How to Start a Successful Home Business Checklist

According to recent market surveys, a new home- based enterprise is started every ten seconds in the United States. And indications are that this trend is accelerating. In the last decade and a half or so, home-based businesses have grown from six million to a whopping 32 million in number - with no signs of slowing down.

One of the chief reasons for the phenomenal growth in the ranks of self-employed workers is that home-based workers earn roughly double the average earnings of salaried workers.

Initially founded on an industrial based economy, it is an information-and-service based economy which is the main driving force in the United States today. In the past ten years, major corporations have pink-slipped more than 4 million employees, while smaller businesses have followed suit, reducing their workforces steadily.

As companies continue to reorganize, downsize, purge and merge, an increasing number of professionals are finding new and innovative ways to assume control of their own careers. Concurrently, technological advances such as computers, the internet, laser printers, fax machines, desktop copy machines etc., have resulted in working from home being as efficient, productive, competitive and convenient as working from any office.

If you are thinking seriously of embarking on your own home business, the first thing you will need to do is identify the business you want to be in. Perhaps you already have a good idea what you want to do; if not, there are plenty of ideas to be found on the internet. Browse through them and select the one that you find the most interesting, and feel you have the ability to handle. Once you choose your business, here is a checklist of how to make it a success:

  • Make a business plan. It is essential to create a plan outlining the important goals you want your business to achieve. There are many websites where you can find help to put together this key document.
  • Determine the kind of business you want. You will have to decide whether you want your business to be a corporation, a partnership, an LLC or a sole proprietorship.
  • Obtain your business license, if required. Ensure compliance with the laws of your state.
  • Check with the authorities in charge of enforcing local zoning laws. Make sure that you can run your business legally before you begin, so you don’t waste time, money and effort.
  • Get insured. Find out what type of insurance you need for your business, and buy it before you actually start functioning as a new business.
  • Get your office organized. It is essential to function from a well-organized office in order to achieve success. Ensure that the office you set up in your home is away from distractions so that you can concentrate on running the business.
  • Buy the equipment you need. Before beginning, make sure that you have all the equipment you require for the office. This will ensure that you will be ready to deal with your customers from day one.
  • Create your website. Make sure that it is functionally ready to handle the online requirements of your business. You will need to buy a domain name. By setting up your website simultaneously as you set up your business, you can use your domain name in the material you use to promote your business. You could either get professional help, or check out websites on the internet to help you get your website up and running.
  • Create a schedule, and stick to it. While you don’t necessarily need to have to a 9 to 5 routine, the schedule you create should follow the hours that are convenient for your customers.
  • Get your inventory organized. If you stock your merchandise at home, make sure that you organize it conveniently, so that you can access it easily.
  • Keep your shipping material ready like boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap, labels, shipping tape and so forth, so that you are equipped to deal with shipping your orders as soon as you start getting them.
  • Open up your business doors. With all these preparations done, begin promoting your business, and open it up for your customers.

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