quite a staggering fact that in the last few years home-based businesses have
grown to represent 52% of all small businesses and 10 percent of the total
receipts of the economy (approximately $314 billion), according to the Small
Business Administration (SBA).
the root of this trending is the fact that of all the forms of business
ownership, starting a home-based business is low cost, low risk and for the
long-haul (less than five percent actually ever move out of the home).
isn’t to say that it’s easy. You’ll need a significant amount of personal,
financial, and family commitment. You’ll
also need to remove any rose-tinted spectacles and confront the realities of
business ownership – from tax considerations to the laws and regulations that
govern exactly what business you can do from within your home, and so on.
good news is that the amount of resources available to help home-based business
owners get started and scale their operations and profits is growing at almost
the same pace as the at-home businesses themselves.
U.S. government is at the forefront of much of this growth and below are some
of the best resources, offered by the government, that help home-based business
owners learn more about working out of their homes and managing their business
within the law.
Home-Based Business Guide from
Business.gov Web site (managed by the government’s Business
Gateway initiative) features a
whole host of resources and tools to advise and guide small business owners
through the process of starting and operating their business. Its Home-Based Business Guide includes tips on the following:
Before You Begin
– Assess whether you are ready to operate your business out of your home.
Starting a Home-Based Business – Includes a legal (think permits, zoning, and other
state regulatory requirements) and operational checklist to help you get
started, as well as guidance on business planning.
Financing a Home–Based Business – The costs of starting
a home-based business are low, but if your venture requires some form of
financing, programs such as the SBA Microloan Program
can help. Find the right loan for your business using this loans
and grants search tool.
Tax information –
Home-based businesses can benefit from certain tax deductions, but you’ll also
need to understand how being self-employed changes your tax reporting
while you are on the site, check out this very useful checklist – 10 Steps to Starting a Business. Business.gov also has its own social media arm – the Business.gov
Community ; if you can’t find the
answer to your home-based business question on the main site, there’s a good
chance that someone on here (peers and industry experts) can help you.
Free Small Business Online Training
& Podcasts (from the Small Business Administration)
self-paced 30 minute SBA online courses
are really great value and cover all aspects of doing business, including
operating a home-based business, starting and marketing your business, finance
and accounting (such as How to Prepare a Loan Package), and so on.
SBA also produces podcasts
that are available for download on subjects that range from “Getting your Small
Business Ready for Tax Season” to “Marketing to the Federal Government”.
Peer and Expert Advice in Your
businesses and home-based business are also very well served in terms of
business advice in the community. From the great resources offered by support
groups and peer networks, to local government resources such as your local
Chamber of Commerce, Small
Centers, SCORE, and local
SBA offices – there are oftentimes a host of resources in your own community,
if you know where to look. Find assistance, free training and advice in your