Maybe you’ve spent years in the workforce, and now that you’ve built valuable business experience, you want to start your very own home-based business. Or, maybe you’ve recently graduated from college, and instead of feeling excited by the prospect of entering the workforce, you feel a sense of dread.
Does either scenario ring true for you?
Whatever your reasons for wanting to set up a home-based business, what matters is that you take the time to prepare. Plenty of work lies ahead, but with the right level of preparation and commitment, you can drive immeasurable growth and success, starting in year one.
1. Your Passion
It’s been said time and time again: It’s far easier to build a successful company around your passion than a market trend.
Take Joe Reynolds, founder of the first-ever Great Urban Race, for example. With only $5,000 in seed money, he turned his passion for creating fun experiences into a highly successful, internationally recognized, multimillion dollar company.
"When you're really passionate about your business, you can see lots of tremendous opportunities," says Reynolds.
And he’s right! It helps to be passionate about your business, particularly as you explore new ways to drive growth. Here are 6 Ways to Find Your Passion.
2. Licenses and Permits
Before taking a deep dive into the regulatory requirements that relate to starting a small business – and possibly drowning in misinformation – contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office for expert guidance and support.
“Most small businesses need a combination of licenses and permits from both federal and state agencies,” according to the SBA website. “The requirements – and fees – vary based on your business activities, location, and government rules.”
At the very least, you will want to register your trade name with your local county clerk. This will prevent another business from operating under a similar trade name. To protect yourself from personal liability, however, you’ll need to form a corporation or limited liability company. It’s highly recommended that you thoroughly research the various types of legal structures that you can select for your business.
3. Business Plan
When home-based businesses often struggle to get noticed in a noisy marketplace, having a clear understanding of your values “can help you steer your business through times of trouble,” says Dummies.com.
So, what should a business plan include? For starters, it should include your business concept and the strategic actions you plan to take to capitalize on it, your marketing plan, bios of the key players on your management team, and your budget.
Master the art of creating an effective business plan by knowing what to include and what to exclude. Your plan should serve as an accurate reflection of you, your business, and your management team. Therefore, it’s important that you take the time to ensure that all your information is correct, current and complete.
In the early days of a home-based business, you may want to turn to family and friends for seed capital as opposed to outside investors. If you’re able to maintain strong cash reserves, then you might avoid giving up large amounts of equity while your company is still in its infancy stage. The more equity you retain, the greater profits you stand to acquire from a future sale.
If family and friends are unable to serve as the financial lifeblood of your company, then consider investing personal money or applying for a small business grant. If all else fails, apply for a small business loan or seek outside investment.
5. Document Transmissions
Starting a business is not easy. Add to the experience the task of having to transmit your documents across distances, and it can become more challenging. But there’s a solution.
Internet fax services like eFax allow you to turn your mobile device into a work station, letting you send and read important documents from wherever you access the internet. It’s one of the simplest ways to update your business communication infrastructure, without having to buy new hardware or install expensive software.
Whether you need to fax an invoice to an out-of-town distributor, send a billing statement to a client, or send your business plan to potential investors, online faxing lets you stay connected to your clients and customers – anywhere, anytime.
Succeed in the Marketplace
To succeed in business, you must have a plan. Your journey won’t always be easy. In fact, there may be more bumps in the road than you expect. But through effective planning and guidance from local sources of support, your small business can thrive.
Help navigate the various stages of your business’ development with an online fax account from eFax. Sign up today!