Having a home business has lots of awesome advantages, but it also has lots of disadvantages. Make sure you are aware of both. By learning the pitfalls and the advantages, you should be one step ahead of the competition. Here is some advice that will allow you to have a successful home business.
You always need to make sure you keep a separate line concerning your business phone. A business that has a separate phone line will always appear more professional, thus lessening the chances of the wrong person answering the phone.
To keep your finances in order, acquire a unique checking account and credit card to use for your home business. Use them for every business transaction you have, and use them for business only. Keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances will make it much easier on you when tax-time rolls around.
As soon as you can, become a member of the Better Business Bureau. Not only will you be listed in all of the bureau’s online material and directories, but it also has immediate impact on your credibility with customers. For a new home business, this simple step can help build quick trust.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your home business. Asking for help shows that you are strong enough to realize that you cannot solve every problem. Asking about what you don’t know is a great way to learn what you need to learn. By asking people intelligent questions, you will get the help you need.
Set up a Post Office box for all your business mail. It’s best to do this, rather than put your family at risk by using your physical address. This is especially important if you are doing most of your business online. Don’t ever post your home address online, for any reason.
Open up a new business checking account for your home business venture. Make sure that every dollar of business revenue and expense runs through this account. Apply for credit cards that you will use only for business purposes, such as supplies and shipping. Keep detailed notes regarding large expenses and any expenses that had to be paid with personal funds.
Turn a room of your house or apartment into a home office. Then, write it off on your taxes as a business expense; calculate the value by determining what fraction of your space the office takes up, and writing off that fraction of your rent/mortgage and utilities. The good work space will help you get organized, and careful calculations are necessary in case you are ever audited.
Before you start your home business, make sure you have the funds to do so. People are under the assumption that running your business at home is cheap. This is far from the truth. You have to pay for your product, your website, your employees (if you have any, and many other things.
Don’t let your home business prevent you from networking. Running a business from home means you’ll have to double your networking efforts. Look for local events where you can show your business off. You’ll meet potential clients and possibly network with other businesses you could affiliate yourself with. It’s a win-win situation.
Every expenditure you have should come with a receipt. This makes it easy to keep track of how much you spend on home business supplies. It also helps you keep track of the cost of running your business every month. Keeping accurate records of your expenditures is also useful in the event that you ever get audited.
You should make it easy for customers to get in contact with you. Your business website should have an email link available on every single sub-page. This keeps communication front and center, and makes it look like you really take care to communicate with customers. It is a simple way to build trust with customers.
Treat your home business just as you would any other job. A home business takes just as much work and oftentimes more than a typical job. Many people consider a home business for more flexibility in their schedule. While you can set your own schedule, you will often find that you spend more time working at a home business.
Consider claiming home office deductions. For a home office to be eligible, you have to use it regularly and only for business. Also, you must have no other fixed location where you conduct administrative or management functions. Claiming a home office allows you to deduct the business-use part of expenses.
Offer discounts to your friends and family. They might not be interested in what you do at first, but they might consider the opportunity to get cheap products. This will encourage them to talk about your business to your friends, and perhaps even help you out if you need them.
By making use of these ideas, you can give yourself the best chance of succeeding in running a home business and avoiding common errors. This will allow you to have more time to focus on keeping your business running smoothly.