10 Things to consider when starting your own home business

The most important thing to consider when you are starting a home business is YOU! In order to be successful, your home business has to fit your talents and interests.

Opening a business is like getting married ... you are going to be spending a lot of time with it, so it is important that you be compatible! :-)

The second most important thing to remember is that starting a home business takes time, an investment of money, and lots of marketing to get it going.

You WILL need to make some smart investments in order to get started. Even if you are shy and hesitant to "toot your own horn" :-) you WILL need to learn how to market your business!

Below are some questions to consider when you are starting a home business.

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1.  Is starting a home business for you?

  • Do you have the discipline to work your business every day?
  • Are you able to motivate yourself and work without supervision?
  • Can you handle not having a predictable, regular income?
  • Can you rapidly adapt to change?
  • Are you able to learn new things to grow with your business?
  • Are you willing to market your business? Read some high quality marketing books to get an idea of what is involved.  (This famous book is now free!)
  • Are you optimistic and willing to take risks?
  • Do you have time and money to invest to get your business going?
  • Is there a place in your home that can be an uninterrupted work space so, that you can work from home productively?

2.  What do you know about start-up costs?

  • How much will starting my business cost?
  • How much will it cost to maintain and market my business? Expect to spend money on advertising!
  • How will I obtain the money to start my business?
  • Can I handle the start up costs or will it put me too much in debt?
  • Does my business plan look like it will work?

3.  Is there a market for your product or services?

It's important to know when you are starting a home business whether the product or service that you will be selling is in demand.

For a business that will require a large, significiant initial investment, you will want to hire a market research professional to help you answer this question.

If you will be starting a home business that involves community based services like gardening, you can learn about market needs through doing some simple research on your own.

One way to do market research on the internet is to compare supply and demand for websites. See my article on Creating a Search Engine Friendly Website and scroll down to the profitability research paragraph.

4.  How much preparation is required?

  • How much time will I need to get my business up and running?
  • Will I have enough income to support me during the preparation phase?
  • Do I have enough money and skills to start my home business?
  • Do I have the needed office organization skills?

5.  Will you make enough money?

Don't think about starting a home business before carefully considering the pay potential.

  • What will it take for me to break even? You may need an accountant to help estimate your expenses.
  • How much will I need to work to earn a profit each day?
  • Will my profit be enough to compensate me for the time, energy and expenses I have invested in the business?

6.  How much time can you devote to your business?

Think carefully about how much time you have to devote to your business, and keep your goals in line with the realities of your life. For example, if you have 3 young children, don't consider starting a home business that requires 70 hours of work a week!

7.  Will you be providing customer service?

Think about whether you want to be involved in interacting with your customers, providing services or product assistance.

If you love people you will probably do well in this area. If you don't have the patience for this kind of thing, consider another business model, or make sure you are starting a home business that provides customer service for you!

I personally now spend all my time working on my website and don't personally offer counselling services. That's the best possible way I can help as many people as possible. I don't invite my visitors to get in touch, not because I don't care, but because I get far too many requests. Instead I have an affiliate programme on my site, so that people can reach out if they need to talk to someone.

BTW - here's how I built my business.

8.  Do you have the necessary skills?

Think carefully about what you need to know in order to make your home business dream a reality. Do you have the necessary skills?

If you will be starting a home business without the needed knowledge, are you willing and able to learn, or do you have others to help you?

9.  What is your business plan?

All businesses need a plan for how you will achieve profitability. Many people neglect this aspect of starting a home business because the process is tedious and time consuming to research and write a business plan.

However without proper planning you are walking in the dark, and your business start up risk is much greater. Once you have chosen a business venture, remember that you will be writing a business plan for it. You can hire some help for the process which will cost you a few hundred to a thousand dollars. 

10.  How do you avoid scams?

If you are working as an affiliate or a distributor for another company, it's very important to make sure you choose a reputable company. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Are their products good quality?
  • Are their products in demand?
  • Do they ship products on time?
  • Do they offer their customers a money back guarantee?
  • Do they offer good quality customer support?
  • Do they pay their affiliates or distributors on time?
  • What do average affiliates or distributors earn?
  • What kind of marketing support does the company provide to their affiliates or representatives?
  • Can you earn a good commission from sales or do you need to recruit others into the business in order to earn a profit?
  • How much does it cost to get started in the business?
  • Are their monthly sales quotas or purchase requirements?

Learn more about how to choose a legitimate network marketing company, and educate yourself about work at home scams before getting involved with any home business opportunity.

Images courtesy of: Chris Murphy