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How Do I Start a Home Business?

by Jean Murray on March 20th, 2009

I get asked this question all the time.  Someone just asked me about starting a medical coding or billing service at home, and I decided to answer her in a post, so everyone can see the answer.  So here it is:

Starting a Home Business - The Easy Part. It’s easier than you might think.  And more difficult.  The easy part is what I would call the “administrative” stuff.  It is almost as easy as baking a cake:

  • Find a business name you like. Get someone to do a logo for you (optional).
  • Decide on a legal form of business. You can start as a sole proprietorship (the easiest), but you may want to be a limited liability company.  You can find more information on this on my About.com Guide Site (U.S. Business Law & Taxes).
  • Check with the city where you live to be sure you don’t need any special permissions or zoning variances.  If you don’t have customers coming to your home, you probably don’t need any permissions.  But check anyway.
  • Get a business checking account.
  • If you are selling online or your customers are online, you will need a website.  Even if your business is selling locally, you probably need a website.

Starting a Home Business: The Hard Part. Now comes the hard part: You have to figure out how to get customers.  This is just plain hard work.

  • You have to determine who will buy your products or services.  In other words, who is your market?
  • Then you have to figure out how to reach these people - how do you advertise to them? how do you get your product or service in front of them?  If you are selling on the Internet, there are some tried-and-true ways to get out there, and some new ones too.  If you are selling locally, you have to figure out where your potential customers hang out and get your name in front of them.

Next post, I’ll spend more time talking about how to get your first customers.

Image source: jhritz

Tags: home business startup, starting a home business

POSTED IN: Home Business Opportunities, Laws & Regulations, Laws & Regulations, Questions about Home Businesses, home business tips, starting a home business

2 opinions for How Do I Start a Home Business?

  • Tips for Starting Your Crafting Biz : Blisstree
    Mar 22, 2009 at 1:13 am

    [...] out Jean’s post, How Do I Start a Home Business, for great step-by-step suggestions.  Here Jean also talks about getting your customers and will [...]

  • Getting Your First Customers
    Mar 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    [...] few days ago, I talked about the easy part of starting a new business - getting the legal and financial part setup.  Today, the difficult part - getting your first [...]

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