Home Biz Tips

By Donna Sweat

From experience, in my short exposure to the Internet and its proposition, I have compiled a list of "What to Look Out For and How to Initiate a Home-based Business." I hope you will find some of these tips useful - they may help prevent stumbling blocks in the future.


Protect yourself from work at home scams promising big money. Be choosy, these programs will be your income. Go to: http://www.fraud.org (The National Fraud Information Center Web Site.) Better to be safe, then sorry! 


Don't have a business idea? Try Entrepreneur's Home Office at: http://www.homeofficemag.com Or the Business Guide at: http://www.smallbizbooks.com  


Do plenty of research! This is your business and it pays to be well informed. Talk to you friends, fellow businessmen, and even family can help. Read magazines, visit your local library, and visit web sites online that focus on the home-based business.


Get Sincere About Money! Your home-based business will not turn a profit for six to twelve months. Decide whether you want to do it full or part-time. If you are working outside the home, consider staying on until you see a profit. Calculate your household budget and see what you can put aside to stay afloat. Unseen expenses can drive your home business under quickly. 


Be sure to include your family in your decision to operate a home-based business. Set aside your own location, be it a corner or small room. Set the hours you will be working and stick to them. Be sure that your children know what you expect from them when you are working.


Be aware that there may be certain guidelines you need to follow concerning a home-based business in your area. Check with your county/ municipal clerk for permits, and/or insurance, and licenses.  


Meet with Advisors, whether a lawyer or an associate to discuss your plan and get their feedback.  


Above all, write out your business plan - your personal road map of what you will do. Stumped? Try: http://www.sba.gov for additional free resources.


Set up your office. Setting up my office was a fun job! I have a room six by six feet - just enough room for me and my PC and file cabinet. Just a note: A working door with a lock is helpful. You will be surprised how often you will be interrupted!


Open a Business Checking Account. It is wise to keep business and personal funds separate, and beneficial when it is tax time.


Have business cards made up and hand them out. Be sure to include all pertinent information, especially your web site and email. Send a press release. Suggestions can be found at: http://www.press-release-writing.com

Network! Spread the word, offline and on. Use message boards, e-groups, news groups, small business sites, newsletters, ezines, free classifieds, and URL submissions. Ask family and friends help you.


Get a free web site, I am using www.bizland.com but there are many others. Get a domain name! Use your company name. Don't have a clue as to how to set up your site? I can recommend a web master and friend that may be able to help. He has designed mine with proper meta tags for the search engines. You may visit www.clayparker.net or email Clay at claydparker@earthlink.net. Be sure to let him know that I sent you.


Never Stop Marketing! No matter how "sick" of it you get, stay focused! Set aside time to spread the word. Plan your working hours. It is very easy when you work at home to be distracted or take too many breaks. This is the key to success!!


Keep financial records. If you are bad with numbers, find someone that is, or an accountant.


Take time out to enjoy yourself. Computers have a way of keeping you occupied for hours. Take a walk, go shopping, or visit a friend and be sure to give your attention to your family.

Last, but not least: enjoy your business. Remind yourself why you are doing it. Whether it is because you hate working outside the home, or working for a boss, perhaps it is the fact that you need daycare for little ones - whatever the reason....strive to do your best and Never Give Up.

Copyright Dec. 1, 2000 Donna Sweat

Donna Sweat, Publisher/Editor - donna@sosbbs.com
Dee's Helpful Info Newsletter: http://www.homebiz.pa.32668.com

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