July 25, 2022

Tips for Starting a Business From Home

Starting a business from home can be intimidating. Hoist is here with a step-by-step guide to help you through this transition into self-employment and profitability.

The roaring ’20s of the 21st century are here, and it’s time to step out of your employment comfort zone, take the leap of faith and step into your home business. However, starting a business from home isn’t a piece of cake and needs some thorough groundwork before you start. 

If you have a home business start-up idea that you have been sitting on, Hoist has the best tips for you to convert that idea into a reality.

Where to begin?

If you find yourself asking this question, the following tips can help you cover your bases before you take the leap: 

  1. Assess Yourself 

Starting a new business may sound exciting, but it's critical to first conduct a complete self-assessment of your abilities, knowledge, and potential roadblocks. ‍

Consider the following questions: 

  • What are your greatest assets and flaws?
  • What are your interests?
  • Are you someone who enjoys taking chances?
  • What is the state of your finances right now?
  • What would the influence of starting a business have on your personal life? 

One way to assess yourself is to ask “Why?” you’re starting the business. During this stage, it's important to distinguish whether the firm is serving a personal or a market-driven reason. If your business is focused on meeting a market need, it will always be bigger than a business that addresses a personal need. However, you also need enough personal enthusiasm to ensure you’ll be dedicated to it.

Once you’ve figured out the “Why” of your business it’s time to figure out what your business is going to be. 

  1. Find your Business Idea 

Now is the time to start looking for business ideas that you can start from home. Find out what existing brand leaders are doing and how you may improve on it. If you believe your company can provide something that other companies cannot (or can provide the same service but at a lower cost), or if you have a strong idea and are ready to develop a business plan. 

Read on to find out our list of business ideas you can start with little investment, and from the comfort of your home. 

But before you do so, take notes on each of the following avenues as you begin planning:

  • Structure of the company: Consider the various types of businesses that are accessible and which ones appeal to you. 

  • Prior work experience: They say that the finest teacher is experience. What abilities do you possess as a result of previous work experience? Include both job-specific talents and soft skills, such as leadership, communication, and the ability to collaborate with others.

  • Interests: During the self-assessment procedure, you will have recognized your passions or interests. Consider what you can monetize. 

 

  • Social Media: Social media sites like Twitter and Instagram may be a gold mine for company ideas. Look into what people are talking about on the internet and see if you can provide a business or service that fulfills a problem. 

  • Startup Costs: Before you go ahead and pursue any particular idea, consider how much it would cost to establish this type of business from home.   

Eg. Your initial costs for a freelance writing business could be extremely inexpensive, especially if you already have a computer and internet access. On the other hand, if you want to establish an Amazon selling business, you'll likely need to invest more in inventory, packing, and shipping, among other things.

  • Test your idea: Put your idea to the test in a variety of ways to see if it's worth investing in. You could give your services for free to test the market if you're launching a service-based firm. If you're planning to sell a product, on the other hand, you might want to test it out with a small group of people or advertise it on a crowdfunding platform to get feedback before pushing further.

  • Time: The best time frame for launching a new business will vary from person to person. First and foremost, you need to invest in a business when you have adequate time to focus on it. If your product or service is seasonal, you should launch your company three months before the season when business is expected to be hot. Spring and fall are attractive times of year for businesses that are not seasonal to debut. Since many new owners want to get their LLC or company approved for a new fiscal year, winter is the least popular launch season for the same. Once you have figured out the best time to start your business, you need to see how the market affects your choice. 

  1. Market Research is Essential 

Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum and needs adequate market conditions to thrive. In that case, market research is one of the most important steps of starting a business. Once you’ve come up with a few ideas and decided on a type of home business, it’s time to deep dive into the market. Studying the market beforehand will not only assist you in determining what is currently viable, but it will also assist you in developing a marketing strategy in the future. 

Here's what you'll need to do your research:

  • Is there a gap in the market that you can fill?
  • What is the demographic of your target market?
  • What is the industry's size?
  • How much money and work will it take to get your company off the ground?
  • What is your one-of-a-kind value proposition?

