Friday, July 07, 2006

Tips for Starting A Small Home-Based Business, Part I

Have you been dreaming of getting out of the rat race and starting your own home-based small business? If so, your dream has become a reality for thousands of people across the U.S.

New small home-based business owners often have similar questions such as Will I be successful? Do I need a mentor? What help is available? What will this cost me?

The fact of the matter is, those who are successful in starting their small business have carefully planned for each phase of their business’s life. There are definite steps potential entrepreneurs should follow to increase their chance of success. Here are 3 tips to assist them in this process:

Tip #1: Decide on your potential business. Ask questions such as if there is a marketplace, if a profit can be made, and how much competition is currently in the specific market place.

Tip #2: Do careful research. This is highly important and can prevent potential small business owners from making costly mistakes. Some basic questions to ask are:

1. What niche or void will my business fill?
2. What services or products will be sold?
3. Is my idea practical, and will it fill a need?
4. Can a demand be created for the business?

Once the potential small business owner has determined their business if feasible, other questions to think about are:

1. What skills and experience do I bring to the business?

2. What will be my legal structure?

3. What financing will I need?

5. Where will my business be located?

Those looking to work from home should answer additional questions such as :

1. Is there enough space in the home?
2. Can the business be run well and successfully from the home?
3. Can one deal with not working around other people?

When potential small business owners are able to answer the questions above and feel comfortable with the outcome, this will naturally lead then to the next tip:

Tip #3: Develop a business plan. This is crucial and there is help available for this important step. For example, The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides free or low-cost resources to help potential small business owners’ plan, finance, and manage their business. The resources the SBA offers includes free, online courses which takes entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a business, assistance in writing business plans, and guidance in how to raise capital. These resources are easily available online at, or at the local SBA office in towns and cities across the U.S. The SBA’s Answer Desk can also be reached at 1-800-U ASK SBA.

Another great source from the SBA is there SCORE program. This stands for the “The Service Corps of Retired Executives.” This is a free e-mail business course that includes informative sections on federal and state agencies and links to other business resources. Find the SCORE program by going to

Starting a small home-based business and being successful with it are dreams of many people. However, it does require careful planning and research. If done right, one can indeed leave the “rat race” behind and embark on a life they have always dreamed about. Why not start now?

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