The Top 5 Setting-Up Mistakes.

When you’re starting a home business, it’s all too easy to make mistakes — after all, you’ve never done this before. Fortunately for you, though, you can learn from others’ errors, by making sure you don’t do any of these things.

Thinking Skills You Don’t Have Aren’t Important.

So you have no idea how to keep records and accounts, or you don’t know how to maintain a mailing list. You need to learn these things! Too many home business owners just do the things that they know how to do, and assume that they can probably get by without everything else.

You need to realise that when you’re running a home business, you’re going to need to do as much as you can for yourself, especially when you’re starting out. This means that you can’t get by if your business skills are lacking. I always say that everyone who is thinking of starting a business should take an inexpensive and quick local business course, and I stand by it — even if you think you’ll be fine, it can’t hurt, can it?

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Putting a Work Area in Your Home.

When you work from home, one of the hardest things to get right is knowing where to do your work. In your bedroom? In a special home office? Well, here are a few pointers.

A Dedicated Space is Best.

I really believe that you won’t get far unless you set aside a space and use it for work only. Why? Well, if you use your work space for things other than work, then you’ll get distracted by anything you leave there. Other people in the family might become frustrated by not being able to use the space, or you might find that you simply don’t have anywhere to put all the important pieces of paper you acquire, meaning that they get lost.

The Art of the Home Office.

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Setting Up a Website for Your Business.

There are very few businesses these days that don’t have websites, and as a home business your website is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. A good website can really work for you, but you need to know what you’re doing.

Hire Foreign Designers.

Web design really is something that you shouldn’t try to do yourself, unless you really know what you’re doing — I’m sure you’ve seen what happens when people try this. Hiring a web designer, though, can be prohibitively expensive. Luckily for you, the Internet puts you in touch with designers all over the world, and it’s easy to hire one of them very cheaply to design your website. They don’t do any worse of a job than someone in your country would, it just happens that your few hundred dollars is worth as much to someone in India as a few thousand would be to you or I.

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Researching and Developing the Idea.

Market Research.

If you think your idea is original, then you might be right – but don’t bank on it. Come up with as many word combinations relating to your idea as you can, and then search for them all. If you have trouble thinking of what to search for, try to think like a customer of your potential business – what would they look for to find you? The chances are that you’ll at least find something similar to what you’re doing. If you don’t, then there are three possibilities: you’re a genius who’s come up with an original business idea, you’re no good at searching, or your idea isn’t practical.

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Planning For Every Expense.

Making a budget for a home business start-up is more of an art than it is a science. No matter how exactly you think you’ve pinned down all your expenses, it’s guaranteed that more will appear that you either didn’t think of or just couldn’t have predicted. That’s why you need to make sure that you always plan for every possible expense.

Things Break.

Remember that any equipment you buy can go wrong, no matter how expensive or high-quality it was (this is especially true of anything IT-related!) When things break, you probably won’t need to buy a new one, but you’ll at least have to wait for the manufacturer to replace what broke. This can lead to days of lost or less-efficient business, and cost you money. Budget for equipment failures.

People are Unpredictable.

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Home Business Office Tools

If you are creating a home office, you will surely need some home business office tools to make sure you can be productive and easily communicate with others. Here are some tips on the most popular home business office tools on the market.

Probably the most popular home business office tools are computers. Most every home office has a computer in it and it is usually connected to broadband internet. Broadband internet to most people is a necessity. You can quickly surf the net and do research with incredible ease. You can also download files and upload files, send email and create web sites quickly and easy with the help of either DSL or a cable modem.

Besides a computer and broadband internet connection, it is also a good idea to have a printer, copier, scanner and fax machines. If you don’t want to go out and buy every type of accessory, there are plenty of all in one office accessories that include a printer, scanner, fax and copier in one device for usually less than $200.

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Tax, Tax and More Tax.

When you run a business, it can feel like you spend far too much of your time worrying about tax. Here’s a quick guide to the what you need to know about tax.

What Do You Qualify For?

There are all sorts of tax breaks for home and small businesses, to try and make it easier for them to survive. To qualify for them, though, you will need to be using your home as the primary place where you do business. If most of what you do takes place in some space elsewhere that you rent, then you won’t qualify for home business tax rules. You also are unlikely to qualify if you haven’t set aside a specific part of your home as the ‘business area’. Be prepared for the fact that you might be audited, to make sure that you are running a legitimate business from your home.

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Home business Ideas

If you are interested in starting a home business, one of the first things to look into are home business ideas. Many people would love to start their own home business to either supplement their income or work full time from home, however many entrepreneurs have trouble coming up with an idea that is profitable. Here are some home business ideas that can help make you some spending money on the side or even a full time income.

One of the top home business ideas is selling products on auction sites. Sites such as Ebay are filled with entrepreneurs looking to make a few hundred dollars on the side or several thousand dollars a month to live off of. Finding something to sell on Ebay is usually easy. You can start by looking at your garage or attic for things to sell. If you like selling on Ebay, you can go on the site and start searching categories for items that are big sellers. Once you find an item that you would like to sell, search the internet for manufacturers or distributors. Many manufacturers now advertise on the internet making buying products and then selling them on auction sites very easy.

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The Art of e-Commerce.

So you’ve got your website, and people can email you about your products and services. The next step, if your home business is suitable, is to start selling them directly online.

Why E-Commerce?

E-commerce can be a massive business booster. If you sell reasonably small, easy-to-ship products (or services that don’t need shipping), it can expand your market from your local neighbourhood to the whole world! You will also find that you get more repeat business, since people can easily re-order from you without having to call you again, and you might find that you can afford to sell lower-value things in your web store than you could in real life, thanks to the reduced overheads.

Setting Up E-Commerce.

If you’ve already got a website, setting up e-commerce can be surprisingly easy. The only real requirements are that you get some e-commerce software (it’s not that expensive, and some like OScommerce are even free), and that your web hosting will support whatever programming language the software is written in.

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Working From Home: the Pros and Cons.

If you’re thinking of starting a home business, you’ve got to realise something about life. Life has a certain balance: there is no pleasure without pain, and there are no pros without cons. Here’s a look at the upsides and downsides of home businesses.

Pro: Independence. You do what you want, when you want. No-one else can screw up your hard work, and you don’t need to depend on anyone but yourself. Your days of being told what to do are over. And there’s no dress code, either! Many people who work from home admit to sitting around in their pyjamas all day, or even working in the nude.

Con: No Security. With independence, though, comes responsibility. There’s nobody to carry you if you do badly one day – if you don’t make any money for the business, then you don’t get paid. People like certainty in their lives (that’s why they spend big bucks on insurance) – it can be hard to live with this ultimate step into performance-related pay. You might find yourself quickly wishing you had a regular paycheque again.

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