Setting up a home based business doesn't have to be
intimidating, expensive or time consuming. When you decide to
make your living working from home, you simply need to go
through a basic set up process to ensure you are ready.
Here are the steps for setting up your home business for
- The key to your business success is your attitude.
- Treat your business like a business.
This is critical whether you are working part-time or
full-time. For example, the mom who works from home around her
family. She always puts her family first, at the same time
developing her business. She says, "I may work part-time, but
have a full-time attitude." To put another way, "Have a hobby
attitude, get a hobby income, have a business attitude get a
You can be successful working part-time and you can be
successful working full-time but it is unlikely that you will
be successful just working in your "spare time".
2. Describe Your Business
Be able to describe your business concisely; a powerful one or
two sentence description that someone can repeat in describing
your business to others.
A unique and memorable tag line can also be invaluable for
promoting your business. This is often referred to as your
"elevator pitch" or "audio logo". Think about it, if you ask
someone about their business and they describe it as "a errr,
well, I kind of take care of, you know, well in as much as..."
would you be impressed? Would you think that you should really
hire that person? It's much better to be able to speak
confidently and memorably about your business and what makes
3. Know Your Product or Service
Once you have chosen the product or service to sell you need
know your product intimately. If you are selling e-books for
example, then know the content and its value. If you are
selling software then use it and know it "inside out".
You will develop a reputation of providing quality information
and because of your product knowledge, you can become the
If it is not practical to use certain products (for example a
woman may choose to sell man's shoes or vice versa) then you
won't be using the product, however you can still know the
benefits and features of the product intimately.
4. Get a Domain Name
Welcome to the twenty first century, you need a domain name
your business! You'll need an account with a reputable hosting
company who will provide a "space" on the web for your domain
name and site. The fees can be as low as $4.95 per month and
up from there. If you do not have any knowledge of HTML there
are hosting companies that provide "site builder" software via
the web. This can be a great option but be sure you like the
application before you plunk down your money as you will
probably be using it a lot!
Once you have your own domain you will have one or more email
accounts for that domain. This can assist in the promotion of
your business and promotes a more professional business image.
Using email smartly can help you in the task of organizing
business communications. For example, sales can arrive via
firstname.lastname@example.org, support and help requests via
email@example.com and so on.
By setting up some basic rules in Outlook or other email
program you can have the mail conveniently sorted into folders
for you as soon as it arrives.
6. Payment Processing
You will probably need a way to process credit cards. You
use services such as:
- PayPal https://www.paypal.com
- StormPay www.stormpay.com
- 2 Checkout www.2checkout.com
- Clickbank www.clickbank.com
Paypal now has a Pro level of service that includes a virtual
terminal, helping to keep the costs low. Once your business
picks up you may need to look into your own merchant account
for credit card transactions but any of the sites listed will
certainly get you started and may be all you need for the life
of your business.
7. Computer Protection
Your computer is the lifeline to your business dealings and
must be protected including the data that is stored. You will
need a virus scanner, personal firewall, anti-spyware and
anti-adware and preferably an email scanner with the ability
delete suspect of spam email from the server before it is
downloaded to your computer.
Some suggestions are:
- AVG Anti-Virus: www.grisoft.com (free version
- Spybot S&D: www.safer-networking.org
- Microsoft Anti-Spyware:
- Adaware: www.lavasoft.com/
- Mailwasher Email Scanner: www.mailwasher.net
A good all-round selection is one of the Norton products as
they are kept up to date and have many if not all the features
8. Working Environment
Getting organized is highly important, to ensure that you
complete projects on time but also pay your bills on time and
even bill your clients on time!
Having a working environment that help rather than hinders you
work is also highly important. It can be tough but you need to
establish a definite workspace for both yourself and any other
people that are around.
- A space that you can call your own, free from distractions
for your scheduled time.
- A comfortable chair and organized desk.
- Stationery supplies as required.
- Ensure you have a good computer monitor if you will be
staring at it for long periods of time.
- Consider the value of a broadband connection. Your time is
valuable and a broadband connection can allow you to get more
done in a given time frame.
Use good record keeping practices... please!
You may need to consult a tax advisor who can let you know
about the best way to set up your financial records and what
records need to be kept. Your advisor can recommend record
keeping systems and software may simplify this aspect of your
Additionally you can obtain advice on the best arrangement for
your bank accounts. You will most likely be advised to have a
separate account. Many banks now offer free checking for small
business so do your research in to the options available to
Keep track of your various logins, usernames and passwords.
This can be quite a big deal once your have a number of
business resources online.
There are other useful tools for this also from a simple paper
notebook to free and commercial password keepers. One popular
solution is PasswordSafe.com. They provide a free web based
service for storing username / passwords so you can access
from anywhere with an internet connection. They've been around
since 1998 so the service is both trustworthy and reliable.
Develop a schedule that works for you, your family and your
business. When you mark off a block of time for work, then use
that time for work. Equally important is to schedule time for
your other commitments - family time, self-education (reading,
listening and viewing), "health time" (exercise, cooking and
eating), and leisure time. During these other times don't
Remember, one of the reasons to work from home is to spend
time with your family and you don't want your working at home
time to consume your family time.
You are working for yourself and your schedule (by your
is your "boss". When you have people calling you or dropping
around unexpectedly or maybe out-of-town visitors may want to
catch up with you then you need to make a choice. Are you
committed to your own business success? What will be your
choice in these situations? Only you can decide what is
important to you.
In a family environment you may need to negotiate with your
family and have your business time agreed upon, during which
you will not be interrupted. Put this schedule prominently
somewhere so all family members are aware of your work
These are the ten basics of working at home. Some of these
items may change a little depending on the type of business
choose but in essence, this is it. A home based business can
the most fun, most rewarding experience of your adult life as
long as you realize there are a few simple rules to keeping
everything on track along the way.
About The Author: FunCareers.com: Top home based
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