If you are looking to start your own business from home in 2021, you have a lot of planning and organising to do. Setting up a business is not easy and being self-employed can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are so many businesses out there and yours needs to stand out from the crowd. Read on for some advice on setting your own business.
Know Your Business
Before you do anything, get to know your business first. Decide on what products or services you will be selling and create a business plan. Make sure your business has a name and logo that stands out and create a brand identity, so that your business will be recognisable to potential customers. Do plenty of market research, so that you will have a good idea of who your competitors are and whether there is a gap in the market for your business. You should decide on where you will get the finances for starting up your business and how long it will take to get a return on investment (ROI).
Networking is invaluable to all businesses. By networking and reaching out to people, you can generate leads and bring in potential clients. Not all clients will come directly to you —you will need to find them yourself. You will have put your brand out there to increase visibility.
Networking is also important for building relationships with your existing client base (once you have one). Keep them updated with news and new products and services via a newsletter to keep your business at the front of their minds.
You can build connections with other businesses, which will open up the opportunity to collaborate on future projects. It is always a good idea to have the support of people in the same industry as you.
Getting the Right Tools and Equipment
Make sure you have everything you need, from external hard drives to packaging materials. You will probably need a printer and other basic office supplies too. Your service or product(s) will determine what equipment you will need. For example, if you are selling a bespoke product and need to ship it from home, you will need to know the weight of the item so you can calculate the shipping costs. To do this, you will need a high-quality scale, which you can get from somewhere like Johnsonscale.com.
Setting Up At home
Set up a quiet space at home where you can work in peace away from your family or roommates. Having the perfect work/life balance is difficult if your days are filled with distractions. Set up your desk and monitor, keyboard and mouse and make sure you have a comfy chair to sit in. Do not by a cheap plastic chair, especially when you will have to sit there all day. Get yourself a desk lamp, so you will have plenty of light. Make sure your office is cool enough in the summer and warm enough in the winter. For more info on how to do this click here.
Going Through the Legal Stuff
This is what most people consider to be the boring stuff. There are a lot of legal requirements when it comes to running a business.
Depending on what your business is, you may require a business licence. However not all businesses need one. If you’re based in the UK, you’ll have to register your business’s legal structure (sole trader or business partnership or limited company) with HMRC.
You will also have to do research on which licences or permits or permits you will need, and consider the different kinds of insurance your business will need, e.g., professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, cyber insurance, and gadget insurance.
You should also decide on whether your brand, product or services should be trademarked, patented, or copyrighted. Your clients and customers data will need to be protected, so you will need to be clued-up on local and international data protection laws. You will also need to learn about business accounting and filling out your taxes.
Check your insurance requirements
There are two parts to this. First of all, you’ll need to see how your business activities affect your regular home insurance policy (or policies). If you’re running a knowledge business (i.e. all you need is a computer) then impact will be minimal (possibly even none). If you’re running a more “hands-on” business, then there may be more of an impact.
Secondly, you’ll need to see what insurance you need for your work activity itself. Depending on what you do, you may be legally required to have certain insurance policies. For example, many businesses are required to have public liability insurance. There may be other policies you want to have for your reassurance.
Remember, however, that insurance is only valid as long as you adhere to the terms and conditions of the policy. If you don’t, you’ll have any claim declined. In general, insurance companies will expect you to do everything reasonably possible to minimize the likelihood of you needing to make a claim.
In particular, where relevant, you’ll need to use proper safety equipment and robust processes to promote safety. It’s highly advisable to keep full and accurate records of anything your insurance company (or the law) might want to see. This could include receipts for the purchase of supplies, evidence of training (for you or your staff) or details of safety procedures implemented be that in your own home or at a client’s site.
Hopefully, you have gained some valuable information from this article that will help you with starting up your business from home. If you need further advice on setting up your own business, check out this website. Good luck with your start-up!
Image Credits: Ivan Samkov