10 Necessities for a Home Based Business
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/20/2006 | Home Based Business
When you make the decision to earn income from the internet you will need to go through a set up process to be ready for business.
Following are the basic steps in setting up for home business success.
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. One of my colleagues is a mother who works from home around her family. She has always put her family first whilst at the same time developing her business. She says, "I work part-time, but I have a full-time attitude."
Put another way, "If you have a hobby attitude you will have a hobby income, if you have a business attitude you will have a business income."
You can be successful working part-time and you can be successful working full-time but it is highly unlikely that you will be successful working in your "spare time".
2. Working Environment
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. For example:
- hole punch
- sticky tape
- note book(s)
- a simple filing system
- ring binders
- manilla folders
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.
Develop a schedule that works for you, your family (or "significant others") and your business. When you allot 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 work. After all if one of the reasons to work from home is to spend more time with your family then you don't want your working at home time to consume your family time.
You are working for yourself and your schedule (by your choice) 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 partner and children to 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 schedule.
4. 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.
5. Know Your Product or Service
Once you have selected your product or service to sell, it may or may not be something that you use yourself but you need to know your product intimately. If you are selling ebooks then know the content and its value. If you are selling software then use it know it "inside out". You will develop a reputation of providing quality information and because of your product knowledge you can become the preferred supplier.
It is not practical to use certain products (for example a woman may choose to sell man's shoes or vice versa) in which case the seller won't be a product user, however the seller can still know the benefits and features of the product intimately.
Use good record keeping practices.
This may involve a consultation with a tax advisor who can let you know about the optimal way to set up your financial records and what records need to be kept. Your advisor will also recommend record keeping systems and you can find out what software may simplify this aspect of your business. Additionally your obtain advice on the best arrangement for your bank accounts. You will most likely be advised to have a separate bank account.
You will also need to keep track of your various logins, usernames and passwords. A very handy little software tool for this is Treepad available as either the free Lite version (without password protection) or the commercial Plus or Biz versions. http://www.treepad.com
There are other useful tools for this also from a simple paper notebook to free and commercial password keepers. One popular solution is Roboform that will remember your login details and can automatically fill out your login and other registration forms. http://www.roboform.com
7. Computer Protection
Your computer is the lifeline to your business dealings and must be protected including the data that is stored.
You need a virus scanner, personal firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware and preferably an email scanner with the ability to delete suspect of spam email from the server before it is downloaded to your computer.
Some suggestions are:
AVG Anti-Virus: http://www.grisoft.com
Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org
Mailwasher Email Scanner: http://www.mailwasher.net
8. A Domain Name
You will most likely need a domain name for your business and one cost effective registrar is GoDaddy, http://www.godaddy.com
9. Payment Processing
You will need a way to process credit cards; that may be using services such as:
- PayPal https://www.paypal.com
- Storm Pay http://www.stormpay.com
- 2 Checkout http://www.2checkout.com
- Clickbank http://www.clickbank.com
This is the most economical way to get started. Once your business picks up you may need to look into your own merchant account for credit card transactions.
Consideration may also be given to other forms of online currency such as eGold http://www.egold.com
10. Email accounts
Once you have your own domain you can use an associated email account. This can further assist in the promotion of your business and promotes a more professional business image.
As a final comment on continuing in your internet business, conduct your business ethically, provide extraordinary service and be proud to put your name to the products or services that you are selling and you will be on track to developing a sustainable long term internet business.