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Tips on Starting Your Home Business

Is the Home Business Legitimate?

When someone is looking for a home business, one of the things that they worry about is whether or not it is legitimate.After all, there are a lot of scams out there on the Internet that promise a lot but deliver very little. So how do you know whether or not a home business is something that is real, or just a way to get your money?

Research -

One of the best ways to know whether or not a home business is legitimate is by doing research. Go on the Better Business Bureau’s website and see if it’s listed there, and how long it has been a member of the Better Business Bureau. You also want to see if there are any complaints about it. This is one of the most reliable ways to see if the business is legitimate.

Talk -

Another way to find out if the business venture you are considering is a good one is to talk to others who have done it. But only do this after you have checked the BBB website for the business, because the Better Business Bureau has nothing to gain or lose. It’s very important to check out anything that looks too good to be true, because it probably is. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who enjoy taking advantage of those who are too trusting. So stay one step ahead of them and make sure that you find out everything you can about a business before signing up.

Setting Up Your Home Office

Before you start your business in your home, the one thing that you should do is to designate a place for you to work.

The area that you work in should be free of distractions and have a laptop or desktop computer, some furniture, a cell phone, wi-fi, and, if possible, a bathroom. This way you will have everything you need until you take your lunch break. Something to remember is that you are ‘at work’ in this area. An ideal solution is to have every distraction taken care of. This means that you have someone looking after your child, if possible. If your child is younger than school age, hire someone to look after them during the day. This may seem strange since you are working at home, but would you bring an infant or a child into your office with you? Probably not – your boss wouldn’t allow it. Having someone look after them while you are working ensures that you will get everything done during business hours.

If your children are school age and old enough to comprehend, show them that you are working, so that they know you should only be disturbed if it’s an emergency. If they are still young, have someone watch them after school. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you are talking to someone on the phone they won’t take you seriously if they hear a crying baby in the office area, or kids arguing. Make yourself be a professional so that people know they can trust you.

With Your Home Business – How to Dress for Success

We have all seen the advertisements on the Internet about working in your pajamas, setting your own hours, and other things that entice us to want to work in our home. Even if you are not going somewhere, you are a professional person that is running your business from your home

The first thing that you should keep in mind is that you should stay away from working in your pajamas. If you are in your pajamas, what are you thinking about? You are thinking about sleeping and that does not inspire you to work you business. It just creates no inspiration to do anything for you or your business and then you’ve accomplished nothing. Instead of wearing your pajamas, wear something that would be considered business casual. Even if you are the only one that sees you dressed that way, it will make you feel like you are working instead of just doing something from home. Something that those who work from home run into is that their friends and family don’t think that they have a real job because they are sitting home in their pajamas and slippers, while the rest of the work force goes to work in suits and skirts. If you dress in business casual and someone does stop by, it will show that you are serious about your job, and that you have a real job. It will make you feel better and it will make them feel better as well. When you look like a confident business owner, you will feel like one as well.

Keeping Schedules in your Home Business

When you are starting up a home business, it’s easy to ignore the alarm clock and get up when you want to get up. You are your own boss, you should be able to keep the hours that you want, right?

Wrong! This is a misconception that many who are going into the home business have. It is true that you are your own boss, but if you work from 9 to 5 one day, and then don’t get up until noon the next day, people won’t take you seriously. When you are setting up your home business, the first thing that you should do is to pick a schedule and stick to it. This way your customers know when they can reach you. This is good for business, and will help keep your customers coming back.

When you sit down to plan out your business hours, figure out a starting time and a closing time, and factor in time for lunch as well. If you were working in an office environment, you would take a lunch break so set an acceptable amount of time to be at lunch and stick to it. You don’t have a time clock that you have to go by, but you will have customers who are counting on you to be available during the hours that you set. Just as it’s important to stick to your time for starting, it’s just as important to stick to your time when you will be closed for the day. It’s easy to want to check your email, but unless you are talking to a customer when the time comes, don’t spread yourself too thin by going over time.

10 Guidelines for Effective Business Planning

Whether you are making, or have made, a business plan, you know it’s difficult to get every key thought down onto paper in an efficient manner. Did you write your business plan in a hurry, only to never use it again and wing your venture? You need to go back and take an analytical look at your business plan so you can truly understand which direction you are going. Planning is one of the key factors for any successful venture. Whether you are looking for investors/banks to fund your business venture or you just want to give a more concrete approach to your business idea, a well-written comprehensive business plan is what you need to meet these goals. Based on it, you can craft your business strategy, both long-term and short-term.

I have uniquely customized the Business Model Canvas, providing all the questions you must answer for your business, keep reading to find out how you can get your free copy. One great starter tip for creating a great plan is to find real-world plans that have already been approved and study them, get a feel for what are the do’s and don’ts.

