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6 Steps to Starting a Home-Based Business *

*Collaborative Post.

Whether it’s web design and hosting, graphic design and printing, or selling handmade clothing and accessories online, starting a home-based business can be an enriching experience. Whether you’re setting up your office at home for the first time, or you already have an established clientele looking for more room to work, there are several things you can do to make sure your business is up and running in no time.

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Step 1: Be Disciplined

Starting a home-based business from scratch takes a great deal of discipline. Some business owners find they have to force themselves back into their home office when their two-week “vacation” is up. While you may yearn for the comfort of your home, it’s essential to set hours and stick to them until your business starts to run on its own. It can be easy to fall into bad habits that will hinder the success of your efforts, like working all day and then staying up late into the night watching television or surfing the web.

Step 2: Have a Clear Vision

Knowing what you’re trying to accomplish and where you’d like your business to be in a year (or even six months) is essential. If you have clearly defined goals that are broken down into short term and long term goals, you’ll be able to monitor your progress, tweak your plans where necessary, and stay motivated during rough patches.

Step 3: Formulate a Budget

Of course, starting any business costs money. It’s essential to know how much you’re able to invest in your home-based business before it starts bringing in an income. If you can get all of your start-up costs back within the first two weeks or so, you know you’re on the right track. If not, you may need to cut costs, look for additional funding through grants or corporate partners, or consider other ways to supplement your income while building up your business.

Step 4: Find Productive Space

Your home office doesn’t have to be in the corner of your bedroom or the dining room with all of your other hobbies. Look for ample space that can accommodate all of your equipment comfortably but is still easily accessible. A spare bedroom, basement den, or mudroom are all excellent choices. If possible, try Loft Conversions and aim to get a door for this room to give you a little more privacy and cut down on distractions.

Step 5: Set Up the Essential Equipment

It’s easy enough to set up a laptop computer with a wireless internet connection, but it won’t be much of a business without some other equipment as well. A high-speed internet connection is essential (and you may want to put a limit on the amount of time each day that your employees or family can access the internet). You will also need a reliable computer with plenty of hard drive space and processing speed. A scanner, copier and printer are all excellent choices as well. If your business plan calls for you to set up an office in another location, investigate leasing options for laptops to ensure you have all the equipment you need without breaking the bank.

Step 6: Market Your Business

There are an infinite number of ways to promote and advertise your business, and finding the right mix is a matter of trial and error. Begin by spending an hour or two on the internet every day learning and reading articles and blog posts about marketing so you can get advice from professionals and implement it in your way. You can pay someone else to do this for you, but it is a worthwhile investment to learn how to promote your own business.

I'm Squibb Vicious, better known as Haydy!
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