I spoke a little on Sunday about starting a home based business and the costs that are involved with taking on such an endeavor. While doing some research for an article I’m currently writing about home based businesses I ran across an article by Score that stated that home based businesses are fairly successful: Nearly 70% of those that are started at home are still up and running two years later! (Read more here)
So what can make or break a home based business? Certain factors should exist if you want to be successful in your venture. In this article I’ll talk about some things that can definitely make your business success or cause your business to fail and how to avoid the latter if at all possible.
First, go in with enough money to sustain the business over a period of a few months if you start off making little to no income. Remember, businesses take time to build, and you need a certain amount of money to get your feet off the ground (in that article that I mentioned, many home based businesses require a $10,000 expenditure when starting off). Some costs include a web site, phone line, internet access, advertising materials, brochures and flyers.
Secondly, create a business plan. While many people do not, you should at least have a long-term goal in mind and steps that you need to take in order to accomplish this goal. This month Today’s BusinessMom is focusing on long-term goals: writing them and then taking the steps that need to be taken in order to meet them. (Join us for chat if you are in the process of writing long-term goals!)
Make a working schedule and stick to it! This is one of the hardest parts of owning a home-based business. You are always around the house, so it is easy to get sidetracked when it comes to working. Rather than returning calls you fold laundry; instead of tracking orders you wash dishes. You need a work schedule, a home schedule and a family schedule (and include spending time alone on that family schedule! You’ll need that too!)
Shop around. Don’t purchase the first thing that you find, whether it is equipment, supplies or services. Also, when you need to hire someone to do something for you, such as design your web site, ask around and use someone known to be reliable. I can’t tell you how many times I read on message boards about someone getting ripped off for work that was supposed to be completed, whether the person that was hired either did not do what the person wanted or did not do anything at all! Protect your money, and your sanity, by doing some research before hiring people to help you out.
Be realistic financially. Never guess when it comes to how much it will take you to purchase business cards, design a brochure, hire a web designer, purchase materials, access storage facilities, print a catalog or anything else. Do your research, learn the costs, and add them up before you begin making purchases. You don’t want to underguess and then find out once you’ve already started the company that the items you thought would cost a few thousand cost ten thousand. Many new businesses fail due to lack of funds, so be realistic financially from the start.