Fifty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1997, according to Link Resource's National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses
In New Orleans, Rick Hart's home based cajun Cargo ships seafood nation wide. In Palatine, Illinois, Stephaine Heavey works from home designing and selling original patterns for fabric dolls. And in Dallas, Lisa McElya published the Dallas Party & Event Planners Guidebook from the entire first floor of her two-story home.
These three people are living the new American dream of owning a business, but avoiding the high overhead and start-up costs of a commercial location. If the idea of working from home is appealing, but you don't know where to begin, here is a step-by-step guide.
STEP #1 DECIDE WHAT PART OF THE HOUSE TO USE
Select an area away from family activity. The perfect space is a separate room (or perhaps the garage), but any area will do, if it can hold all the business supplies and equipment, and also provide enough work space for desks, tables, or counters.
STEP #2 DETERMINE HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN SPEND ON THE BUSINESS
Many people start a home business on a part-time basis while raising children or working outside the home. Others start full-time when family and finances allow. However you begin, figure out how may hours per week you can devote to the business Make a weekly chart of your activities, examine it, and determine where the business fits. Don't assume you have time and find out later you don't.
STEP #3 DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF BUSINESS
Make a list of things you like to do, your work and volunteer experience, and items you own that can be used in a business. Look over this line-up, and using ideas from it, list possible businesses to start. Eliminate any business that isn't appealing or doesn't fill a need people have.
For ideas on different types of businesses, consult the end of this article. Other ideas can be found in the source material listed at the end of this article.
STEP #4 CHOOSE A LEGAL FORM
The three basic legal forms are sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. The most common is the sole proprietorship. As its name implies, a sole proprietorship is owned by one individual. It is the oldest form of business, the easiest to start, and the least complicated to dissolve. Here are some of the advantages of this business form:
1. You own all the profits
2. Your business is easy and cheap to organize. You don't need any government approval, although you may be required to carry a city, state or county license. Your only other obligation is to notify the Internal revenue Service (IRS) for the purposes of sales tax.
3. You're the boss
4. You enjoy certain tax savings. You must pay regular individual taxes on your income, property, and payroll, but these are not levied as special taxes, as with a corporation. You will also have to pay sales tax which you have received from your customers.
5. Greater personal incentive and satisfaction. Since you have your investment to lose if your business is not successful, you should be more willing to put time, thought, and energy into the business. And when your business is successful, you enjoy maximum sense of accomplishment since you know its success was dependent upon your decisions about your management ability alone.
For more information about this and other forms of business, send for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Publication MP25. Selecting the Legal Structure for Your BUsiness (50 cents). It outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each legal type of structure. If after reading it you are still uncertain what form of the business should take, consult an attorney.
STEP #5 DETERMINE WHERE THE MONEY WILL COME FROM
There are three ways to finance start-up costs: use your own money, obtain a loan, or find investors. If possible, it is better to start small, use your savings, and not worry about repaying a debt. also keep in mind that since you are a home-based, chances of qualifying for a loan or finding investors are slim until the success of your idea is proven.
STEP #6 GATHER INFORMATION
Spend a few weeks researching home-based businesses. A library or bookstore can provide numerous books on business basics, and on the specific type of business that interest you. Homemade Money by Barbara Brabee (see sources) is an excellent book to start with.
If you are considering a computer business, get in touch with the association of Electronics; Cottagers, P.O. Box 1738, Davis, CA 95617-1738. To keep informed of what is happening in home business world, contact National Home Business report, P.O. Box 2137, Naperville, IL 60566, for subscription information; and Mothers Home Business Network, P.O. Box 423, East Meadow, NY 11554 (send SASE for free information).
STEP #7 CHECK ON ZONING RESTRICTIONS
Find out how your property is zoned, the call City Hall and ask what regulations apply to home businesses in that zone. Also, if you rent or live in a condominium, check the lease or homeowner's association rules to be certain a home business is allowed.
