Thanks to big leaps in technology, more people are starting businesses from home than ever before. Nowadays, all you need are a laptop and some motivation to start a business from your sofa.
No longer do you need to be a super-smart entrepreneur, secure a big investment or buy an office to start up a business. Whatever your hobby is or whatever you’re passionate about, there is a way to turn it into a business. Whether you love writing about baking or creating Christmas tree ornaments from scratch, you can easily turn it into a business.
Services such as Shopify and Squarespace are making it easier than ever to set up a website for any business imaginable. They also have easy to use tools to advertise your business. While many things have changed, some of the rules for what to do when starting a business remain the same. You still need to register your business and pay the appropriate taxes, and you still need the correct insurance, for example.
All over the world, people are finding gaps in the market and realising they have the skills or expertise to exploit them, and using their home as a base to do so.
There are also a lot of benefits that come from starting a home-based business. Most notably is the commute time, more time to spend with family, and all the perks that come with being your own boss.
Keep reading to find out step by step how you can start your own business from home
Decide what business you want to start
This is a hard decision to make because you will most likely have to stick with this decision and it may become your whole life. Therefore, it should be something that you are really passionate about or really enjoy doing. A good place to start is by deciding how much time you want to dedicate to this new business. If you want to go all-in then maybe it should be something that you have experience in or are skilled in already. Whereas, if you are looking to start a little side hustle, see what similar businesses are booming at the minute and follow your passion. The options are endless! You could start a business on eBay or Amazon by buying products in bulk and reselling them, by creating crafts and selling them on a website, or by selling your services as a copywriter or artist. It may take some time and effort to find your niche and it doesn’t have to be perfect when you start.
Create a Business Plan
Even for the simplest businesses, it can do no harm to be thorough and create a business plan. This need not be a novel size business plan that you would traditionally take to a bank to help you secure a large loan to start your business. Take some time to research the industry and importantly, your competitors or similar businesses to see what they offer, their prices and their brand. Once you have a good idea of the industry, how you want to market yourself, what your goals are and how you’re going to get there, you will have a good picture of how realistic it is and how much time, effort and money it will take to get there. It also serves as a good reminder as you grow the business of your guiding principles and reasons behind starting the business that you can look back on for guidance or motivation.
Organise your Finances
While some home-based business ideas require no money, most do, and it is a sensible idea to see how much money you can realistically set aside for your new venture. Investing in yourself and your new business can be very rewarding but it is important to do your research and decide how much is appropriate. You may want to get a business bank account. Nowadays, this is fairly easy with modern banks such as Revolut and Monzo that make it incredibly easy to set up a business account. A lot of people find it useful to keep their finances separate from their personal accounts to diminish the risk of getting over-excited by the profits and spending unnecessarily.
This process needs to be reassessed on a regular basis as your business hopefully grows. As you scale the business you will want to reinvest money back into it and it is imperative that you keep track of this to make sure it is paying off. Similarly, logging your profits and calculating growth is important if you wanted to hire an employee, as you need to be sure that the decision won’t financially backfire if the business has a rough couple of months.
Registering Your Business
While it is easy to think of your home business as ‘just a hobby’, unfortunately, the government doesn’t see it that way. To avoid any unnecessary phone calls from the government that can cause a lot of stress it is a good idea to sort this out first. No one likes paying taxes, but it is part of life and a part your shiny new business has to partake in as well. Every new business set up in the UK has to be registered with the HMRC. If you want to set up your business as a limited company you will also need to tell Companies House.
For small home businesses, it is likely that you won’t have to pay business rates. This can change depending on the focus of your business and if you have a particular room that is essential to your business such as a massage room, for example. The last thing to do is to actually start it! Register your business and start trading.