Working and running a business from your home can offer you many benefits, such as more schedule flexibility and lower overhead costs. Before starting your own business from your garage, however, you will want to watch out for common pitfalls and have solutions ready for success.
Not Researching Payment Methods and Processing Tools
For many entrepreneurs, the company idea, initial funding, and legal documentation come well before deciding what methods they will accept and which processing tools they will use. Putting this research into your business plan from the beginning is a much better idea, so you are prepared for the startup costs and have everything ready for your first sale. You can use many forms of payment, both online and in-person, and each type will have multiple processing tools to choose from. For instance, you can accept debit and credit cards, cash, or digital wallets as payment methods, and from there, determine whether credit card or ACH processing tools will work best for your company.
Whether selling handmade craft items, catering weddings, or keeping someone else’s books, having the right technology can make a big difference in how effectively you run your business. For instance, using outdated computers and software for online sales leaves your data vulnerable to viruses and malicious actors. Include state-of-the-art technology in your startup costs for fast and secure processes such as inventory management, bookkeeping, and website maintenance.
Not Having the Correct Licenses and Permits
Federal, state, and local agencies have laws or regulations governing business aspects, such as which companies you can operate out of a private residence, who is allowed to make or sell food and beverages, and what types of insurance you need. You may need a specific license or permit for handling products or dispensing professional advice. For instance, freelance accountants will need a CPA license, and caterers will need Food Handlers’ Permits. You can research these regulations independently and consult a business lawyer for advice or double-check your work. A bit of looking into which laws and regulations apply to your home and your business before the grand opening can save you legal trouble in the long run.
No Sales Plan
While you do not necessarily need a business plan to open your own company, the items generally included in them are a big help for charting the path your company will need to follow. One of these items is a detailed sales plan for at least the first quarter. Include aspects such as website design, search engine or social media optimization, and planned advertisement campaigns in your sales plan, and remember to detail your ideal customer and target audience. It is crucial to refer back to your sales plan regularly and update or change it as needed.
Poor Office Design
Even if you live and work alone, designing the perfect home office is not an easy task. Some of the biggest mistakes in this area include not having enough natural light, underestimating how much space your inventory will need, and little to no organization. Set up your space to match your ideal workflow, with plenty of privacy and the tools or supplies you use most often within easy reach. For instance, if you need to print documents daily for your clients, you will not want your printer hidden behind a filing cabinet. You are bound to find issues with your setup for the first few weeks, so be prepared to make changes to help increase your productivity and focus.
Sometimes the most challenging part of working and running a business from home is not being better prepared from the very beginning. While you can find advice from seasoned entrepreneurs on securing funding, choosing a niche, and promoting your company, you will need to research many more aspects of running a business to succeed. Once you know which laws and regulations are applicable to your company, which payment methods and processing tools you need, and how to design your office, you can build a better business plan.