Perhaps you are starting a home business offering professional services. Whether you are an electrician or a proofreader, your biggest question is: “How do I make my business known?” Here are some tips from others who have faced this question. They can help you build a thriving business–right from your home.
You will want to rent a post-office box for receiving any mail related to your home business. It is not safe to publish your address online, and you need to be careful. Having a PO box is a security measure and will prevent someone you don’t know from coming to your home unannounced.
If you feel yourself getting stressed in your home business, take a breather. Sometimes when you work from home, it is easy to forget to take breaks. It’s more than likely your business on the line, after all. But if something stressful is occurring, take the time to relax for 10-15 minutes. You’ll come back to the problem with a clearer head and be more productive in solving it.
Do not get caught up in multi-level marketing and get-rich-quick schemes. Your home business should be a legitimate idea, that sells a product or service. If you start gearing yourself towards what seems too good to be true, then you are spinning your wheels. Devise a solid business plan of your own and attain the resources to make it come to life.
Having a separate account for your business finances makes record keeping much easier. Use your business checking account for all your business purchases. This will help you keep track of how much your business is making. You should set up a separate business credit card account as well, using it for things like ordering supplies and paying contractors.
Use an online service or software to design a matching set of postcards, fliers and brochures to send out to customers and prospects. Look online for printer suppliers that offer an interface that allows you to add text to one of their existing designs, or upload your own. Choose a design as your “brand,” the look and feel you want people to identify with your business.
Keep separate business checking accounts and business credit cards it makes it much easier to track money and you’ll surely appreciate that at tax time. If you are on a shoestring budget, keep meticulous records and your needs are simple (i.e. sole proprietor), this may be optional. Get final advice from a trusted Certified Public Accountant.
You can claim as a deduction the cost of meals for clients, but it is best if you can show that the clients you are entertaining are really paying customers of your business. Auditors understand that meals at restaurants can be a good way to attract clients, but they are more likely to feel the write-off is justified if the clients you take out also bring you substantial revenue. Keep all receipts.
Don’t let success or failure go to your head. A successful business does not equal a successful human being. Likewise, a professional failure is not the same as a failed person. Remember to separate your professional persona from who you as a person. This will insulate you from both depression and arrogance.
As a home business owner it is critical that you protect your original business ideas. If you do not take actions to protect yourself, it is highly likely that someone will steal your business ideas. Take the necessary steps to trademark your business name and logo. You can also copyright the things you write for your business and you might even have and idea that can be patented. As a home business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your unique ideas.
You should have a dedicated workspace for your home business. The fact is, that many home business owners can be susceptible to distraction if they aren’t focused. Getting organized and devoting a space of your home for your business is a smart idea, keeping you organized and on track.
Do not risk failure by failing to explore all of your networking options. Register yourself and your business on online professional networking and small business communities sites and interact often with others. Attend local seminars, conventions, and lectures marketed toward small or start-up home businesses. You will absorb valuable information and spread the word about your company.
If you are planning to start a home-based business, try teaching music lessons. If you play a musical instrument, it’s an invaluable tool for making money. Good music teachers command good pay, you can use any room in your home and you will have no start-up costs. It’s the perfect way to use your talent to your advantage.
Have a dedicated phone which is just for your business. You can also write this off taxes at the end of the year. If you aren’t interested in having an additional line installed, determine the ratio of personal to business calls you receive and deduct a percentage of your telephone bill.
Become knowledgeable about what you do. You should be able to inform people about your products, but you should also do your best to become an expert in the area. Write useful content on your website, write articles to be featured on other websites and give talks in your community about a topic related to your products.
Choosing a specific niche for one’s home business can increase how successful the business is. Choosing a niche will mean that one does not have as many competitors to work against when first starting. It will also guarantee a select pool of customers who will be interested in one’s business.
These tips have given you a lot of sound advice. You are probably planning your Linked-In entry and your Facebook page right now. The internet is a big help. But as these tips have shown, there are also other ways to make your business known. Diligent effort can bring you a thriving business and an important place in your community.