Generally, if you do not annoy your neighbors with excess noise, odors, and traffic, you will not be deterred from running a business at home. The neighbors may not even be aware of the business, but it is necessary to know exactly what you can and can't do before you start. This is important should any problems or questions arise later.
STEP #8 PICK A BUSINESS NAME AND REGISTER IT
If the business you choose is different form your name, file an assumed (or fictitious) name certificate with the county. You are notified if another business already has that name, so you can select a new one.
Do this before investing in expensive stationery and brochures. It costs only a few dollars to file, and it protects the business name from being used by someone else in the county.
STEP #9 WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
A good business plan clarifies your ideas and establishes a plan of action. A good business plan should include a description of what you are selling, your background and qualifications, who the prospective customers are and where they can be found, what is needed to build the business, how you plan to promote, and how much money is need for start-up costs.
SBA Publication #M925, The Business Plan for Home-Based Business ($1) is helpful.
STEP #10 GET AN IDENTIFYING NUMBER
If you are the sole proprietor of the business and have no employees, you may either use your Social Security number or an Employee Identification Number (EIN) as the business number on official forms. If you have employees, or the business is set up as a partnership or corporation, you must obtain an EIN. To do this, complete IRS Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number) and file it with the nearest IRS Center.
STEP #11 OBTAIN A SALES TAX PERMIT
If the product or service you sell is taxable, you need a state sales tax permit. Call the local tax agency, explain the type of business you have and what you sell, and ask if you need to collect sales tax. If you do, they will send you the necessary information and forms to complete. You also use this tax number when your purchase items for resale.
STEP #12 OBTAIN LICENSES & PERMITS
It's very important not to overlook any necessary license or permit. For example, some cities and counties require a general business license, and most have special laws regarding the preparation and sale of food.
Call City Hall to find out what is need for your particular business. In addition, Chamber of Commerce provide information on city, county and state licenses and permits.
STEP #13 SELECT BUSINESS CARDS, STATIONERY, BROCHURES
Spend time on the color, design and paper for these items. They make a definite impression-good or bad- on the people who receive them. If you are not certain what is most suitable and effective, consult a graphics designer or a creative printer whose work you like.
STEP #14 OPEN A BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNT
Call several banks to find out what services they offer, and what minimum balance, if any, must be maintained to avoid paying a service charge. Also ask about credit card if you plan to offer this convenience to your customers. Bank fees can be significant, so shop around for the best deal.
If your personal checking account is with a credit union, see if it can also provide a separate business account. when you open your account, you may need to show the assumed name certificate and business license.
Finally, investigate obtaining a credit card in the business's name. If this is not possible, set aside a personal credit card to use for business expenses.
STEP #15 SET UP RECORD-KEEPING SYSTEMS
Put together a simple and effective bookkeeping system with an 8 1/2 x 11" three-ring binder, columnar pad sheets and twelve pocket dividers from the office supply store. For each month, set up columnar sheets for income and expenses. Use a pocket divider for each month's receipts, bank statement, deposit tickets, and canceled checks.
In addition, an automobile log for business mileage, and filing system for correspondence, invoices, supplier catalogs, client records, etc. are two other useful tools.
For more information on record-keeping, see IRS publication #583, Information for Business taxpayers.
STEP #16 CHECK IRS REQUIREMENTS
If you comply with basic IRS guidelines, you can deduct a percentage of normal household expenses (mortgage, interest, taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, etc.) as a business expense. see the box accompanying this article and, for more detailed information, IRS publication #587, Business Use of the Home.
Also become familiar with these IRS forms: Schedule SE (compensation of Social Security Self-Employment Tax) and Schedule 1040 ES (estimated Tax for Individuals). Depending on circumstances, you may have to file them.
STEP #17 OUTFIT THE BUSINESS
Make a list of everything needed to start the business, but before you buy anything, look around the house for things you already own that are usable.
When you are ready to start purchasing, check the classified ads and garage sales. Both are good, inexpensive sources for office furniture, typewriters, computers, answering machines, etc. But only what is absolutely necessary for start-up, and wait until the business is off the ground to get the extras.