To find the answers to these questions, you may want to reach out to your professional network, especially if you have colleagues in the industry you want to enter. Even if they run a firm that is significantly different, conducting informational interviews with entrepreneurs might be beneficial. 

If you want to build a hardware store, for example, speaking with any merchant will provide you with valuable information on storefront costs, pricing methods, personnel hiring, and other matters.  

  1. Legalize it! 

You want to make sure that your business is properly set up before you launch it. Failure to do so may result in hefty fines from the government or unwarranted personal culpability. 

Prepare yourself for a wave of papers. Here's a quick rundown of what you'll need to get your business up and running legally.

  • Name of the company: Check to see if your company name is lawful and not protected by someone else's copyright.
  • Obtain a business license: You'll need to register your company as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation to establish a legal business organization.
  • Sole proprietorship: It's a one-person business. You can file for a sole proprietorship if you own the business wholly by yourself and intend to be solely liable for all debts and liabilities. Be aware that using this approach can have a negative impact on your personal credit.
  • Partnership: A business partnership, on the other hand, means that two or more people are held individually liable as business owners, as the name implies. If you can locate a business partner with complimentary abilities to your own, you won't have to go through it alone. 
  • Corporation: You can consider founding one of the various forms of companies if you want to segregate your personal liability from that of your firm (e.g., S corporation, C corporation, or B corporation). Although each sort of corporation has its own set of rules, this legal structure generally separates a business from its owners, allowing companies to own property, accept liabilities, pay taxes, establish contracts, sue, and be sued in the same way that individuals can. Corporations, particularly C corporations, are well-suited to young enterprises that intend to go public or seek venture capital backing in the near future. 
  • Limited liability company (LLC): The limited liability company is one of the most typical structures for small businesses (LLC). The legal protections of a corporation are combined with the tax advantages of a partnership in this hybrid form. 
  • Obtain the required licenses/permits: In order to operate your business, several states need you to obtain certain business licenses or permits. 
  • Operating agreements and articles of incorporation: You must register with the government to become an officially recognized company entity. Corporations require an "article of incorporation" document, which includes your company's name, mission, corporate structure, stock information, and other facts. Similarly, certain limited liability companies (LLCs) will need to draw up an operating agreement.

If you don't have articles of incorporation or an operating agreement, you'll need to register your business name, which can be your legal name, a fictitious DBA name (if you're a sole proprietor), or a name you've created. For more legal protection, you may wish to consider trademarking your company name.

A DBA (Doing Business As) name is required in most states. You may need to apply for a DBA certificate if you're in a general partnership or a sole proprietorship that operates under a fictitious name. Inquire about precise requirements and fees by contacting or visiting your local county clerk's office. 

  • Obtain your federal and tax identification numbers: You will be required to disclose your profits and pay taxes on them. Get a federal and state tax ID so that the IRS can identify your company.

You may need to obtain an employer identification number from the IRS after registering your business. While it is not essential for sole proprietorships with no workers, do apply for one nonetheless to keep your personal and business taxes separate, or simply to save yourself time if you decide to hire someone later. The IRS has a checklist to help you figure out if you'll need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to manage your firm. If you do require an EIN, you can get one for free by registering online.

  • Open a business bank account: The last step is to open a business bank account so that you can accept checks in your company's name.

  1. Your B-Plan is your Plan A! 

A business plan is a written document that acts as a road map for the future of your firm. It aids in the development of strategies for achieving your objectives and is a requirement for receiving funding. 

The Small Business Administration recommends the following to be present in your Business plan: 

  • Summary of the report: Describe your business in detail. Include details about your company's values and staff.
  • Description of the company: Describe how your company solves your clients' concerns and why it will be successful.
  • Market research: What are the names of your competitors, and what are they doing right? What can your company do to make it better?
  • Product or service line: Describe the services you provide to clients and how they benefit.
  • Request for funding: If your business is in need of funding or investment, you can submit your request in this section of your report.  

