How to Start a Home Based Business Right by Monika Beck of @SuccessHarbor

by Monika Beck | Featured Contributor 

home-business-102015

Does it make any difference how you start a home based business?

Starting a business out of your home means becoming your own boss. But it also means you’re in charge of IT, finances, marketing, and, well, everything. The quickest way to burn yourself out is to try to do everything without help.

The best way to start a business is to use the right tools from the beginning.

Check out the tips below to learn how to start a home based business, the right way.


Finances and documents

You might have no problems tracking your cash flow, but what about when you need to produce a financial report? A CPA can help you produce invoices and reports. If you are a hands on kind of person take a look at at Freshbooks. Not only that you can use it for reports, but it is a great tool for invoicing clients and writing estimates.

Document management

With so much business online, you’ll need a good way to store your documents. I like and use Google Docs and Dropbox every day. Both of them have free options to start with. I recommend using your smartphone to scan documents for cloud storage. I use an app called TurboScan, but there are many others out there to choose from. It is just so much simpler that way.

Processing payments

These days, people expect to be able to pay with credit cards, so make sure you are setup to accept them. If you sell things online, you can also arrange for direct payments through a merchant services provider.

When you start out PayPal offers a simple way to get started with taking credit cards. I also hear good things about Stripe. I have used Authorize.net for years. Regardless of which merchant service you select check out how much they charge per transaction and what percentage of the transaction they take. Find out if there are any hidden fees before you sign on the dotted line.

Web design and marketing

Your website is often the first impression you make on your prospects. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to create a website. I recommend you use the WordPress platform. There are many templates and plugins to help you setup your website the right way.

If you need more than what a template can offer, or if you’re going to sell things through the web, then consider hiring a web designer. Be sure also to leave room in your budget for online marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click ads and email marketing.

I recommend Mailchimp for email marketing since they have a great free option. Build your email subscriber list from day one. Email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing.

Shipping orders

Unless you have lots of garage space, you might not have room to store your customers’ orders. Fortunately, fulfillment services can also be outsourced. Fulfillment companies can even arrange to have products shipped directly from your suppliers to your customers.

Phone

Realistically, most of us no longer have a landline. Your cell phone will most likely do the job. The only drawback is your inability to accept fax messages on your cell phone. I use a service called MaxEmail to receive fax through the internet. There are other options out there too, just check the best fit for your business.

How much office do you need?

Depending on your business, you might need a dedicated room in the house, or you might be to able to run everything from your dining room table. But, if you want to create a more professional image, you could rent office space by the hour. Executive offices offer an inexpensive way to create a high end image for your business without renting a permanent office space.

The best approach to starting a business is to find the most optimal way to do things. Use the right tools and get help from the right places. Doing so will help you succeed faster without burning yourself out in the process.

Shop around for the best providers of the services above. And don’t forget that you’re not alone. There are lots of great resources to help you succeed.

photo credit: Hemingford Abbotts 28th June 103

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Savvy web designer with a twist – Monika Beck with Webene – San Diego, CA.

Monika-Beck-AuthorMonika Beck is passionate about website design, web programming, ecommerce, and building businesses. She is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Success Harbor a website dedicated to help entrepreneurs succeed. Success Harbor interviews successful entrepreneurs and publishes topics relevant to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Monika started Success Harbor with her cofounder in order to ease the life of entrepreneurs through original research, tips and unique content. Monika is also cofounder of Webene, a website design and online marketing firm based in San Diego, CA. Webene specializes in mobile-friendly responsive websites built on the WordPress platform. Monika loves playing classical music on the piano.

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