Setting up a home based business doesn’t have to be intimidating, expensive or time consuming. When you make the decision to make a 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 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 friends is a 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 I have a full-time attitude.” To put another way, “Have a hobby attitude, get a hobby income, have a business attitude get a business income.”
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 briefly and confidently about your business and what makes it unique.
3. Know Your Product or Service
Once you have chosen the product or service to sell you need to 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 preferred supplier.
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 for 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 go 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 your business communications. For example, sales can arrive via email@example.com, support and help requests via firstname.lastname@example.org 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 could use services such as:
– PayPal https://www.paypal.com
– StormPay http://www.stormpay.com
– 2 Checkout http://www.2checkout.com
– Clickbank http://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 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 (free version available)
– Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org
– Microsoft Anti-Spyware: www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx
– Adaware: http://www.lavasoft.com/
– Mailwasher Email Scanner: http://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 mentioned.
8. Working Environment