Friday, July 13, 2012

How to open a home business

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How to start a home-based business

Operating a home-based business can give the best of both worlds. Like all small business owners, you enjoy the satisfaction of being your own boss and being the person who makes the decisions.

Even when the business it is run out of the home can be enjoyable because the benefits of being able to work flexible hours, of not having to commute, and certain tax advantages. In theory, everybody can run a successful business out of the home and have the flexibility to be there for the family, spending more time with the children or arranging the work schedule around the familys needs.

No wonder so many Canadians are attracted to operating a home-based business. But is operating a home-based business right for everybody?

Starting any business requires planning and soul-searching, but there are particular aspects of the business operations that need to be considered carefully before starting a home-based business. It is assumed that it is already known what everybody wants to do and how it is going to do it ; and here are some guidelines for deciding whether to run the business out of your home or not.

Legalities - Like any other business it is necessary to set up the business legally. At the beginning should be chosen a form of business (such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation), and register the business name, if the business has a name other than your own. Also it is necessary a business license, depending on the type of business youre running. And the business has to be run according to provincial and federal laws, which mean that should be registered. These things have to be done no matter where the business is located, so lets take a look at factors specific to home-based businesses that need to be considered before a room of the home can be turned into an office and start selling the products or services.

Before the start a home-based business you need to consider the suitability of the neighborhood and house.

Zoning - Is the neighborhood zoned for home-based businesses? If its not, the city will catch up with you or a neighbor complains. Many municipalities dont allow home-based businesses at all, and others place severe restrictions upon exactly what kind of business is allowed to operate out of a family dwelling in a residential neighborhood. Check the zoning bylaws with your municipality.

Neighborhood suitability - How will the proposed business fit into the neighborhood? Most residential neighbors are not going to be very happy if there is noisy machinery running all day long, large trucks starting up early in the morning, or customers parking their vehicles all over the place. If the proposed business involves manufacturing, or trucks or other vehicles arriving at or leaving the property on a regular basis, the business should not be operating in a residential area. Unhappy neighbors can be bad for business in all kinds of ways.

Neighborhood location - Will the neighborhood’s location work for or against the business? If youre delivering a product or service, it probably wont matter if youre located 15 km out of town down an obscure country road (except for the extra travel cost you incur). But if the business involves people coming to you, then they need to be able to find it and get there easily. In many cases, you wont be able to put up any signage, although in others you will be able to have a small, unobtrusive sign by or on your door.

Propertys location and appearance - Your property does have to be attractive enough that it wont scare off prospective customers or clients. Old cars cluttering the yard, knee-high grass, are turn-offs that can lose you business. A poorly maintained house and property gives people the impression you dont look after things - so why would you look after them? If youre going to run your business out of your home, your home has to look neat and respectable - at all times!

Houses suitability - If the only space in the home you can devote to the business is the kitchen or a corner of your basement, dont, unless the business is virtual and no one is ever, ever going to see the premises. People who visit the business will expect it to look (and operate) like a real business. They expect to be able to do things such as sit down and sign papers in a business-like environment. Any home-based business will need to have an entire room set aside as an office space.

Some HBBs will need even more space. For instance, if you consult with clients, youll need an actual consulting room separate from your office. If the business involves creating arts or crafts, or manufacturing, it is needed a suitable studio or shop. If youre in this position, and you dont have these already, it may be easier and cheaper to find suitable quarters for the business elsewhere then try to renovate the home to accommodate the business plans.

It is also important to consider if the family and the work style will support operating a home-based business.

The family � The owner it is not the only one involved if a home-based business starts; the whole family will be involved in the enterprise, for good or ill. Should be also considered how running a business out of the home will affect the family.

While many people start a home-based business thinking that theyll be able to spend more time with their family than they would otherwise, the lack of separation between your business and personal life can seriously interfere with family activities. How will you keep your family life and your work life separate and how much time can you realistically devote to both?

Also we have to consider everyones expectations. Will you expect your family members to pitch in and help with your business? How will your family members feel about this? Discuss your plans and expectations with your family first, and find out whether or not theyre prepared to actively support your business.

The work style - As much as everyone likes to fantasize about it, working from home isnt for everyone. Before the start of a home-based business, we need to think about the personality and the work preferences. The three main problems of working from home are

§ isolation and lack of contact with colleagues. Many people have difficulty coping with working alone for long stretches of time. This is especially difficult for those who are used to working in busy office environments and being surrounded by people.

§ increased family stress, with the difficulty of separating business and home life. If you thought bringing a new pet into your home was stressful, wait until you start a home-based business!

§ need for self-discipline and the ability to plan and manage ones own time. On the one hand, being your own boss means that no one else is telling you what to do. On the other, if you dont keep yourself focused and on task, no one else will.

How will you handle these potential problems? Thinking about the work style and devising strategies to deal with these potential problems of working from home ahead of time can make all the difference when faced with actually doing it.

The personality is also a determining factor in whether or not you should start a home-based business. While many people start home-based businesses because they see it as a natural extension of the hobbies they love, having a hobby is not the key to running a successful business.

Are you entrepreneurial? Do you have the qualities an entrepreneur needs to have to be a success? Research shows that successful entrepreneurs share certain traits and attitudes, such as perseverance, the desire and willingness to take the initiative, competitiveness, self-reliance, a strong need to achieve, and self-confidence.

Number 1 on the list of the personality traits needed to be a successful entrepreneur is determination. Enthusiasm is a great quality, but it wont get you far if you dont have the determination to put your plans into action.

In fact, there are so many adjectives starting with the letter D that are associated with the attitudes shared by successful business people, that it is known as the phrase “type D Personality” to summarize them. Besides determination, you need drive, discipline, and desire. You also need to be adaptable and flexible; each day will bring new challenges you may or may not have planned to meet, and often, a multitude of tasks that all seem to need to be done at once!

Deciding to run a home-based business isnt a snap decision. But if you do decide to locate your business in your home, it can be the most satisfying, exhilarating thing youve ever done. And know that youre not alone. Thousands of others small business people are doing exactly the same thing - and succeeding.

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