Having a home business can be a great, empowering experience, and a lucrative one too, if you know how to do it right. There are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary business owner, however, and many mistakes to be made. Here are some tips to give you a head start at making a profit instead of losing sleep over your home business.
When running a business from home be sure to save every receipt from expenses incurred such as mortgage, energy, phone and insurance payments. The expenses incurred in maintaining your home can be included in your deductible expenses when filing your taxes. The percentage of your home used for the home business is the percentage of the expenses you can deduct from your taxable earnings.
Tell your customers on page one of your website, why they should purchase your products or services. Tell them about the benefits and any attractive features; don’t bury that information on subsequent pages. Your customers need to think, first and foremost, that it is smarter to buy from you, instead of your competitors.
Wear business attire when working at home. If you work at home, you may wish to work while in your jammies. Treat your home business like you would any other workspace and dress appropriately. Dressing professional means you think and act professional.
Visit your bank and open another checking account for your home business. It is important to have a separate account for all your orders and purchases so that there is no confusion over whether a transaction was related to your business or not. It is also essential to have a credit card for your business as well.
Create an online store to sell your handmade items that you have traditionally sold only to people in your region. The internet is a way to bring your products to people around the world. It is an easy way to create a real store without the investment of a physical store front.
Submit your business website to all of the major search engines. This way your pages get ranked in the search engines, which means they will start showing up in the search results within several weeks. Learn about search engine optimization so that you can tailor your web page text to get picked up faster by the search engines.
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.
Take the time to showcase your knowledge of your product to others. Write online articles and put your contact information in them. Search for seminars that you can participate in and think of other opportunities to become involved. The reputation of your home business will increase the more you put yourself out there.
Take the time to select a good name. Your business name is your brand name and your brand name should relate to your customers what products you are selling. Try to create a brand name that contains a quirky or inspirational story attached to it. This type of name is great for engaging your customer with the brand itself.
Have a large amount of fliers or brochures made up to promote your new venture. There are many stores that offer volume copying and printing for reasonable sums, usually under 40 dollars. Paste your new fliers up around town and send out a mailing to people in your area to get the word out about your business.
It’s vital that you know exactly how much you’re spending to create and offer a service or product. You may find that you make the most if you sell everything for double what it costs you. Some retailers charge three times as much as the cost to increase profit.
Make sure the zoning laws in your area allow you to have a business in a certain location. You should do this before you invest in your business: you might have to select a different occupation or move so that your business comply with local regulations. Make sure you get all the permits you need.
Become knowledgeable about what you do. You should be able to inform people about your products, but you should also do your best to become an expert in the area. Write useful content on your website, write articles to be featured on other websites and give talks in your community about a topic related to your products.
By following the above tips you’ll already be ahead of many home business owners, and you’ll be investing in success rather than stress. While it can be difficult to run a business, especially a small business, without access to the same resources that large businesses have, you can have a successful business if you stay smart, work hard, and keep applying lessons like the ones above.