You'll need to be inventive with finances once you've created your business idea and are ready to start working on a business plan. By pitching your idea to financial supporters, you can raise funds through investments. You might also use crowdsourcing services like Kickstarter to raise funds, or set aside a portion of your weekly profits to invest toward a new business. Finally, you can look into a bank and other financial institution loan possibilities to help you get your business up and operating.

  • Financial forecasts: To demonstrate that you're following a sound business plan, state how much money your company expects to make. 

Your B-plan is a roadmap for your business but your marketing strategy is a roadmap that brings clients to your business. A strong marketing strategy is the next step in establishing your services.

  1. Sell Yourself the Right Way! 

It's time to put your company plan into action now that you have everything in place. Marketing is the best way to expand your business and take it to the next level:

  • Make use of digital marketing strategies: To stand out from the crowd, you'll need a strong internet presence. Blogging about your knowledge, being active on social media, and advertising on Google are just a few methods to get yourself recognized online. 

Make sure your website is conversion-friendly. Effective web design, attractive writing, and calls-to-action (CTAs) strategically placed throughout your site are all required.

Consider creating a powerful logo that allows consumers to quickly recognize your company and using it consistently across all of your channels will establish a tone and a consistent brand identity for your business. 

  • Maintain your network: The importance of networking during your career cannot be overstated. With every home business, make sure to stay rooted in your neighborhood and community, as it is the easiest way to get the word out. Don’t shy away from putting yourself out there, whether online or offline. 

One such way to maintain your network is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Top CRM software systems often enable you to store client data in order to boost your marketing efforts. Using this data, devise a well-planned email marketing strategy that will help you reach out to customers and communicate with them.

Developing a marketing strategy that extends beyond your initial launch is critical to establishing a client base and spreading the word about your company. Remember to create a 360° strategic marketing campaign that includes a corporate website, social media, email newsletters, and opt-in forms, among other marketing channels.

  1. Expand your Business Slowly

To run a successful home business, you must surround yourself with the right talent. Hiring unqualified staff can cost you your time and money, and also harm your company's reputation. 

We understand how tough it may be to acquire quality people, so if you decide to start a company while partnering with Hoist, we'll walk you through the process of hiring subcontractors. Here are some tips to assist you to hire in the right manner in any business:  

  • Make your job description as explicit as possible: Make an attempt to create a detailed job overview. Include any responsibilities you may have as well as any perks you may offer, and preferably put them in bullet points, for ease of readability.
  • Use social media to locate potential applicants: LinkedIn is a wonderful place to start. Examine their employment history, credentials or degrees they may have included on their profile. There are also multiple freelance networks that can connect you to people who are looking to be employed
  • Learn management skills: You must be a good leader yourself in order to establish a good team. A smart manager understands how to empower each employee to achieve their full potential. 

If you have everything you need and a space to work, finishing any activity or project is much simpler. Before starting your business, you should think about having the following elements in place:

  • Home office: A separate room is advised if you want to work without interruptions. Additionally, if you intend to claim the home office deduction, this facility must be frequently and only used for company operations.
  • Power Supply: Additional outlets, power strips, and other power requirements. 
  • A second telephone/mobile: Having a second business line separates personal and professional life and enables you to use business-only connectivity options. This can easily be done by downloading one of numerous apps on your smartphone.

Keep track of your estimated expenditures as you decide what you'll need. Now that you’ve successfully fulfilled the above planning part of starting a business from home, you can head straight to executing your business. 

If you are still looking for business ideas that you can work on, check out the following list of ventures that Hoist has curated for you: 

Home businesses you can explore: 

  1. Freelancing 

Freelancing is the way of the future. It is the perfect way to make some extra money while doing something you enjoy, whether you have decades of expertise in the area or your schedule just allows for a part-time job. 

One of the easiest businesses to start, a well-developed and maintained freelance network will get you the time and returns that even normal businesses won’t. So don’t be shy to explore this area, be it in writing, photography, marketing, or other fields.  

