After driving to work in the morning and spending about nine hours in the office, one might think starting a home business would be a good idea. After all, working on your own time schedule and without the expense of traveling to and from the office sounds like something we’d all like to do.
Keep a mileage log for your business driving. With a home business, you might find yourself driving to meet clients or suppliers, delivering orders or traveling to boutiques and trade shows. The IRS allows a write-off for business mileage, at about 34 cents per mile. That adds up! Check IRS.gov for the current year mileage allowance.
When you are preparing your product for pickup or delivery add a special touch to the packaging. A small gesture like a personal note or an additional product sample, makes customers feel like you care and that you paid particular attention to their order. This will turn them into repeat customers.
When establishing a home business, one important rule of thumb to remember is to develop a customer centric business plan. Building and maintaining business success requires a commitment to the customer that remains unwavering. By understanding your customers’ desires and needs, you will be able to establish a loyal customer base.
When starting your own home business try to gather as many experts around you as possible. You will need many experienced allies in this as they will be able to provide you with great advice and warnings about things to do or avoid. This will also help you to have a support network.
Be sure you know what the tax laws are. You are going to need to figure out what your tax liability is likely to be. Taxes will be around 15-20 % of your total income, you should save before hand so you do not have to struggle to get it at tax time.
You may want to hire a professional to help you set up your website when you are starting your home business. They will be trained on what helps to attract traffic to the site and will be able to help you reach a larger marketing base. Many of the professionals charge very reasonable rates and will often do upgrades when needed for marginal costs.
Getting your family members involved in your home business can be a great bonding experience, and can be a lot of fun. It also helps when they will work for you for free. If you have your children pack your products, or your wife answer phones or communicate with clients, you can free yourself up to handle the operations and marketing of the business.
Postcards are an excellent way to spread the word without using a ton of materials. You can bring colored card stock to printing stores with your design. Most printing stores have discounts you can take advantage of, so be sure to look out for coupons before you depart. Postcards are a unique and memorable way to advertise.
Offer your home business product through other websites via an affiliate program. This builds exposure to your product through websites other than your own. This means that your website will build page ranking as people investigate more of your products. Furthermore, you’ll sell more products if your presence is through multiple stores!
If you are currently running, or thinking of running a home based business, check with your local government to see if you need any special permits or licenses to legally operate your business. Some cities and/or states require you to have a business license much like any other business would.
Add an email signature announcing you home business. This is something you can have attached automatically every time you send out an email. Your closest friends and relatives will likely already be aware of your business but all of those other people you send emails to certainly need to be told.
Have a newsletter or email list. You can use it to advertise your new products or good deals of the moment. Organize contests and games where people can win free samples. The goal of a newsletter is to keep your customers interested in what you are doing as well as attracting new customers.
Keep a close watch on what your competition is doing. Align your prices and see what kind of marketing techniques they use. Learn from their mistakes and successes, and make sure you are offering a competitive offer. Find out who their customers are and try converting some of them to your products.
For comprehensive printed materials and home business information, contact your local small business development organization or chamber of commerce. These entities can provide you with networking opportunities, information about local workshops and conferences, advice, and a variety of tools and resources that can walk you through the process of planning out and establishing your home business.
If you are going to have a home business, you need to meet with a lawyer and an accountant. It is vital that you know the laws in your state so you can operate your business in compliance. The attorney and tax professional can help you learn the requirements for collecting sales tax and filling out necessary forms.
Your business website should always be ready to accept sales. You will find that many of your clients may have a preference for shopping online. When you don’t provide a means to purchase from your site, you will cut much of your profit.
There is only one problem with this idea – it usually doesn’t work out the way we planned. Small businesses have hidden problems and expenses, and unless you really know what you’re doing and have a pretty good cash stash besides, chances are your business will fail. It does work for some people though, so plan carefully and give it a try.