Working from home sounds like everyone’s dream, but most people fail to make it happen. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might imagine to start your own home business, but it does require organization, discipline and tenacity. If you are willing to put in the hard work, you can make it happen yourself.

Setting up your business at home can be a great idea for many reasons. It allows you to save money on rent and utilities, as well as giving you more freedom in your schedule. One of the most touted advantages to working at home is the fact that you can work at any time of day and don't need to dress up. It is merely one of the many advantages of working out of your home. The advantages are clear. Where to begin, however, can be a little more confusing. Read on to learn how to get started.

Choose a Business Idea

As with any business, you’ll need an idea. Whether you choose a service or product will depend mostly on what your resources are. If you are working with a very limited budget, something like freelancing can be a good starting point, as it requires minimal investment. Selling products will require more money and also more space, since you have to store your stock.

There are many ways to find your ideal business. Start with your passions and hobbies and move on from there.

  1. List all your interests, hobbies and jobs you’ve had in the past.
  2. Cross off anything you dislike.
  3. Choose the top five things on your list that you enjoy most.
  4. Brainstorm two or three ways to earn money with the five items on your list.
  5. Reevaluate the viability of each business idea.

For example, if you listed sewing as one of your hobbies, you might consider working as a tailor, making and selling baby clothing, or providing upholstery services. These are all interesting business choices that work well from home and give you a good starting point for planning your home business.

Set Aside an Office Space

How much space you require will depend on your business idea. A freelance writer really only needs a place to put his or her laptop. A seamstress will need more room to store equipment, supplies and finished products.

It’s important to have a space, even if it is a part of another room, that is designated as a workspace. This allows you to move away from work at the end of the day and it also ensures that everything you need is kept in one spot instead of scattered throughout the house. Furthermore, if you have a separate room for work, you can claim the portion of your house the room takes on your taxes.

Write a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is a must, even if you are bootstrapping your business. You need to know exactly where you’re going and map out your goals and the steps to achieve them.

A business plan should include:

  • Your mission statement
  • An analysis of the target market
  • Your business goals
  • Cash flow expectations for the first 12 months
  • Detailed business description
  • Marketing plan

Your business plan will serve as a guide to keep you on the path to your business goals. It is helpful to check back on it every few months to ensure you’re still going in the right direction.

Fund Your Business

There are a few different options when it comes to funding your home based business. You can fund it yourself, directly from your savings or by selling items or otherwise raising the money yourself. You may prefer to allow investors to become shareholders in your company, or take out a bank loan.

There are pros and cons to each of these methods of raising money, so be sure to research them carefully. The advantage of working from home is that you will be able to drastically cut costs in many areas, including rent and transportation. This can help reduce the amount of money you need to start everything up. Your business plan should detail the amount of capital your business will require and you can proceed from there.

What’s Next?

Once your business is set up, you can start promoting it. This can be as simple as using social media and a blog to gain clients, or you may want to take out ads and invest in other types of advertising.

If you will be selling products, you will need to purchase supplies or products, depending on whether or not you will be manufacturing or simply reselling. It can take a while to get into the swing of things, so you may need to start small and work your way up as you get more customers.

Starting a home business is no easier than starting any other type of business. It requires a lot of hard work, but you can keep costs down by basing it out of your house. Eventually, with a good business plan and perseverance, you will find your business growing steadily. It may even become too big to be home based and you may need to seek office space elsewhere, so make sure you plan for this possibility.