The image of business owners has definitely undergone a change over the last decade. People used to have a pretty limited amount of images they’d default to when they imagine a business owner. They’d think of someone in a sharp suit, in their own office, probably not doing as much work as the people below them. (That, or basically working themselves to death.) Others may have imagined extraordinarily rich people who are constantly on vacation. Often, we imagine their businesses are, in fact, run by others!
It’s hard to say that these still aren’t the most popular conceptions people have of business owners. But people are now more aware of advancing technology making it easier than ever for people to be more flexible in business. The idea of someone running an entire business from home now seems a lot more realistic!
But for many who have hopes of running their own business, there might still be some skepticism. They may see the monetary benefits of doing such a thing – the savings from not buying office space, reduced travel costs, etc. But could the business itself ever really get that successful? The answer is a definite yes – but you have to go about it the right way.
What kind of businesses can you run from home?
The first question you may have is “what kind of business can you actually run from home?” Good question. A lot of people would jump to some obvious, small-scale pursuits. They’ll think about starting a blog, or making and selling art items. And those are good ideas. But if you want something bigger, that’s also doable. Anything for which you can control the operation simply using a phone and a computer can be done from home! Heck, you could even buy a franchise and run it from home if it’s the right sort of business. The estimated profit from such a venture can be really impressive!
It’s cheaper – but you still need some capital
So you probably already know that you save a lot of money running a business from home. And it’s true that there are plenty of businesses you can start up for practically nothing. But most budding entrepreneurs, even if they’re working it out from home, will need more than a little capital. So don’t sever yourself from “the system” completely! Come up with a strong business plan and don’t be afraid to pursue some capital opportunities. You won’t be discounted just because you’re going to run things from home!
Business licensing laws still apply to you!
You’re more than likely going to need a business license of some sort. This is going to vary from state to state – heck, it can even vary from city to city! Make sure you read up on the business licensing laws of the area in which you live. You should also remember that you need to declare yourself a business correctly with the IRS. Registering with the IRS might be all you need to get the proper licenses. But again, this will vary depending on where you live.
Start separating the personal from the business
Running a business from home can become an all-consuming activity. You should be taking care to keep your personal and business life from mixing too much. That means using separate phone numbers and email addresses for business matters. That means setting up a small business bank account so you don’t get your personal funds and your business funds mixed up. Setting up a good home office, as well as making sure you’re working to set hours, will also help tremendously.
Hiring actual people
You may not think that this sort of venture is the one that can see you actually hire several employees. Of course, this depends on your business model. If you’ve bought a franchise, for example, you may already have employees! Again, if all you need is a phone and a computer, then you should be able to hire people no problem. Make sure candidates know via the job description that this will be a teleworking business. People are getting more and more eager to work from home these days, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding people willing to work this way! You can always hold job interviews in cafés if the candidate is close enough. You could also hold interviews over Skype.
Getting that “legit” feel
Last but not least is dealing with the problem a lot of people have in this pursuit. Many worry that their home business doesn’t feel or look professional or serious enough. They don’t think it looks “legit”, even if it is legit. Thankfully, we recently wrote an article about making home businesses look legit!