STEP #18 DECIDE ON TELEPHONE REQUIREMENTS
Call the telephone company to find out the cost of a business phone in your area. If you cannot afford a separate business line, investigate the telephone company's regulations on using your personal phone in a business. It may be possible to do this if you follow certain guidelines. Keep a record of long distance business calls as they are a deductible expense. Finally, consider the benefits of an answering machine to catch calls when you are out.
STEP #19 CHECK OUT THE POST OFFICE & UPS
Using a post office box as the business address down plays the fact you are home-based. It also prevents customers from dropping in at all hours.
While looking into box rental, ask for information on the various postal rates, particularly bulk rate, if you plan to do large or specialized mailings. If you mail many packages, check out United Parcel Service (UPS), as it is less expensive than the Post Office.
STEP #20 PURCHASE THE NECESSARY INSURANCE
Check with your homeowners insurance agent about a rider for your existing policy or the need for a separate business policy. Also make sure you have adequate personal and product liability coverage. Shop around, as each company has different rules regarding home businesses
To save money on medical insurance, join an association and participate in their group plan. One such body is The National association for the Self-Employed: they can be reached at 800-527-5504.
STEP #21 ORGANIZE THE HOUSE & YOURSELF
To have more time for business, organize and simplify household routines. Start by holding a garage sale to get rid of unnecessary possessions. Next, have a family conference and divide household duties, making sure each person does his or her part. The, set up a planning notebook to keep track of appointments, things to do, calls to make, errands to run, shopping, etc. Finally, set up a work schedule so you won't get sidetracked by TV, neighbor's visits, snacking, and telephone calls.
Creating and operating a home business is a wonderful and rewarding challenge. The satisfaction is not only in the money earned, but in doing what makes you happy.
Julia Tang publishes Smart Online Business Tips, a fresh
and informative newsletter dedicated to supporting people
like you! To find out the best online business opportunities,
and to discover hundreds more proven and practical internet
marketing secrets, plus FREE internet marketing products
worth over $200, visit: http://www.best-internet-businesses.com
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Fifty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1997, according to Link Resource's National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses
So you are thinking of starting an Internet home business, and you are wondering if it is a good idea. Internet home businesses can be very profitable. However, whether an Internet home business is profitable or not depends on several things.
Have you chosen an Internet home business that you like? You need to be comfortable with what you have to do and if you are selling a product or service, you must feel that it is a good one, or no one is going to believe you enough to purchase it.
Has your Internet home business well established? Chances are, if your Internet home business has been in business for at least five years, it is going to be around for a while. Internet home businesses that are relatively new should be approached with caution. It is up to you to decide if you want to risk being part of a new Internet home business, or wait a while and see if it is successful before joining.
Does your Internet home business offer plenty of training and support?
A good Internet home business will have training opportunities and training materials for you to take advantage of. A good Internet home business also supplies you with a mentor, or upline person that you can talk with if you are having problems or have questions. A good Internet home business will never expect you to work alone with no help of any kind.
How much of an investment does your Internet home business ask you for? While it is true that most Internet home businesses ask you for some type of financial investment, you need to make sure that it is an investment you can afford.
Ideas for Internet Business
You can find a business on the internet relating to almost anything. If you're wondering what what kind of business you would like to start, here are some ideas for internet business.
Many people set up an internet business selling products. Sometimes that product is information. Information can include e-books and newsletters. Look at Amazon's booming business and you will see that people are still willing to pay for information.
You can sell other people's products, too. Another internet business idea is to set up a website talking about various products and providing a link where they can buy them. Affiliates receive a commission from every item bought. This works most effectively if you devote your site to one product and are willing to market your site.
Offering your services in web design or web content writing is another internet business idea. Search for clients on job boards or through ads. There are freelance boards that can give you good leads, and some where you can bid on projects.
You hear often of people running a home business by selling items at auctions and possibly setting up a storefront to go with those items. There are auction sites like eBay that sell anything, and others that are more specialized. Check the offerings of various sites before deciding where to sell.
