Even though you run your business from your home, it is still a business. You need to set it up and manage it as such. Although there are a lot of different ways to arrange your day-to-day routine, there is still work to be done and you need to have a plan. The tips outlined in this article will help you to get and stay on track.
Get a separate phone line or cell phone for your home office. Weeding out work-related calls from personal calls can be stressful as well as time-consuming. If you have a line just for your business, you can focus on the work at hand and leave the personal business for later!
Set your business up to accept credit cards. You can use a merchant account, or choose a payment processing service like PayPal. You may want to do both, but you have to do at least one. If you do not set up some form of electronic payment, you will lose too many sales.
If you have developed a product that you want to sell on a wholesale basis, identify your potential business customers through search engine results, local stores or word of mouth. Contact these stores via email, asking them if you can send them a free sample or wholesale package with several samples. Follow up after sending to help make the sale.
Schedule regular hours each day to work in your home business. Running a home business can easily consume your entire days and most of your nights if you let it. Don’t ever forget that the most valuable asset any small business owner has is their health. Maintaining regular business hours allows you to keep work from encroaching upon the rest of your life.
Keep careful track of travel expenses, both on long trips (cost of tickets/gas and food) or for shorter, day-to-day driving. If you keep all of your receipts and deducting whatever you are entitled to write off, your savings will add up; careful record keeping will allow you to make these deductions without opening yourself up to legal trouble.
If you plan on selling products from your home business online, you must be sure to choose a good merchant account. A merchant account will enable you to accept credit card payments both online and offline. A top-of-the-line merchant account should have totally secure transactions, be able to be integrated into your shopping cart software, and should deposit payments to your bank account in a timely manner.
It is important for all home business owners to have a backup plan, a list of steps to take in case things don’t go as planned. What will you do if you lose a major client? How are you backing up your data? Preparing for the worst will help safeguard your company.
Interested in starting a dog walking business? This can be a great idea if you love dogs, would like the daily exercise, and are comfortable handling dogs of different sizes. Recruit potential clients by putting up flyers at vets’ offices, at the local dog park, or at the grocery store.
Put important information about your home business on the first page of your web site. You do not want it to be difficult for potential customers to find what they need to order from you. Talk about why your product is valuable and give a description of the item. Have a way for them to directly connect to your ordering information right from that page.
Many home business owners tend to have health related issues because they generally get less exercise staying home and also overwork when the lines blur between life and work. At the same time, one of the major differences between being an employee at a company and running a home business is the lack of sick days. Because they run their own business, each day they might have to take off from getting sick translates directly into lost income. It is therefore vital that home business owners take extra care of their health through exercise, adequate sleep, and proper diets.
If your home business has a website (which it should), host a contest to drive traffic to your website and build interest in your products. Better yet, if you can structure your contest to get input on future products, you’ll harvest valuable information to build products later on and expand your business.
Do not assume that you can perform as well at home as in an office without adapting a special area for use as a home office. Attempting to maintain productivity levels is very difficult in the presence of common household distractions like television, surfing the internet, and supervising children or pets.
To maintain a professional image for your business, be really careful what information about you can be seen on social networks. Remember that these days social networks are a popular way for potential customers to check up on you! If you are going to let clients see your Facebook or Twitter accounts, then make sure that everything that you post – from your profile picture to daily updates – reflects positively on your professional persona.
When you own your own home business, you have to discipline yourself to get down to work and get things done. It is far too easy to let hours, and whole days, slip by in idle time wasted in front of the computer screen. By following the ideas suggested in this article, you can be sure you stay on the road to making your home business a success.