Starting a new business is difficult at the best of times. It’s tough to know what to do when you’re at the beginning stages. There are so many variables and actions that must be taken correctly to survive the first year and then beyond that. A little guidance is always helpful.

Here are three things to consider before starting a home business.

Figure Out Your Ideal Customer

It’s a good idea to picture your ideal customer before beginning. A customer model that describes the best type of customer is useful to conceptualize what they will be like. This indicates perhaps what media they consume, the websites they likely visit, and what will interest them.

When this customer avatar is correctly conceptualized, it informs you of where this type of customer can be found. It directs marketing efforts to directly focus on media, websites and social media where this type of person spends time each week. Furthermore, when understanding who the customer is, it’s useful during product creation or service modeling to offer something compelling to them.

Get Your Financials Right

In the best-case scenario, you want to have 6-12 months of funding within the company to pay yourself a salary or this amount in savings to avoid the company needing to pay the CEO a salary. Either way is fine.

You also need to create financial spreadsheets to plan out the expected cashflow model of the business. While this is difficult to do accurately, the more time spent here helps to avoid nasty surprises down the line. When starting up, will this be a home-based business initially or will you be signing a one-year lease for an office? Just this decision helps to confirm other details like the office furniture, computer equipment and communication services required.

Also, when working with others or receiving visitors, the business will require business insurance to protect everyone from accidents or other potential liabilities.

The more specific you can be, the better the financial plan.

Home Office? Do You Already Have Somewhere Suitable?

If you plan to work from home, where will that be exactly? Perhaps a spare bedroom? If you’re thinking that you’ll set up shop in your living room or kitchen, think again. It will be far too distracting or noisy to be based there and won’t feel professional in any manner. It’s hard to take your business seriously when it is not set up right.

Consider metal buildings like those provided by leading manufacturer Armstrong Steel as a way forward. They can be erected quickly from a modular design that fits together. The buildings from Armstrong Steel are some of the most impressive buildings of this type. They’re energy efficient, don’t require considerable maintenance and easier to get permission for from the local authority to have one placed on your land. This can then become your private office, so you can focus away from other distractions.

When planning well, a new home-based business is likely to get off to a great start. Knowing how you’ll proceed, what avenues to pursue to find the first customers and how to keep costs low all helps. However, when you fail to plan, it’s a struggle every step of the way. Don’t make that mistake.

By Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.

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