Overview on Starting a Home-Based Business

Knowing how to start a home business is a valuable skill and presents an appealing opportunity for many people, whether their goal is to earn extra income or start on the path to a new career. However, the good news is that deciding to start a home-based business is not much different from the manner in which you start any other non-home-based business.  Any business will require an immense amount of planning and a strong devotion to the business. To succeed, you must have a strategic plan with all the minute details worked out. Once that is complete, you must put in the necessary work to make it happen. Fortunately, starting a home business does offer some advantages. You can avoid many of the hassles and expenses associated with a classic business structure, such as commercial rental expenses and permitting requirements.

Steps in Deciding Your Business Type

The following seven steps are required when deciding the type of business:

  1. You must examine and evaluate your skills and talents.
  2. Determine your financing needs.
  3. Understand your business competition.
  4. Realize the needs of your business marketplace.
  5. Begin to understand employment laws applicable to your business.
  6. Contemplate several of the most common ideas.
  7. Asses the space requirements of your business.

Evaluation of Your Talents

There is a significant difference between having talents and enjoying doing certain things. Enjoyment alone may not be sufficient enough to translate into a profitable business idea. To begin the evaluation of your talents, contemplate those skills or activities that you perform better than other people.  Your idea for a business can be found by using those skills developed over time in your professional life or a skill that you have learned through education. It is important that this skill is something you also enjoy conducting, as you will devote a majority of your time to establishing and running your business.  

Before you start your business, you are best served to conduct a self-assessment with the hopes of determining if you have the proper personality traits for success as an entrepreneur and self-employed individual. Those personality traits most commonly found in successful owners of a business are perseverance, self-reliance, initiative, self-motivation, and the ability to effectively handle the uncertain situations.

Assessment of Your Financing Requirements

Starting any business, whether traditional or home-based, requires you to have adequate capital. Capital will be needed to purchase inventory, production equipment, and cover all other initial operating costs. Capital can be raised from personal savings, or you could qualify for a loan to start your business.  However, you will be responsible for loan payments and obligations, which could be a significant challenge for any new business starting out.

Understand Your Competitive Environment

If your goal is to work from a local home base, you must look around your town to determine if there are other businesses like yours. If so, you must determine whether there is sufficient business for multiple entrants in your local area. As for online work, the marketplace is generally very crowded, so the goal will be to differentiate your business from any competitors.

Regardless of whether you start a local home-based business, an online business, or a traditional brick and mortar business, you must study your competitor’s pricing strategy to determine if it is feasible for you to offer your services or products for a lower cost. If so, you should be able to gain some of their customer base.  

Understand Your Market Needs

To understand the needs of your market, you should do the following:

  • Determine the wants and needs of potential customers in your area.
  • Figure out if you will market your services to businesses or consumers, or both.

After doing those two things, if you determine that the needs of your area match well with your interests and skills, you are well-positioned to start your home-based business.

Understanding  Employment Laws and Regulations

Labor laws are vital to your home-based business if your development plan includes hiring employees or temporary contract workers. Such laws and regulations cover overtime compensation, wages, employee benefits, and other compensation guidelines. Given the complexity and importance to your home-based business, you are best advised to hire an attorney to ensure that your business does not fail to comply with any laws or regulations.

If you need help understanding how to start a home business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent to its site. Lawyers from UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.