This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
by Wassim Boustani
English I, Section VI Professor Martin 11 March 2002
Boustani 2 Outline Thesis statement: Starting a home-based business can be a monumental undertaking; however, it has provided freedom and financial independence to millions of successful entrepreneurs; and with proper guidance, it can provide you with the same benefits. I. The self-employed A. Description B. Personality qualifications C. Reasons for being self-employed II. Becoming self-employed A. Developing your idea B. Financial investment C. Defining your mission D. Finding customers E. First plan of action III. Starting from home A. Legal issues B. Equipment requirements C. Managing finances D. Cultivating the right image E. Home business tactics F. Helpful resources
Boustani 3 Starting a Home-Based Business Robin was an excellent computer programmer who always kept her skills up to date, and she made sure to have an advantage over her co-workers by keeping high standards. After five years of working for the same company, she felt that the challenge and growth potential there had reached its limits. She also noticed that the company was no longer financially stable, and that appreciation for her excellent dedication and performance had diminished. Her daily routine now consisted of long work hours, which lead to little time for a social life. Robin always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so she decided that the only way to fulfill her full potential would be to start her own consulting business from home. Starting a home-based business can be a monumental undertaking; however, it has provided freedom and financial independence to millions of successful entrepreneurs; and with proper guidance, it can provide you with the same benefits. A home-based business is usually a sole proprietorship, which means that it has one owner, and it takes place mostly from the owner's home. The owner is responsible for all aspects of the business. The type of business can also be a partnership, or a corporation, but the latter is rare. Starting a business from your home can have its advantages and disadvantages. There are many types of self-employed individuals. These can include traditional business owners that offer conventional products and services; those that want to grow their business and employ others; those that are their own business by selling their knowledge, experience and contacts; and those that are a combination of all of the above. Although more women are becoming self-employed, an article by De Lisser mentions that males still manage 59% of businesses operated from a home. The average age of these entrepreneurs is 44 years; they are married and are professionals in marketing, sales, or technology with almost ten years of
Boustani 4 experience (1). Starting a business is not for everyone, and you should ask yourself if it is something that you should be pursuing. There are many factors to consider, such as time constraints, family responsibilities, health, money, and the consequences of failure. Research has shown that your personality, assertiveness, and ambition should also be appropriate: Successful home-based business owners typically share common traits, behaviors, skills and approaches to business that give them an edge over those who fail. While some traits are particular to working at home, most of them are required for any successful business, large or small, at home or away. (Perkins) You need to find a reason to start your own business that is powerful enough to keep you focused along the way. The most popular reason has often been freedom. According to Perkins, if your main reason for becoming self-employed is freedom, be careful not to become isolated, or make it a habit of working long hours and neglecting your health, because you lack the social interaction of a regular office setting (1). Many home-based business owners are already comfortable working alone and have the discipline to spend long hours operating their business without supervision or outside influences. You probably already have an idea about what your business will be about. However, you must develop this idea so that you can easily explain the products and services that you offer in one sentence. Simply start by writing out a full description of your idea, and then keep revising it until you reach the fewest possible words. You will be using this descriptive sentence when people ask you what your business's function is (Levinson 42). Now that you have a business idea, you will need the money to get started. Your business can be financed by many sources, such as a second home mortgage, life insurance loan, credit
