A home business can be exciting and thrilling. You don’t have a boss, you get all the profit, and you make all the decisions. While that can be exciting, it can also be worrisome if you don’t have the right information. Luckily, here are a few tips to keep you on track.
Write off your workspace. If you can create a dedicated room for your home office, you can write it off as a business expense. This covers a percentage of all costs, including mortgage or rent payments, utilities and insurance. Calculate the square footage of the area you use compared to the total square footage of your house, and divide the bills accordingly. Be careful though – the IRS will look closely at this type of expense.
If you have a business, then you need a budget. How can you run a cost efficient business without a budget? It is impossible, and therefore imperative that you incorporate a well devised budget into the planning process. This budget should include what your expenses are of course and it should itemize them. Make sure you are thorough and include everything so that you are not misleading yourself.
Set reasonable goals for your home business. It can be easy to get behind while working in the comfort of your own home. Set reachable goals just like you would at any other job and make sure they get accomplished. Don’t let work back up or your home may start to feel like a prison!
A major difference between running your own home business and being employed by someone else, is that you will have to learn to manage your own time. Organization and setting goals is very important. If you are not goal oriented, you can easily find yourself spending a lot of time doing a lot of nothing. Remember to create and set weekly and daily goals for yourself. You can then organize around these goals just like you would at any other job.
Make sure you respond to any customer inquiries in a timely manner. Keep track of your messages to make sure every question gets answered. This will show customers you care about your business and they will come back to do business with you for their future purchases or business needs.
To advertise your business create fliers, brochures and postcards. Ask businesses to hang your flier in their window, or post them on bulletin boards. Mail the postcards out to potential clients. To draw in more business put a code on your advertising materials that entitle the clients to a one time discount or free trial service.
Do more than your customers expect. One of the things customers love most about home business operators is the incredibly personal touch they feel when they interact with you or receive your products. Give your customers a surprise sample or coupon with their order. This does not have to cost you a lot — but it will build a large amount of goodwill with your customers.
Keep a detailed log of all business expenses, including miles driven and supplies purchased. Make sure to attach relevant receipts. This will help you when you need to file taxes. Additionally, if your business is ever audited, it will be much easier to face the audit if you already have detailed, day-by-day accounts.
Celebrate your successes with your home business to keep yourself excited and engaged. You may have a long-term business plan you are working towards, but take the time to enjoy the small milestones along the way. Whether it is a target number of customers or a big sale, celebrating smaller successes is just as important as acknowledging bigger successes.
Always get back to customers requests and questions in a timely manner. The faster you can get back to someone the more trust they will have in your business and in you. If a customer trusts you then they are halfway to buying from you. Make sure that you provide quality answers, if you need more time to get back to them, let them know that you are working on it.
Here is a tip for any home business: Try to put a smile on your customer’s faces. Adding an extra little something in with a customer’s order to surprise them will go along way towards building customer loyalty. A customer who receives more than they expected is a customer that will tell other people about the experience they had with you!
A great home business tip is to do as much research as you can. There’s always room to grow and by doing research, you’ll have a leg up on your competition. With the right knowledge you can potentially move your business into new areas when there are opportunities.
Follow up with your customers to find out what they think of your products. This will help you improve your business, and you can also use these reviews to create a new section of your website entitled ‘customers’ reviews’. Look for honest opinions and use the best ones on your website.
A great tip for your home business is to find creative ways to spread the word about your company in the community by holding free workshops or seminars. This is a great way to spread your knowledge, help the local community, and hopefully capture the attention of future customers.
Check with your insurer to see if your home insurance will cover your home business and it’s supplies, including computers. Often you are only allotted one to two thousand dollars to cover your computers at their depreciated value, so adding home business insurance can help ensure that you are covered with enough money to actually replace them if something bad were to happen.
Taking on a home business can be a dream come true, if you know what you’re doing and address what you need to address. Let these tips be a foundation for your business, helping you to grow and keep the right things in mind. A home business can be challenging yet rewarding. Try to have more rewarding moments than challenging moments by learning as much as you can.