A lot of people first think about starting a home business when they are stuck in traffic on the way to work. They feel that there must be a better way of earning a living than spending a few hours a day sitting in a car, then getting to work and being told what to do and when to do it. This seedling of an idea grows when they have to get out of bed on a cold morning and clear the ice from the car windows before they can even start their daily commute. These ideas are all well and good when they are just seedlings, but before the home business can be started a lot more thought and planning must be done.
You must understand all the legal processes, and tax regulations, involved before you even think about starting your new venture. They say that ignorance is bliss, but if you are being ignorant of what the government requires you will not think so for long. There is no hiding place when the law is involved, so do not believe that you will fall under the radar just because you are working for yourself. Start with talking to people at the local Chamber of Commerce, they will advise you on what you need to know to get started. There might even be courses you can attend locally that can guide you through the maze of regulations that you need to follow.
The good news is that if you show you are making an effort to understand what is required, especially with regards to the taxes you have to pay, if you do make a mistake, they are more likely to be lenient with you. This does not mean that if you spend an hour listening to somebody explain what is required you need never pay tax again. However, it does mean that if you do make a mistake in your tax returns because you missed something, or did not understand the question, they will not come around and repossess your house. They will help you rectify the problem, and give you extra time to make the overdue payments.
You also need to consider whether you can carry out this new venture by yourself, or will you need assistance in providing the product or service in question. If you do, do you know where to find this help, and how much it is going to cost. These people are going to need to be paid, and they will not wait until you have been paid by your client. The same goes for any supplies you need, a supplier might give you 90 days to pay when you have been established for a while, but when you are the new kid on the block, they will probably want you to pay on delivery.
It is very important that you can make a clear distinction between home/leisure time and work time, do not let the boundaries become blurred. Decide where you are going to locate your office area, and make sure there is enough room for all the equipment and supplies that you need. Another mistake a lot of people make is that they feel that because they do not have to leave home, they do not have to dress as if they are at work. It is a good idea to wear what you would normally wear to go to an office, whilst working at home. This will put you in the frame of mind that you are actually at work and not just playing at it, and if you do suddenly have to visit a client, or they turn up at your door; you are prepared.
Though it doesn’t hurt to go to the kitchen to make yourself a coffee, or lunch, do not then go and watch your favorite show on the TV. This kind of distraction can lead to you spending the whole afternoon lazing about and not getting any work done. This will soon escalate into you missing deadlines, and losing work from frustrated clients. You must remember that a home business has to be run on the same lines as any other kind of business. The key to success is professionalism and organization, to go with the enthusiasm you had when you first decided on this venture.