Home Is Where the Startup Business Is: What You Need to Know

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Guest Post by: Eva Benoit

Opening and running a business is a dream many have. Being your own boss and living your dream can seem like an impossible feat, yet it just takes a bit of preparation and courage. However, to be successful, you need to know the basics before you begin.

Options for Home-Based Business

If you want to create a business but don’t know exactly what to do, there are plenty of paths available. One such option is to become a freelance consultant. Are you experienced in a given field? Then you can do consultancy. Begin by researching how you want to advertise yourself. Are you going to set up an LLC? Do you need a field-specific insurance? One way to determine what your fee should be is to take your last salaried position and divide by 100. This covers days you go without work, as well as covers sick pay and holidays.

Are you artistic? Starting a blog or doing freelance graphic design are two possibilities. If you have a history of web design, you can make that a full-time business. It’s one of the biggest growth industries at the moment, so take advantage of it. There are as many possibilities as there are people, so don’t discount the real viability of starting a successful business from home.

Essential Business Tools

You are going to need a full set of proper work tools when you start your own business, no matter what your venture is. You’ll want a computer — preferably a laptop so you can take your work with you — and a solid internet and phone connection in your office space. Otherwise, your tools will largely be determined by your business and preference. If you have difficulty being still, a standing desk is a good option. You’ll need a website and software to manage it. You’ll want a mobile version, as an increasing amount of activity is done from our phones and other devices.

Attract Your First Clients

Getting a startup off the ground is certainly an intimidating aspect of becoming an entrepreneur; after all, freelancing is not guaranteed income. Regardless, you can find clients if you put a bit of effort into growing your new business. Think of your skill set and what you offer to potential clients. One way to get attention is to create an online workshop. Reach out to your network of friends, family, and past employers. Stay in contact, as you never know when people will need your skills. Take advantage of social media — and not just Facebook and Instagram. Use Pinterest, Tumblr, and others to advertise your expertise and grow your network. What makes you stand out from others in your field? How do you offer something different, unique, or niche? Make this obvious on your social media, and use keywords to your advantage.

Tips for Working from Home

The biggest killers of at-home businesses are distractions. The best way to stay focused is to have an area of your home dedicated to work and to treat it like an office space. Don’t show up in your pajamas, no matter how much more comfortable it is. When you begin your work, know what you want to have accomplished by lunch, and then by the end of your day. If you have kids home from school, you can hire a local babysitter to watch them and keep them entertained while you work. 

With that in mind, you need to have set working hours. If you are working at odd hours of the day, or whenever you “feel” like it, you won’t accomplish anything, and you may suffer from burnout. You also need to know what sort of environment you work best in. Some of us need quiet and isolation to focus, while those who are more extroverted may need periodic socialization to accomplish tasks. If that’s the case, you may want to work a few hours each morning in your local coffee shop or make sure you socialize on the breaks you take.

With the right tools and planning, anyone can master their dream. You may be afraid to take the first steps, but it’s important to start. There is risk involved, but that can be said of anything. Take a chance and live your dream.


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