A Beginners Guide to Starting a Home Based Business

There is no one reason for starting a home based business. Some people don’t want to dance to the tunes of others (which most of the employers feel they have the right to do so), lack of job security or some family reasons. As a beginner, some of the people find it difficult to set their first step right. So we have come up with a beginners guide to help you establish yourself.

You have to take care of many important aspects like setting up the goals, prioritizing the work, time management, fund management, social networking etc. Lets have a look on what all is required to be successful in home business.

Numerous web designers dream of the day when they can leave their sterile corporate work places behind them, by branching out for themselves with a home based business.

Unfortunately, the reality is that whilst most people will be experienced enough to begin working as a freelance web designer, many find themselves lacking the wide range of unrelated skills (such as accountancy, IT, marketing, etc), which are necessary for overcoming the various obstacles that will crop up in the course of running a successful business.

However, as long as you can identify your own potential areas of weakness, they don’t need to stop you from achieving your goals. As even when working alone from home, there are different outsourcing services and useful resources available to help freelancers overcome their problems. Some of which are outlined below.

Administrative Aides

The Colorful Library of an Interaction Designer (Juhan Sonin) / 20100423.7D.05887.P1 / SML
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Unless you used to work in the admin department of a large business, chances are you vastly underestimate just how much work goes into ensuring the smooth running of a web design business.

There is the small but vital pieces work standard admin departments do, like dealing with basic inquiries, scheduling, filing and the like. Then there is the really important work they do, like raising of invoices, working out estimates and other tasks relating to accountancy and bookkeeping.

If you’ve got a head for figures and a good command of the various software packages (such as QuickBooks) and websites (such as FreshBooks) available for dealing with bookkeeping, it’s possible that you may be able to handle it all yourself. Though it is a lot easier to delegate this work out to a third party.

The best way to deal with financial records is to hire a Certified Public Accountant, as they will not only be able to help you deal with your invoices and tax returns, but they should also be able to provide a wealth of useful business advice that will help you grow your company. Local business directories are normally the best places to find contact information for a CPA in your area, though if money is particularly tight you could try hiring a cheaper off shore accountant from somewhere like Outsourcing.org.

Communication Tools

Red London Phone Boxes
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When working from home, it is imperative to keep in regular contact with the people who make your business a success. While simple email and internet messaging services will work in some cases, more often than not, you will find that you actually need to speak to various people in order to get things done.

The telephone is the traditional option for handling voice calls, but if your a small home based business who has outsourced various tasks to workers in foreign countries, you may find using a VoIP solution to be a more cost effective option.

With internet based voice services, you can get your own permanent number, have free call waiting, make free calls to other people using the same service and save vast amounts of money on calling phone network in other regions of the world (sometimes as much as 80%). Most services will also allow you to set up a forwarding option, so that you can have business calls routed to your cellphone when you aren’t at home.

Web Presence

Natural intricacy
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As home businesses don’t have a traditional brick and mortar premises (warning: this link is really funny) for their operations, most find it useful to have some form of web based presence to act as a point of contact for the company.

Obviously, your website is going to be your talents and skills best proof. Make sure it reflects your unique design style and showcases your best work.

Additionally if you want your site to be something other than an extended online business card, you will need to hire someone to actively promote your site. There are various ways to do this, including PPC marketing, e-mail lists, social media and search engine optimization. If those terms don’t mean anything to you and you’re hoping to make money from your website, you’ll need to look for someone to help you with internet marketing.

Merchant Services

Most businesses are going to need to have facilities available for accepting purchases made by credit and debit cards. The best way to do this, is to use some form of online merchant services provider, so that not only will you be able to take orders over the phone, but you should also be able to set up merchant transaction services on your website.

Wise Budgeting

Paying attention to detail
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Everyone’s home business is different. Some people have a room dedicated to their work, others may even have an entire out building commandeered for the purpose, whilst others just use anywhere that has a plug for their laptop. Whatever the scope of your particular business, spending money wisely, instead of blowing it on unnecessary overheads, should always be a primary concern.

You will need to spend money to make money, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around to find the best deals. Don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of tiny savings, but do make sure you investigate any outsourcing opportunities thoroughly, so that you are getting good value for your money.

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  • anonymous

    Not all home-based businesses are web design businesses.

    • http://viralmom.com/ Annie Wallace

      Well, yes, but this blog is about design, hence the post focus :)

  • Eduardo Parra

    Great post.

  • Joseph Dabon

    Have the feeling that this is more of a sales page rather than a guide to start an online business.

    • http://viralmom.com/ Annie Wallace

      If this is a “sales” page, what is being sol here? :)

  • http://www.your-wealth-blueprint.com home based business

    What I think is that, this page would like to educate first entrepreneurs about the factors that they have to probably deal with in starting up their own home based business. Such that includes knowledge on management, equipments/materials needed, applications/services, and the capital….

    Well, that’s the way I’ve see it.

  • Julianne

    Your article hits a lot of home based business points. There are so many people that think they can just jump in, start a home business and make money. They forget the word, “business”. It doesn’t matter if it is at your home you still have to treat it like a business, and a website is one of the most important aspects now days for any business.
    Thanks for sharing your article

    • http://viralmom.com/ Annie Wallace

      Yes! That was exactly the point of the post. Thanks, Julianne!

  • http://webhostingreview.info web

    A really nice guide fro the beginners who want to start a business at home.

  • henry

    Great post.

    thx. for information.

  • http://www.QuasiPreneur.com QuasiPreneur

    Good article. For home based business, I think the easiest to start with no overhead nor experience is ebay or a business where you act as middle”man”. Be realistic in “ROI” and sell products you truly have passion for. Starting a blog is a good start for any business because 1. It gets your name out there before you even have a product. 2. Creates a following if you have “value added” experiences and suggestion in solving common problems.

  • Joe

    Wow now that was a useless article – I even went back and looked again after the one comment that this is a sales page and conclude that yes this is a sales page.

    Let me hop right into one of those red phone booths now for more useless information.

    • http://viralmom.com/ Annie Wallace

      Selling WHAT?

  • Brett Widmann

    This is a really helpful article. I can’t wait until I have enough of a client base to start my own business!

  • http://linuxthebest.com Sinbad Konick

    I am also planing to start one ..but mine will be online based and selling websites..nice information though..

  • http://www.geekandblogger.com Pavan Somu

    As we see, it requires a lot of work and dedication to make the jump. If we manage to pull through and stick to the plan, we will be able to accurately represent our dream and create something that is long-lasting and profitable over years.

  • Jai

    Web presence would be a big factor in businesses now. I love the post. A nice and simple guide for beginners.

  • http://www.satyathakur.com Satya Thakur

    As the influence of web is increasing day-by-day, we can see a great lot of people who have started to work from home. This article truly helps in giving a basic knowledge to start the same.

  • Prabha

    This is a very good idea to earn an extra second income form home based business. I will try some of them.

  • Kamal

    Wow… It is very nice to see web design as a home based business. The ideas are also very cool and smart. I am going to try some of these surely.