Do you have a great business idea that's perfect for the home, but have no idea how to
turn that dream into a reality? Beyond breathing life into your entrepreneurial ideas,
starting and running a business from home is an attractive idea for many. According
to a report on the business website entrepreneur.com, there are 13.8 million income-
generating home-based businesses in the United States. Although it may be unnerving
to embark on a new venture, there isn't any reason why your ideas can't turn into a
lucrative business as well.
Things You'll Need:
1. Step 1
Decide if running a business from home is for you. Carefully consider if you
have the skills, personality and abilities required to start a successful business.
Take the Small Business Readiness Assessment test at the Small Business
Administration (SBA) website to determine if you are ready to start a
2. Step 2
Research your idea and determine its viability. Learn as much as you can
about what it takes to make your business idea a reality. Test the market to
determine if there is enough interest for you to make a profit and identify
potential customers in your area. Gather information from Internet searches,
related industry associations or the library. Study your competition and
measure their general success and failures.
3. Step 3
Create a business plan. Consider what your goals are for your business and
how you plan to accomplish them. Write a detailed description of your
business idea, marketing strategy, financial plans and management details;
include both short and long term goals. The information from your marketing
research will be helpful when writing your plan.
4. Step 4
Determine your financial needs and obtain funding if needed. Use your
business plan when applying for loans or speaking with potential investors.
Your plan will demonstrate that you have considered not only how much
money is required to start the business but also if you've projected that your
business will be profitable enough to pay off any loans given. Because you
won't need to pay rent on an office space or commute to work every day,
you'll save money working from home. This along with the cost of licensing,
permits, taxes and insurance will need to be factored in when calculating the
costs involved in turning your business idea into a reality.
5. Step 5
Review your local zoning laws and get the proper permits to work from home.
There are certain ordinances and restrictions on how you are able to use your
property and what type of business you can and cannot operate. These zoning
ordinances vary from one county or city to another. Conduct an Internet search
to determine which government agency enforces zoning laws in your area and
contact them to determine if you can legally run your business from home and
what, if any, permits are required.
6. Step 6
Obtain the correct state and local licenses to legally run your business.
Depending on your business idea, you'll need at minimum a city or county
business license. Certain activities may require special licenses or permits
which you will need to obtain prior to conducting business. Contact local
government or state agencies to determine which licenses you will need to
legally operate your business or visit the Permit Me tool on business.gov to
search for links to required permits and licenses.
7. Step 7
Create your work space at home. Dedicate an area where you can work
uninterrupted during your designated work hours. Purchase a computer, a
dedicated phone line for work purposes and an off-site mailing address. Using
an address other than a residential one will help in portraying a professional
image to potential customers.