  1. Tutoring 

Tutoring and teaching is a less traditional side business, but one that can be done successfully. Tutoring could be a wonderful alternative for you if you're a student or professional who is well-versed in STEM, languages, or a subject that is now in demand — like blockchains and crypto. 

If you can't find a way to tutor, you can easily create and record an online lesson, which you can then share on learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or even YouTube. These classes can be as long or as short as you want, and you have complete control over the content.

  1. Handicrafts 

Whether it's soap, candles, sauces, or pottery—you're in a unique position to start a business from home because product development and sourcing are directly in your hands. 

Many creators on Shopify started with a part-time home-based business, selling on Etsy or to friends and family, and subsequently expanded into full-time business owners after creating a demand for their products. Handicrafts have a huge market and are the best way to be self-sufficient while also having high job satisfaction. 

  1. Cloud Kitchen 

Do you like to bake and cook? In that case, starting a cloud kitchen or a home bakery is as good as it gets! Create a menu for your cloud kitchen, open an online store, and have your food delivered or picked up by friends and family, or other low-cost intra-city delivery possibilities. 

You may also choose how much business or how many orders you want to handle each day, and you can even hire workers as your business grows.

  1. Web Design 

Web design is a terrific business to start from home. All you need to know is a bit about coding and have a keen sense of design and aesthetics. As organizations increasingly outsource website design and development, the need for this service will only expand.

With a few online classes, tutorials, and practice, you can simply improve your existing skill-set. Focus your portfolio on a narrow set of abilities for a niche market, and you can charge slightly more for your services than the competition. 

  1. Painting 

Starting a painting side business may not be the first thing that springs to mind when considering small side businesses, but it's as straightforward as it gets.  Painting jobs come in a wide variety of sizes and types, which will keep your firm busy. From interior paint jobs for homes to exterior paint works for commercial complexes such as offices, there is no dearth to the amount of projects that can come your way. 

If a painting business is something you’re interested in, Hoist hosts a large network of painting businesses and is your one-stop point if you want to pursue it full-time. 

We at Hoist believe that everybody can be their own boss! With Hoist as your trusted partner, you’ll have all you need to get started in just 30 days, and you'll soon be reaping better profit margins. 

And if you’re worried about being a newcomer, look no further! Hoist provides everything you require to manage your company, from training to marketing materials, for only $8K per year. 

In addition to assisting you with business setup, we also offer a comprehensive training program to help you learn the specifics of your industry. The training provides you with in-depth knowledge on process, materials, estimating, sales, and other domain topics including a general overview of Hoist. Additionally, because all of this training is offered remotely, you may complete it whenever you want, from anywhere, at your own pace.

Hoist also helps you come into your own as a brand. It may be challenging to create marketing for your painting company, but Hoist's specialists have you covered! Our platform lets you create your own landing page or website. All you have to do is choose from three pre-designed, SEO-friendly themes that are completely customizable, giving you the freedom to edit the structure to suit your preferences. Along with creating marketing materials, we also collaborate with you to develop your unique brand. This includes producing a logo for your company as well as branding materials like flyers, business cards, and more.

The best part about partnering with Hoist is that you get access to Hoist’s expert community. This network of business owners and coaches provides the direction and encouragement you need to realize and achieve your goals. You can also receive personalized coaching from seasoned professionals as well as weekly sessions where you can learn from coaches and network with other business owners.

Get more details on partnering with Hoist here.  

Conclusion:

The days of making ends meet with a 9-to-5 job are long gone. Starting a business from home is a low-cost side venture that you can set up with just a few basic tools and lay the groundwork for a future, more lucrative income source. Hoist encourages aspiring business owners to launch, run, grow, and enhance their home painting businesses with the confidence, community, and focus they require to succeed. 

We're here to help if you ever want to extend your home business, now that you've acquired a few ideas. If you want to make your home business a full-time career, check out this article on how you can reach all of your self-employment goals and turn your dreams into a reality!

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