Top 10 Things You Need to Start a Home Business
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
February 7, 2011
Filed Under Careers
Contributed by Denise McGill, Catalogs.com Info Guru
Starting your own home business can be an exciting and daunting task at the same time.
The chance to be your own boss, name your own hours and be in command of your earning potential are some of the benefits of working for yourself.
Whether you are leaving your day job or are just looking to earn some extra money from home, here is a list of top ten things you need to start a home business successfully.
10. Ergonomic workstation
It’s time to set up office so be sure to be kind to your body! An ergonomic workstation will eliminate aching backs and tired eyes. The proper executive chair, desk and desktop lighting all play an important part in home office comfort.
9. Separate phone line
It goes without saying – you have to keep in touch with customers or clients and they need to be able to contact you. A dedicated phone line gives your home business a professional tone. As tempting as it may be, don’t let the kids leave the message greeting! You may be able to arrange for a separate number on your cell phone, so you’ll never miss a business call — usually a cheaper option than a land line.
8. Organizational tools
Also on the list of things you need for a home business are items that keep your space organized. Often a home business has to set up shop in a corner of a room or spare bedroom. Organizational items as large as a file cabinet to store paperwork and as small as a weekly planner to keep the “To Do” list up-to-date are essential.
7. Supplies and accessories
Stocking your new ergonomic workstation with office supplies and desk organization accessories so you work efficiently is the next step. File folders, writing utensils, note pads, pencil holders, and paper clips are the details that make work effortless. Have everything on hand, so there is minimal running to and from the office supply store.
6. Business cards
Your customized business cards are all about networking with potential clients, vendors and customers. They are your professional introduction and welcoming handshake when meeting people. Don’t scrimp here – if you pay to print anything, business cards are vitally important. Keep the business cards you collect through out the workweek because you never know when that all-important contact may benefit your business.
5. Business bank account
Just as important as a dedicated phone line is a separate bank account for your home business. Expenses and income from your home business should be separate from personal household accounts. You never know when the IRS will come knocking.
Whether you decide to work on a laptop, tablet or a desktop, one of the most important items sitting on your new desk to run a home business will be a computer. Storing customer records, income and expense statements, and spreadsheets are tasks the computer can easily handle to help simplify workday activities. Be sure to have a back up system in place to save your files. Nothing is worse than losing valuable data.
With the purchase of your computer, you will want to buy computer software that accommodates your line of business. Accounting, database or design software are just a few of the packages you may want to consider. For instance, the right accounting software to handle financials can be like having a bookkeeper on site!
Your computer is up and the software is loaded so now it is time to design a website to promote your business. A website is your storefront to the world on the internet. Some people choose to design their own websites using the templates available through various companies. Others choose to have a web designer create and maintain a professional looking site. Either way, take the time to be sure your website accurately portrays your business and your product offerings.
#1 on the list of things you need for a home business is to know your customer. As simple as this seems, it is important to have a good understanding of your basic customer profile. Things like age group, demographics, income, interests and hobbies all play into the mix. Collecting this data allows you to get a better picture of a typical customer or client so you can serve their needs.