Boustani 5 unions, credit cards, retirement plan, gifts or loans from family, help from suppliers, banks, and government agencies. Be careful about certain sources such as retirement plans, life insurance, and credit cards because fees, taxes, and interest charges can quickly add up. The most popular government agency source for financing is the Small Business Association (SBA). All gifts and loans from family members should be treated as business transactions with signed, written agreements (Pollan 205). The best way to define your mission is to write a business plan. This is especially true if you will be seeking a loan. A business plan is crucial to defining who you are, what your business is, what you will be selling, who your customers are, what your estimated expenses and income will be for the next five years, and what you plan to do with your business in the future (The Entrepreneur Magazine Group 121). Finding customers can be one of the most difficult challenges. There are many advertising strategies, including postcards, fliers, brochures, and other literature that may be sent out in mass mailings, or made available at your place of business; products such as pens, calendars, chocolates, t-shirts, free samples that are imprinted with the name of your business; business cards left wherever you go; notices posted publicly on electronic bulletin boards; free samples given out on the street corner, or at any public event (Anthony 126). One of the best advertising methods is word-of-mouth, which is why it is crucial to keep your customers happy. A plan of action is required if you want your business to develop. The best way to create one is to have a list of what needs to be done, with a detailed schedule. Following your plan of action every day, even if it is only a small task, will ensure that you stay focused on your goals and achieve some level of production. Regardless of how small your business is, you must operate it legally. Contact your
Boustani 6 county's chamber of commerce and your city hall to learn about zoning and licensing issues. Most of the time, you simply need to file an Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted. Personal liability is full, and a sole proprietor is personally responsible for all debts of his or her business. For purposes of taxation, business income is reported and taxed through the sole proprietor's personal tax return (Internal Revenue Service). Your home office should be sufficiently equipped to properly support your business. Most home-based operations today need a computer; multi-function printer that can fax, copy, and scan; a reliable Internet connection; and a good phone system. Call waiting service can help if you cannot afford two phone lines, because customers will not expect a busy signal when they call a business. Your office space should be of a good size, and away from domestic distractions. You should establish an accurate bookkeeping system from the very beginning. Consult a qualified accountant for guidance. Keeping records of all income and expenses is important, and those pertinent to the Internal Revenue Service are usually kept for a minimum of seven years. Accounting software can help you effectively manage finance and taxation issues. Making a good impression on your customers is critical. You need to cultivate the right image for your type of business. Customers will tell more people about a bad experience, than about a good experience with you. You will want positive word-of-mouth advertising from them. Your county's chamber of commerce, the Small Business Administration, your town or city hall, and your library have a multitude of resources that can help you with all aspects and stages of your business. With the will to succeed, the proper motivation, an entrepreneurial spirit, some marketing know-how, and accurate financial management, you can start and grow your home-based
Boustani 7 business to any level you desire. Set your goals high and stay competitive by marketing aggressively, providing excellent customer service, cultivating a professional image, keeping accurate financial records, using resources effectively, and nurturing current customers. Soon you will leave the office crowd and build your own successful home-based business.
Works Cited Anthony, Joseph. Kiplinger's Working for Yourself: Full Time, Part Time, Anytime. Washington: Kiplinger Books, 1993. De Lisser, Ellena, and Dan Morse. "More Men Than Women Work From Home." Startup
Boustani 8 Journal 21 June 1999. 13 Mar. 2002 <http://www.startupjournal.com/howto/workhome/199907060949-Johnson.html>. The Entrepreneur Magazine Group. The Entrepreneur Small Business Advisor. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995. Small Business/Self-Employed. Internal Revenue Service. 26 Jan. 2002 <http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/businesses/small/display/0,,i1%3D2%26i2%3D23%26generi cId%3D20859,00.html>. Johnson, Robert. "Neighborhoods Feud Over Home Office Headquarters." Startup Journal 6 Jul. 1999. 13 Mar. 2002 <http://www.startupjournal.com/howto/workhome/199907060949-Johnson.html>. Levinson, Jay C. Guerilla Marketing. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Perkins, Broderick. "Realize the Dream of a Home-Based Business." Startup Journal 26 Oct. 2001. 13 Mar. 2002 <http://www.startupjournal.com/howto/workhome/20011026Perkins.html>. Pollan, Stephen M., and Mark Levine. The Field Guide to Starting a Business. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990. Robbins, Stephen P., and Robin Stuart-Kotze. Management: Concepts and Applications. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Canada, 1990.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.