Perhaps you are starting a home business offering professional services. Whether you are an electrician or a proofreader, your biggest question is: “How do I make my business known?” Here are some tips from others who have faced this question. They can help you build a thriving business–right from your home.
Keep the business phone line separate from the one you use for personal calls. A professional business always has a dedicated line and voicemail system. Not only that, but you don’t want to risk your child or another person answering a business call.
Make sure you groom and dress for work, no matter where you are working. Developing this habit will help get you into a productive frame of mind at the start of each work session. It also means, you will be ready to conduct business outside the house at a moment’s notice.
Turn a room of your house or apartment into a home office. Then, write it off on your taxes as a business expense; calculate the value by determining what fraction of your space the office takes up, and writing off that fraction of your rent/mortgage and utilities. The good work space will help you get organized, and careful calculations are necessary in case you are ever audited.
Create a backup plan for possible problems in your home business. If you are collecting customer data, be sure you have a data backup plan such as an external data storage site. If you are storing physical products for sale, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in case of damage or theft. Consider the problems relevant to your business and plan accordingly.
While a home business can be incredibly successful, there are many traps and obstacles along the way. Remember to celebrate each success so that you are better equipped to overcome the hard times. This means having a nice meal out with friends from time to time to enjoy all the work you are doing.
Have the proper equipment to run your business. Equipment that is related to your business like a computer or printer is tax deductible in the year that the expense occurred. To qualify for a tax write off the equipment must be primarily used by the business and necessary for your business to run properly.
Consulting with an attorney who specializes in business law is an important step when you’re starting a home business. Each state has certain laws pertaining to beginning a home business. By contacting a business lawyer, you will be able to find out what your state laws are and make sure that you are following them so that you do not get into trouble with the state.
One of the requirements of running a home business, is the ability to conduct business transactions. First of all, you will need a business banking account. You will also need system for handling transactions with your customers, including a method for refunding payments, when necessary. There are online pay systems, such as Paypal, that you can use for this. However, if you need a more fine-tuned solution, you can also hire a freelance software developer, to create a system that is tailored to your needs.
It is extremely important to set up specific space and time to work. When you are interrupted, you must maintain those work-at- home boundaries. With small children, child care is required as if you were not home. As the owner, you don’t have any benefits. Sick days, vacations, and paid holidays are a thing of the past.
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