your purchases carefully, shop around and haggle on price. Most of all do your homework on what items will be suitable for you, whilst also lasting the distance.
Here are some of the fundamentals you will need for setting up a home business:
Any home internet business will obviously need a computer. You don’t need to rush out and buy a state of the art PC if you have a perfectly good PC or laptop at home already. As long as the computer has an adequately fast processor which can cope with high speed broadband, you will be fine.
I find that my laptop serves me well, and also allows me to work from other places when the need arises. A local computer shop will be able to assist with your decision to buy or upgrade existing equipment. Do take the time to go over your options and requirements with an expert, who can advise appropriately dependent on your needs if you do need to upgrade.
Access to the Internet
To be able to do business on-line, you need to have a good connection to the Internet. Internet speeds can vary, dependent on area, but the faster you can get it, the better! Shop around the Internet providers in your area, to see what deals they can offer you. Ensure that you are getting a competitive price for the package you have chosen. ALWAYS read the small print for connection charges and/or leaving charges.
A working area
It is important that you find a suitable place to work from without distraction. If there are others in the house that may distract your attention from your work, you will need to create a space or an an office to work from. A home office needs to be a place where you can work uninterrupted, but also where you are not disturbing anybody else in the household.
You will require a suitable desk and office chair, preferably ones that you find comfortable; as you will be spending a lot of time here. Suitable lighting will also make for a better environment. We have converted our old dining room into an office, and it is now a dedicated space for working our home business, and as a home study and storage space.
Now here is some of the basic equipment your office will require when setting up a home business:
There are many varieties of printers available nowadays. The multifunctional ones may be better for your needs, offering the ability to photocopy, fax and scan as well as print. These machines have become very cheap over the years, it can sometimes be cheaper to buy a new one, rather than purchase a full ink cartridge replacement set! Do shop about regarding the price of ink refills, to consider which machine will be the most cost effective, in the long term. By doing this homework before purchase, you can save lots of money down the road.
In this day and age, it is perfectly acceptable to commit to working from home and conducting most business needs ‘virtually’. There will be tutorials you will want to view, webinars you will want to attend and Skype calls you will want to partake in. The wonderful options of your PC, that many take for granted, will all now be important tools for your business. Although many PC’s and laptops may come with built in speakers and webcams, for practicality and comfort you may want to consider buying external speakers, a webcam and a VoIP headset (headset with microphone), to enable optimum potential when using these functions.
All offices need a telephone. This can be (if needs be), an extension from the living room area, or a designated office line. A dedicated business mobile phone or internet phone may also be required, should you wish to leave the office, whilst still being able to take work calls anywhere in the world. This will give you the freedom to be able to leave the office at the drop of a hat, as most mobile phones also have mail and internet features to enable you to access other functions of your business when on the move.
There are many apps available for smart phones which are designed to make your life a lot easier. Do be sure to scope out which ones will enhance your life, ensuring it makes a positive impact on your life and your business.
Business can pick up really quickly; keeping on top of everything can be a massive job if you are not prepared and organised. Be sure to start as you mean to go on and have a designated diary/calendar for work use. Many people will have a hardback diary and an electrical calendar. The diary is used to make notes in meetings or reminders for events and meetings in the future. Electronically, smart phones will have many apps that can assist you in organising your schedule. I use both a hard copy and electronic scheduling to stay on top of my weekly schedule.
Keep a Journal
A journal can be used for making immediate notes to be referred back to should you require. It is a handy tool to have at hand to ensure learning points and ideas are captured, either from a meeting, webinar or tutorial. I keep well documented notes from all of my meetings and webinars and file them accordingly. I find they make a handy reference tool for when you need a refresher, if you need to use it as a teaching tool, or just a record of your working from home journey (can also be used as material for blog posts). Either way, by keeping a journal, you are keeping a record of important moments and learning points in setting up a home business, which is an invaluable reference.
Filing is not one of the most pleasant jobs in the world to do. The art of manual filing is something, that when adapted from the beginning, will save you an immeasurable amount of time in the long run. Do yourself a favour and get yourself a filing cabinet, with appropriate dividers (which can be easily marked), for when it is time to file away important documentation. This can include: receipts, stationary, bills and invoices (which you will require for your accountant). By law, all accounting receipts must be kept for 6 years! Believe me, even in this electronic age, a lot of paperwork is still generated and having a good system set up from the start will make life much easier.
If you have little to no experience with accounting, you will most likely need an accountant, certainly in your first year of trading anyhow. Consider what you will need your accountant to do and fine tune quotation requests around your requirements. I drew up a list of requirements, and phoned around my local accountancy firms to discuss their specialisms. Sometimes, it is best not to go for the cheaper option with an accountant, but go with someone who suits your needs and requirements more.
Once your home business has found its foundations, it is easier to begin with the tasks at hand. Getting organised is highly important when setting up a home business, and planning ahead will serve you well in all future endeavours. Begin how you mean to continue and you’ll do just fine. Good luck!
I set my home office up a few years back now, and have been building my work from home business and fine tuning my techniques and strategies as i go. I have gained much valuable information from many different mentors and sources, but my main influence and direction has come from The Six Figure Mentors training programme which i am following and am an Elite associate of.
If you would like to find out a bit more about this fantastic training program, and setting up a home business please click on the banner below:
To your success