If you’ve ever thought of starting a home business, you can get going pretty quickly if you follow these ten steps. You can be started between 30-90 days depending on if you’re starting a service based business versus a product based business.
1. Determine What Types of People You Want to Work With
Before you do anything, you need to have a good understanding of the type of people you want to work with. This is how you choose a niche. Many people choose the product or service first, but the best way is to choose the audience, then choose how to solve their problems or spark their interest with your products or services.
2. Decide Whether You Want a Service Business or Product Business
You can do both, but it’s usually easier and faster to start with one. In a service-based business you can start as soon as you determine the services and get your website made. With a product-based business, you’ll need to either outsource or create the products first. Either way, the thing that you offer should be a solution to a problem that your audience has.
3. Write Down a List of Your Skills
Now that you know what type of product or service you’re going to create and who you’ll create it for, determine what skills you have. Write down the skills you have that can be used for services or product creation. You can also use the skills of others to help if you have the financial resources to outsource some of the work.
4. Match Your Skills to the Audience and the Type of Business You Want
Once you know what skills you have available to you, you can match the skills with the type of business you want and your client, to create a service or product that your target audience needs and wants. Now you have the beginning of your business idea.
5. Write a Business Plan
Even if you only have a one-page business plan, it’s important to write it out. You will need to know who your audience is, how you’ll source products or what service you’ll provide. You’ll need to explain all aspects of how you plan to do it. Plus, you’ll determine how much it costs, and how much you’ll charge. You’ll also study your audience and set your prices during the business plan phase. You can learn more about business plans at LivePlan.com.
6. Set Out a Start-Up Budget
Determine how much money you have to get your business started. Set aside that money to use for the rest of the planning phase of your business. You’ll need to open a business bank account, and maybe set up a PayPal account. You might find some budget templates on the Small Business Administration website sba.gov.
7. Deal with Legalities
You may need to get a business license depending on the rules of your country, state, city or county. You should be able to do a search for business licenses for small business with your city name to get more information.
8. Get an EIN if You’re in the USA
This is very important because you really need it so that you can protect your identity. You can create a business name and get an EIN from the IRS very easily online for free, within seconds. In other countries they may have similar numbers for small business owners; check with a local business start-up center. Don’t be confused by the fact that EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and also goes by the name of Tax ID Number. You don’t have to have employees; you just need a small business, and even if you’re a business of one, you can get the number.
9. Create a Website with Blog
Now that you know your business name, what you’re going to offer and to whom, create a business website with a blog. The easiest way is to use self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org) with a hosting account such as one from Hostgator.com or GoDaddy.
10. Set Up Social Media Accounts
Give your business special social media accounts, with fully filled-out profiles. Set up your professional LinkedIn page, a Facebook page for your business, and a Twitter page. It might even be worthy to also set up a Pinterest account, Instagram and Google+. Don’t feel as if you have to be on all social media networks; just choose the ones that are relevant to your business, which means your audience is there.
After you’ve done all these steps, you can start marketing your business. None of this should take more than a month from beginning to end. It may take longer to source products if you choose a physical product-based business over a digital-based business, but you should be able to do that work while you are creating your business plan.
The steps I have outlined here, should definitely help you to get started, but if you still feel unsure about moving forward on your own, feel free to contact me. One of the many services I provide is business start up assistance.