Working from home has always been the dream for many. There are many perks that come with it: being able to set your own hours, no commute, and working for yourself. With the current global situation, this has become a reality for many people – although not necessarily on the best terms. Some have lost their job, some have lost their businesses, and others are now working remotely. No matter which category you fall into, it is a great idea to look at your current situation as an opportunity. Perhaps now is the time to bring your dream to life and set up your own business. Here are some great tips on how to start a small business at home.
What is a home-based business?
Just as it sounds, a home-based business is one where your home is your principal place of business. Most people who set up this type of business set aside a space or room in their home, dedicated to the business.
There are nearly one million people in Australia running a business from home, but it does take a lot of discipline. While being able to set your own hours and skip the commute is great, if you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid. You need to be able to commit to the work in order to see your business succeed and grow. This can be hard when you are working from home. The benefit is, you don’t have to factor in overhead costs such as rent. Overheads add risk and can take out a lot of money from a small start-up business.
How to start a small business at home
Here are some steps to consider if you are looking at how to start a small business from home:
1. Decide on a business idea
Let’s face it, when it comes to setting up a business from home, it’s a fairly inundated market. Do your research and see if your product or service stands out and whether it is already being done. Of course, if you think you can do it better than the competition then that is fine as well!
2. Look at the details
There is a lot to think about when it comes to setting up a business from home. Make sure you read up on everything. Look at any tax obligations you will have. You may need to register for a tax file number, ABN, GST, PAYG and FBT. You also need to consider what insurance you may need. Just because you aren’t in an office, doesn’t mean you don’t need to be protected. Take a look at public liability, professional indemnity and product liability. Depending on the size of the business, some people head into a home business with only one eye open.
3. Assess the profit
Now that you know the costs that come with setting up a home-based business, you can take a look at what money you are likely to walk away with each month if all goes to play. Is it worth it? You wouldn’t be the first to put in the hard yards only to realise down the track that the profit isn’t worth the hours you are putting in.
4. Create a business plan
If all is looking good, now is the time to create a business plan. This should be as in-depth as possible. Look at your mission statement, your target market, how you plan on monetising it, your marketing strategy, and more. This business plan can also be used to apply for a small business loan. Business loans can be useful if you are needing a little extra cash to give the business a starting boost. You can download a business plan template here…
5. Put in the hard work
While working from home might seem ideal, it requires plenty of discipline to ensure you get stuff done. It is all too easy to get side-tracked with household chores, or by others also in the house with you. Set dedicated hours you plan to work and plan out your breaks as well, having some kind of structure will help you get in focus and achieve so you can give your home-based business the best shot.
6. Have fun!
Choosing to work from home is a lifestyle choice, and if it’s the right one for you, make sure you enjoy it. Remember, working from home isn’t for everyone, and it is never too late to change your mind – at least you can say you gave it a shot.
Need Help Starting Your Business?
If you are looking to work out whether your home and business are a good fit and if this is a road worth pursuing, you can ask for expert advice and small business financial coaching from ALC Commercial.