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How To Start A Home Based Business

Updated on June 2, 2012
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Introduction
It seems that everybody and their grandmother wants to start a home based business these days. I mean, you can work as and when you feel like it, your daily commute to the office is a short 5 second walk from the bedroom to the study room and you can make tons of money.

Hype aside, although there are definite advantages to working from home, the picture is not as rosy as those who wants you to join their home based opportunity would have you believe.

In fact, I believe that most of those who start a home based business would be better off in a full time offline job. They would be earning more, have more time for their family and friends and would generally be less stressed out.

Nevertheless, a successful home based business can be very rewarding, so it really is worth your time and effort to take a look and see if a home based business is for you.

And I will do my best to tell it like it is, without the smoke and mirrors.


Definition
There are many types of home based businesses but what I will be talking about will be a business usually started by an individual or a small group with the initial purpose of supplementing their fulltime income.

A lot of these individuals were attracted by get-rich-quick scams and do not have any idea of what a home based business really entails.

Costs to start such businesses will typically range from free to a couple of thousands dollars.

Practically all the activities of the business will be carried out online.


Commitment
A lot of those who start online home based businesses don't realize that it is a real business that they are starting. They may concentrate on marketing or building their site, and ignore the other aspects of their business.

Many have the attitude that since the business is practically free to start, they are not really concerned about whether it eventually succeeds. But they fail to realize that the time they put into the business is even more valuable than money.

A online home based business takes time, commitment and ingenuity. Before starting, do find out as much as you can about what is actually needed to start a successful home based business. A home based business is probably one of the best type businesses but as with all good things, it is not as easy as it seems.


Overview
Each business is unique in itself. It is quite impossible to outline what a typical home business looks like but I can outline some of the typical aspects that most home businesses will have.

  • Idea. You gotta have an idea. It doesn't have to be unique, but try not to do what everybody else is doing. Or if you really have to, come up with a new angle.
  • Business Plan. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you don't need to have everything down to a T but you want to have something mapped out before you start. Even if you are uncertain about some things, just get it all down - you can change it as you go along. Stuff that you want to put in a business plan include: your timeframe, your product/s, projected income streams and marketing avenues.
  • Building Your Website. You are going to have to get a domain name for your site/s, write the content, design the site, write the programs (if needed), and publish your site. This step can be challenging if you are not a techie but you can always get a techie friend to help. Furthermore, there are many sites on the web that does a lot of those stuff for you without you really having to go into the technicals. And you can always hire somebody if you have some spare cash.
  • Marketing. This is the one aspect that most people fail at. You have built a great site, but you need to get out there and tell the world about it. And I am not talking about just submitting your site to the search engines, the directories and telling your friends and then waiting for the masses to arrive. Keep at it - start a blog, join something, make new friends, etc. The avenues to promote your site have really expanded, so you have only yourself to blame if your site's traffic is mediocre.
  • Profits. You have worked hard and money is coming in. Allow yourself to celebrate a little. Then you can look into how to make your business run more smoothly and efficiently. Consider the possibility of improving your website and expanding your marketing. And do make sure your cashflow is healthy if you are spending money.


Conclusion
I have barely scratched the surface. What I want you to take away from here are the following points:

  • A home based business is a real business, and it's not just about designing your website, or just about marketing a business opportunity. You have to take care of all aspects, and not just one or two.
  • It's a great business to be in, but you are going to have to put in the time and the work.
  • It's not as simple as it seems, and whoever tells you otherwise is lying. Even if you think I'm wrong, and you have done your due diligence, keep both your eyes open when you jump in.


Resources
A Guide for Online Home Based Businesses - Learn about how to start an online home-based business and earn a good income from the web. You will get tips on designing a website, optimizing your site for the search engines and promoting your website. There are even motivational articles to keep you going when things get tough.

Comments

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    • wandererh profile imageAUTHOR

      David Lim 

      10 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks!

    • guidebaba profile image

      guidebaba 

      10 years ago from India

      Great Job.

    • wandererh profile imageAUTHOR

      David Lim 

      10 years ago from Singapore

      Good point, paraglider. Was wondering if there could be something after "Marketing". :) Thanks!

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      10 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      You make good points. I'd maybe also mention that looking after cashflow - regular invoicing, debt chasing, etc., is vital. Late payment kills lots of private ventures.

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