The benefits of running your own home business are very obvious, but what is often overlooked are the subtle problems that will be encountered along the way. You can never predict each change in law, technology, or the business world; however, you can prepare yourself with advice that allows you to adapt and move with the world around you.
Keep two phone lines, one for home and one for the business. Using the same phone line for both is unprofessional. Your business calls may be answered by your family, who know nothing about the customer. In addition, you should have a message on your answering machine that is specific to your business.
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.
Pay estimated taxes. For a home business owner, it is preferable to pay your taxes four times a year. Unless you want a shock when it’s tax time, contact the IRS and set up a payment process. Not only are you responsible for regular tax, you will have to pay self-employment tax.
Treat yourself like a professional. Have business cards made, sign your e-mails with a proper title, and go through your entire day making decisions as if you worked at a corporate building. Your business is run from your home, but you must still carry yourself as a professional so that potential customers and clients will regard you as such.
Only promote products you believe in 100%. Find manufacturers that have the type of policies and values you can comfortably stand behind. When you spend a lot of time, money, and effort to build a business and promote products, your belief in those products comes through in every thing you do.
Set up a Post Office box for all your business mail. It’s best to do this, rather than put your family at risk by using your physical address. This is especially important if you are doing most of your business online. Don’t ever post your home address online, for any reason.
Get together a list of the things you wish to accomplish every day. There may be a few things you don’t get around to, but setting reasonable and achievable goals everyday can help you accomplish more. Establish clear boundaries with your family regarding what is work time and what is family time.
To experience success in a home-based business, you will need to develop the habit of adaptability. Very few things in life, as well as in business, go as planned. With any business, you may encounter unforeseen events and surprises. By practicing the habit of adaptability, you can change courses in your business venture without being frozen by fear and uncertainty.
Make sure you have a support network before starting your home business. This includes family members who need to be aware of the time commitment involved, as well as an external networks you can reach out to for advice or support. Working from home has numerous benefits, but remaining a part of a group outside your home is invaluable.
If you are selling products, then you will need to charge your customers the appropriate tax for their state. It is up to you to find out what the state tax is, where they are and add that amount to the cost of the item that they are buying.
Don’t let yourself be lazy with your home business. Write up a business plan before you open up shop, and be sure to stick to it. If you want to be absolutely certain your plans are sound, contact a business adviser for a few expert tips before you open your doors for business.
Treat your home business just as you would any other job. A home business takes just as much work and oftentimes more than a typical job. Many people consider a home business for more flexibility in their schedule. While you can set your own schedule, you will often find that you spend more time working at a home business.
A good home business tip is to not be afraid to travel to go to a conference. All travel that’s related to your business can be deducted. All you have to do is keep every receipt from your travels and present them when it’s time to do your taxes.
If your home business runs into problems with local zoning laws, you have the option to request a variance. This can be as simple as filling out a brief form about the business and providing some basic information. In some cases, your case might be publicly heard by city or county officials before the variance is granted.
A great tip for your home business is to be sure to do all the research you can to minimize the cost of materials for your products. This is important because often times you can save a lot of money by finding a good wholesale seller to purchase your goods from.
Don’t repeat your neighbor’s business. You might think you have a unique idea, but before doing a market research you can’t know it for sure. Find out how many other companies are on the market offering similar products and services, and design your business to offer special services not available from others.
Work a set schedule of hours every day. While you will need to be flexible to accommodate the needs of your clients, working a set schedule will help discipline you so that your work gets done on time. It also allows you to schedule projects and manage workflow in advance.
If you go along with the information listed here, you will find yourself in a better position from a profitable perspective and still keep the freedom and relaxation of working through home. Of course, some changes will be required, but the point is to continue adapting with the flow and remaining two steps ahead of the competition.