These are just a few internet business ideas. The most important factor to consider is the time you will be spending on it. It takes time to make your business a success, so find something you like. The best internet business idea combines passion with income. Take time to find the right opportunity and do what you love.
For more information about home business related topics, visit
Home Business Related Topics
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Hehn
Langkah Pertama : Merancang Perniagaan.
Pernahkah anda mendengar kata-kata seperti di bawah ini:
“Jika anda gagal untuk merancang, maka anda merancang untuk gagal”
Di dalam membina perniagaan samada internet ataupun bukan internet, anda ‘wajib’ mempunyai perancangan. Ada yang menganggap sebaliknya, “alah, tak payahlah nak skema sangat sampai nak buat perancangan, bukannya nak bisnes buat bangunan pun, nak buat part time je bisnes online ni”
Saya pasti, anda juga pernah terdetik di hati macam tu kan? Tapi harus diingatkan, ramai orang gagal dalam perniagaan internet kerana gagal untuk merancang dengan baik.
Disebabkan itu, mereka terkandas di pertengahan usaha membina perniagaan, Kenapa agak-agak anda? Satu jawapan yang saya pasti yang dapat menjawab persoalan tersebut, iaitu :
HANYA MENGEJAR KEUNTUNGAN SEMATA-MATA
Sedangkan, perniagaan memerlukan strategi pemasaran, penjagaan kualiti produk, hubungan dengan pembeli dan banyak lagi. Ini adalah sebahagiannya sahaja. Saya senaraikan antara faktor kegagalan sesebuah perniagaan di bawah ini :
a – Kaedah pemasaran yang tidak berkesan
b – Pengurusan kewangan yang teruk
c – Kedekut untuk melabur bagi menambah ilmu perniagaan internet
d – Perkhidmatan yang diberikan semasa atau selepas produk dijual amat teruk
e – Hanya mengejar keuntungan semata-mata/tamak
f – Terburu-buru membina perniagaan
g – Perancangan yang tidak lengkap/tiada perancangan langsung
Kepentingan Merancang Perniagaan
Secara ringkasnya, apabila anda merancang perniagaan anda, anda akan lebih jelas melihat hala tuju perniagaan anda. Kemana anda akan berada dalam masa 2-3 tahun akan datang. Ini akan membuatkan anda mempunyai pelan tindakan atau langkah-langkah yang perlu diambil untuk merealisasikannya.
Juga perlu juga anda ketahui, dengan merancang perniagaan anda, anda akan mengetahui jumlah pelaburan yang telah anda keluarkan dari permulaan hingga akhir sesuatu produk tersebut.
Teknik Merancang Perniagaan Internet Anda
Terdapat beberapa teknik yang perlu anda lakukan sebelum memulakan perniagaan internet anda. Berikut adalah teknik-tekniknya :
a – Kajian Pasaran(permintaan)
b – Mengenalpasti pesaing dan cara menghadapinya
c – Kaedah Pemasaran
d – Matlamat Perniagaan Anda
e – Pengurusan Operasi
f – Pengurusan Kewangan
A) Kajian Pasaran(permintaan)
Sebelum menghasilkan sesuatu produk/perkhidmatan, terlebih dahulu anda perlu melakukan sedikit kajian pasaran atau bahasa mudahnya, golongan pembeli bagi produk anda. Kajian ini adalah untuk mengetahui apa yang mereka mahukan.
Golongan ini mungkin mahukan sesuatu yang dapat memenuhi kehendak ataupun menyelesaikan masalah yang mereka hadapi. Terkini, produk berbentuk informasi(maklumat) adalah produk yang paling mendapat permintaan. Pelbagai jenis produk informasi dihasilkan. Ianya dihasilkan berdasarkan kajian tadi.
Sebagai contoh, mereka pernah mendengar kejayaan beberapa orang menjual barangan di Ebay, maka mereka akan mencari maklumat mengenai Ebay. Bagaimana nak bermula dan sebagainya. Jadi, produk informasi menjadi pilihan mereka ini.
