Home-based businesses aren't a new idea at all. Working where you live and living where you work was the natural order of things until the 1700s, when machinery began to make factories and mass production possible. From that point forward, people increasingly left their homes to go to work each day.
Well, technology has now come full circle. You can now link up electronically with almost anywhere in the world directly from your home — and home can be a boat, the beach, or a mountain log cabin. No longer do you have to rely on local markets for your goods and services: The Internet gives you access to one of the most efficient and effective marketing channels ever created.
The opportunities for many home-based businesses have never been stronger, so it's not a surprise that more and more people are dreaming of creating their own business — and their own future. Surely, they think, working for yourself holds the answers: setting your own hours, working with people you respect, making your own decisions, and keeping all the after-tax profits. What a great deal!
Of course, the dreams don't usually include the fact that you'll be working just as hard, if not harder, than you already do at someone else's workplace, and that if something goes wrong, you have sole responsibility for it. But if that doesn't bother you — if you welcome the challenge — then owning your own home-based business could well be the answer for you.
This book is intended to guide you through the entire process of business ownership at home, from launch to closing. Along the way, it guides you through the process of figuring out whether a home-based business is actually the right answer for you. If the answer is “yes,” then this book guides you through deciding what type of business to focus on, how to structure it, how to fund it, and when to launch it. You'll learn why a business plan is essential, and how to create one — and why it's a living document rather than a one-time effort.
Start-up might be the most adrenaline-packed phase, but it's only the beginning of the process — so this book also touches on every topic that you'll need to consider for your day-to-day operations. Staying on track financially gets plenty of attention, from the insurance coverage that you'll need to consider to the nuts and bolts of bookkeeping and tax filing.
But this book also goes a step further, letting you know how to reach your most important audience — your customers. It provides insight into the world of marketing and advertising, and even gives you a primer on networking and publicity. And once you've reached your customers, the book gives you tips and techniques for retaining them even while you're expanding your customer base.
You'll also find information on dealing with difficult people — from employees to customers — and difficult days. Let's face it: You're going to experience times when nothing seems to be going the way you'd envisioned it. Or maybe the isolation and independence suddenly seems too much of a good thing. You'll learn how to break through those tough times, how to keep yourself motivated, and even how to beat that all-star time waster, procrastination.