After creating, reviewing and approving a large number of business plans in my time I have simplified my top 10 tips for you:

10 Tips to Writing a Winning Business Plan

1. Start well in advance. Write down every idea that comes to mind while nurturing your business idea.
2. Begin with a statement of purpose. You should be able to explain your business in 25 words or less.
3. Research, research & research. Find your specific niche and know it well, from competitors to suppliers!
4. Get advice from mentors, friends, and colleagues. Different perspectives will allow you to grow. Without giving away your whole plan, a soundboard is always beneficial.
5. Use Simple language and avoid heavy jargon. Use visuals such as graphs, charts and images to make the idea clearer and more effective.
6. Include time frames and a realistic execution plan.
7. Do not keep it static, keep adapting and updating the plan as new developments arise.
8. Be realistic in your estimates. If need be get financial help to get the most accurate approximations for three years of projections.
9. Approach the problem from all angles. Visualise yourself as the consumer and scrutinize your concepts to each detail.
10. Use it! Most people leave the Plan in their closets once they start the business. Use it as a guide, keep updating it and allow it to remind you what your core values, missions and objectives are.

My Four Pillars of Writing a Business Plan: Extensive Research, Customized To Audience Needs, Who Should Write The Business Plan, Seek Help/Advice From a Mentor.

Stressing Tip 10, once you’ve finished it, USE your plan as a blueprint of your business providing information about various processes, value chain activities and resources. All major businesses constantly review and update their plans and make sure it continuously meets its needs, so be sure to do the same!

If you are looking for angel investors, then you must think like an investor when creating your business plan. Why should somebody invest their money to fulfill your dreams? To gain their investment and back and more! So your job is to convince investors / bank managers the potential of your business idea. Investors usually look for quick reasons not to invest, rather than reasons to invest. Think realistically about the risks of your business. Eliminate or reduce them. A business looking for capital can’t afford to underestimate the importance of business financial projections.

When you start detailing the various components of a business plan, it will enable you to envision how you would be running and maintaining the business. You’ll realize that many gaps will be highlighted which would have escaped review before. Be sure to include your vision/mission, marketing aims, operational and financial information, exit plans, skills needed, and details on the product/service itself.

Virtual PBX And Online Fax In Today’s Business World

Sometimes it is simply amazing how fast new technology changes everything. In recent years, it may be successfully argued, the dramatic increases in mobile communications have changed everything – including the current business world. We simply have become a completely wireless mobile society and the implications are significant and far-reaching, especially in the way business is done.

It is because of these mobile technologies we have seen the rise of virtual PBX, online faxing and other “cloud” services. Providing “remote” data collection, web services, phone/fax services and other communication services have all become a growing trend for many companies, both big and small. Outsourcing has become less of a dirty word and more of a needed necessity to keep many businesses competitive and profitable.

For many of these companies switching over to virtual phone and PBX services, including Internet faxing, may be cheaper alternatives to traditional methods and services. However, the lower prices may not be the over-riding factor why these companies have made the switch to more mobile technologies, overall system integration may prove to be the dominant reason. Full integration of one’s communications and business operations only makes perfect “business sense” in this new mobile society we have created.

For any business, having all your employees on the same page and working in complete unison, is simply priceless. Throw in the added benefit of full mobility and all one’s business communications and transactions can be accessed anywhere and at any time. In our current world of cell phones, iPads and smart gadgets of every shape and form – this may seem rather passe but as stated above, the implications may be far-reaching, especially for companies.

Using Virtual PBX and online fax services means your company or business is open 24/7, 365 days of the year. Customers and clients can reach you anywhere and at any time. Your business does not even need to have a fixed location, it can be completely portable or mobile. It is what Christian Watts, the founder of Faxage, calls “Location Independence.”

These new technologies can connect any small business or company into this mobile wireless network or grid. It is no longer a matter of getting a phone or fax number for your business, but rather you have to “plug” your business into the current Internet platform, one that is totally integrated into all your business operations. It means using email, voice mail, virtual phone services, data collection/retrieval and most of all, it means taking full advantage of all these technologies to achieve your business goals or objectives.

Moreover, any business that desires to be truly competitive, must become “searchable” in this brave new world. Customers and clients must be able to quickly search and find your business on the web. Having all your business operations and communications fully integrated with the Internet and the online world, will make this discovery process much easier.

Then there is also the mobile element, Matt Cutts of Google, has already stated that mobile searches will outnumber all other searches in 2014. A larger majority of people are now using mobile devices to find what they are looking for online and in the real world. This upward trend will no doubt only continue in the future and should not be ignored.

For any business hoping to operate in this environment, using a virtual PBX system and online fax provider, may give your business a competitive edge and provide another way to fully integrate your business with the whole mobile experience. These mobile technologies and services can provide a modern way for customers to easily connect with your business. Never know, this fact alone might prove to be good for business, but it is your call.