Namun begitu, anda masih boleh menjual produk berbentuk barangan lain tetapi ia mestilah sesuai dengan perniagaan internet dan mempunyai permintaan terhadapnya.
B) Mengenalpasti pesaing dan cara menghadapinya
Saya anggarkan anda sudah memiliki produk sendiri. Anda belum lagi mengetahui persaingan produk tersebut. Jadi, persoalannya, bagaimanakah cara untuk anda mengenalpasti pesaing anda? Mudah sahaja, teliti produk yang ditawarkan oleh pesaing anda.
Buat bandingan antara produk anda dan produk pesaing tersebut. Baiki kelemahan yang ada hasil penelitian anda itu. Tambahkan apa yang patut agar produk anda lebih mengancam daripada produk mereka
C) Kaedah Pemasaran
Pemasaran adalah kunci utama dalam menentukan perniagaan anda berjaya atau tidak, untung atau rugi. Gunakan segala bentuk pemasaran yang anda rasa mampu menaikkan jualan bagi produk anda. Boleh menggunakan kaedah offline dan online dan ianya bergantung kepada kemampuan kewangan anda. Ingat, tanpa pengiklanan, produk anda tidak akan dibeli oleh sesiapa pun.
Nota : Pada artikel akan datang, saya akan jelaskan kaedah pemasaran yang berkesan
D) Matlamat Perniagaan Anda
Seperti yang saya jelaskan pada awal artikel ini, dengan menetapkan matlamat, perniagaan akan lebih jelas sasarannya.
Tetapkan matlamat untuk jangka masa tertentu. Seperti saya, saya tetapkan hujung tahun ini, saya akan mencapai income sebanyak RM5k. Setiap bulan saya perlu mendapatkan RM417 untuk mencapai sasaran tersebut. Adakah saya berjaya? Nantikan penghujung tahun ini, saya akan ulas
Dalam menetapkan matlamat, anda perlulah menetapkan matlamat yang rasional dan sesuai dengan kemampuan dan perniagaan anda. Anda akan berputus asa sekiranya matlamat yang anda tetapkan itu tidak berjaya oleh kerana matlamat yang mustahil anda tetapkan.
E) Pengurusan Operasi
Pengurusan operasi yang dimaksudkan ialah cara bagaimana anda dapat menguruskan perniagaan internet dengan baik dan sistematik.
Ianya bermula dengan proses menghasilkan produk sehinggalah produk tersebut dijual. Malah, ianya tidak berhenti disini sahaja, anda perlu memikirkan perkhidmatan yang sesuai perlu ditawarkan selepas produk tersebut sampai ke tangan pembeli.
F) Pengurusan Kewangan
Apa yang perlu anda buat adalah membuat sedikit analisis/kajian bagaimana perniagaan anda ini dibiayai. Apa sahaja perniagaan memerlukan modal. Bezanya, adakah modal tersebut besar ataupun kecil. Perniagaan internet tidaklah memerlukan modal yang besar. Di anggarkan dalam linkungan RM500 sahaja untuk memulakan perniagaan internet ini.
Anda mesti mahir menguruskan kewangan milik perniagaan anda dengan cekap kerana sebahagian besar jualan memerlukan pelaburan semula untuk aktiviti pemasaran.
Juga digalakkan menyediakan aliran tunai pendapatan dan perbelanjaan supaya anda dapat melihat dengan jelas akiviti perniagaan yang sedang anda usahakan.
Kesimpulan Artikel Pertama
Apa yang saya nyatakan di atas ini adalah antara aspek terpenting dalam pembinaan perniagaan internet anda. Sekiranya anda dapat menghasilkan kertas kerja, ianya lagi bagus. Sekiranya tidak mampu, boleh sahaja catitkan didalam buku nota anda seperti yang saya lakukan. Untuk projek bersama usahawan lain, barulah saya hasilkan kertas kerja.
Dengan adanya pelan-pelan ini, anda akan lebih jelas dan setiap apa yang anda ingin lakukan lebih tersusun dan seterusnya dapat membina perniagaan yang cemerlang dan berjaya.
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