5 questions to ask before starting a home-based business…These days you can work from anywhere!

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If you’re getting tired of the view from your cubicle and want to start a business of your own, you’ll need to figure out a few things first.
A lot of people consider self-employment because they’ve lost their seemingly stable jobs in the corporate world. Others just dream of making it on their own. As online marketing becomes easier and more accessible, and employees discover the advantages of telecommuting, home-based work alternatives are becoming increasingly attractive.
But, have you really planned, investigated and strategized this business idea to the point that you are ready to take the plunge? Get off the ground running with a solid, well thought out platform and have an accounting professional on board to spare you the pitfalls many businesses make that sabotage a good idea or make the path to success so much more of a struggle.
If running a business out of your home sounds good to you, don’t quit your day job just yet. Take time to fully investigate the pluses, minuses and ramifications of starting your own home-based business. Here are five questions to consider:
• Is there a market for your product or service? Just because your coworkers or relatives rave about your new business idea, don’t assume that everyone shares their enthusiasm. You’ll need to rely on a variety of marketing tactics to get the word out about your business, especially if you won’t have a brick-and-mortar location that will naturally pique customer interest in your community.
• Are you excited about your business idea? To be successful, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to your business day in and day out. If you aren’t enthusiastic deep down about your firm’s product or service, you may find it difficult to weather the storms that confront every business.  Have you investigated your industry, attended conferences, educated yourself on how others are making a go of it?
• Is it a good fit for you? If you don’t like working with the public, a retail business probably doesn’t make sense for you. Or perhaps your business will require hours in front of a computer. If your forte is face-to-face interaction with people and not holing up in your house for hours, you may need to rethink your strategy.  There are work environments that you can consider that are not traditional offices where you can get out of the house, interact with people, build a network, etc.  Isolation is not fun.  Look into creative office solutions if you need that kind of energy that a home office might not provide.
• How will you allocate time for the business? For many people, a home-based business is convenient and often begins as a part-time venture. Do you have the discipline to stick to a work schedule when your TV is staring at you from the living room? Allocating a specific room for business (with a door!) will help you compartmentalize work life and home life.
• How will you finance startup costs? As a general rule, you should have funds set aside to cover at least six months of your home-based operating expenses. Without an adequate financial buffer, you may spend many unproductive hours just trying to keep the business afloat.
For those willing to take the plunge, a home-based business can provide great satisfaction. But as with any business venture, it pays to do your homework. If you would like to discuss issues related to starting a business, give us a call.  We know business, we know how to organize one, what the tax strategies are, how to build a business plan, who you need on board as partners toward your success.  We can transform the process to get you up and running faster than you can do it on your own.  And we love to help small businesses!

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