Starting a business from home is an exciting venture; there’s plenty to consider, so let’s dive in with a few hints and tips.
1 . Business Structure
When you’re starting a business from home, you’ll need an attorney to help you choose your business structure, otherwise known as your business entity. A few options include a C-corporation, a sole proprietor, or a limited liability company. Your business entity will directly impact your fundraising capabilities and your taxes. Once you’ve chosen your structure, you’ll need to contact the secretary of state to declare your company. Your attorney will be able to offer detailed advice on all such legalities.
2. Market Research
Your target market research is one of the most important phases of starting a new business. To define your target audience and perform market research, there are several free tools that you can use:
- Consumer Barometer: The Consumer Barometer is a free tool that was created by Google. It provides data about online purchases, helping businesses understand how consumers are using the Internet.
- Pew Research Center: The Pew Research Center is a non-profit working to conduct analysis and research on many different subjects. A few of these include social and demographic trends, public opinion polling, technology, and the Internet, and more.
For other free tools, check out Living Facts, Google Analytics, and Qualtrics Panels.
3. Create A Budget
Budgeting is one of the most important aspects of starting up a business. You’ve got to list all your expenses and outgoings, create categories, and work towards profitability. When you’re starting out, you may not have a huge budget, so it can help save money where possible. You could try using free-tools; keeping your team small; embracing the cloud; and keeping hardware to a minimum. When you’re running your business online, there are plenty of ways to save money.
4. Cyber Security
You’ll need to invest in a top cybersecurity solution to protect your business online. Consider an identity management solution; advanced security software; outsourced IT services; or purchasing cybersecurity insurance. It’s not uncommon for cybercriminals to target small businesses; when this happens, your business may lose money and compromise your reputation.
5. Business Insurance
To protect your startup, it’s advisable to purchase business insurance. This type of insurance can offer protection from various losses or liabilities. In most cases, these refer to claims against your company, whether due to incidents, accidents, theft, or loss. Without a business insurance option in place, you could run into legal trouble and expenses that you just can’t afford. For a top business insurance company, take a look at simplybusiness.com.
6. Start-Up Funding
With all those expenses to pay for, it can be helpful to apply for a business grant. There are lots of grants available for small businesses and startups, including;
- FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: The FedEx grant is intended to help small businesses grow and succeed. The winning company receives a grant of $25,000, and you’ll need to have been running for six months to apply.
- Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant: The scheme awards a sum of $1000,000, which is split between 10 female-owned businesses. To apply, 51% of your business must be female-owned or led.