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Seven Questions to Answer Before You Start Home Based Business

A lot of people dream about having a home based business.  sometimes, though, they think all they have to do is find a suitable business and go to work.  There’s a lot more involved before you start home based business.  Here are seven things to think through before you get going.

1. Do you have a business plan?  A business plan is an essential.  Get help to develop yours if you need it.  Your business plan should answer several questions:
What does your business look like and what product or service do you provide?
What need or niche will you fill that no one else does?  In other words, how is your business different from all the others?
Who will your customers be?  Who is likely to choose to do business with you, and why?
How will you reach your customers and sell your product or service?
Where will you get the money to start and run the business?

Have you developed a business presence?  When you start home based business you will need to choose a name for your business, and then develop a “look” or “presence” that makes people think of your business.  You need a logo, and letterhead, and business cards, perhaps a website, and you need to consider how each item communicates what your business is about.

Do you have funding for your business?  Will you fund it yourself, and how?  If you fund the business 100%, you assume all the financial risk for it.  You may want to consider finding investors, getting a small business loan, or other financing resources.

Do you know what legal issues you’ll need to consider to start home based business?  Will your business be a sole proprietorship or a corporation?  You need to find out if you need a business license, and check if there are any zoning restrictions that keep you from running a business from your home.  It may be a good idea to check with a lawyer to make sure there aren’t any potential legal problems you should know about.

Do you understand business finances?  You need to understand the insurance, tax and accounting principles necessary to run a business.  You might want to consult an accountant and ask her to help you set up this aspect of your business.

Where will you work and what will your workspace look like?  Design your home office so that it functions efficiently for you.  If you plan to deduct certain business expenses from your income tax, you need a workspace that is set apart.  Think about storage, too, for office supplies and inventory.

How will you market your business?  You need a marketing plan.  How much money will you spend on marketing?  What can you do with little or no money?  There aren’t many people who will just walk up to your door looking for your product.  You have to know how you will market and sell it.

There’s a lot of footwork to be done before you actually start home based business.  Getting all your ducks in a row beforehand makes the difference between success and failure.  Use the resources available to help you, and consult the people who are willing to lend their expertise.  You can successfully start a home based business by thinking through the details and working hard to make it happen.

This Business article was written by Michael Fansler on 6/13/2006

Michael Fansler is the president and CEO of his own home-based courier service. He has had 3 books published on entrepreneurship and how to succeed with a home-based business. His favorite website, and one he highly recommends for anyone interested in owning their own home based business someday, is