The advent of the internet has changed the world in countless ways and made the once-impossible possible. Working from home has become the new normal for many people, even for those who run their own businesses. If you’re a senior thinking about launching a new home-based business, there’s never been a better time to do so. It’s a great option because it doesn’t require much capital to get it going, and with familiar surroundings and no commute, it works well for those with mobility issues. A little preparation, research, and planning are critical before you press that launch button, and the following are five suggestions so you can get off on the right foot, brought to you courtesy of Miri Lenoff Marketing.
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Consider Forming an LLC
Although it’s not necessary, many small businesses and entrepreneurs opt to become limited liability companies to keep their business and personal assets separate. Specifically, an LLC offers these advantages:
- It protects your personal assets if your business is ever sued.
- It’s very inexpensive if you file yourself or hire a formation service (rather than a lawyer) to handle the process.
- There’s very little paperwork compared to registering as a corporation.
- You won’t be taxed twice when you draw personal income from your business income.
Instead of hiring an expensive attorney or doing the legwork on your own, a formation service can handle the task of registering your LLC.
Create a Landing Page
There is an expectation today that businesses will have a web presence either as a single landing page or a complete website. A landing page is a single-page website that puts everything your customers need in front of them. It includes an attention-grabbing headline, compelling images and graphics, a clear description of your product, and a strong call-to-action. A call to action makes your product irresistible and leads customers to a purchase portal.
If you’re tech-savvy, you can start your own business website free of charge using a template on a website builder. If not, it’s worth hiring someone to create the page for you. Enhance your website with an attractive banner that calls out any special deals or services you’re offering. No need to hire a graphic designer—an online banner maker allows you to customize a professionally designed template to your preferences.
Make a Business Plan
One of the most important factors that affect the health and longevity of a business is having a solid business plan. There are free templates available online that can help you create a plan from start to finish. Iowa State University has an excellent breakdown of the components of a business plan, which will help you understand the best way to complete each step of your template.
Research Your Market
The number one reason small businesses fold is that they failed to research, understand, or respond to their market. Your product should fill a need or solve a problem, and it’s important to be sure the need or problem exists in your demographic. If the need is there, understanding your customers is critical to deciding how to get your product to them, how to convince them to buy your product, and how you’ll keep them coming back for more.
When you hire employees, you’ll need to ensure they’re paid accurately and on time. This also involves withholding taxes and keeping records of employee wages. In order to process payroll effectively, you’ll need to provide W-4s for new hires to fill out, then issue net payments (how much employees earn after taxes), report state and federal taxes to the IRS, and forward tax and benefit payments to the benefit provider and tax authorities. Understanding everything that’s involved with payroll will help you to keep track of your business’s finances and help your business succeed.
Give Yourself Space
Having enough space in your home to run your new business is essential for success. If you don’t have enough room in your current home for your workspace, consider finding a home to better accommodate your startup. Research housing market trends in your area to get an idea of local home sale prices, and work with a reliable real estate agent who can walk you through the process of finding and buying the ideal home that’s suitable for your business.
Alternatively, you could have an addition built onto your house that serves as your home office. You’ll need to work with contractors, as well as an architect, to ensure this new section is an excellent fit for your home. If you plan to have a separate bathroom in this area for your clients, then you’ll need to work with plumbing companies to design the area.
What’s more, this addition can actually help boost the value of your home should you decide to sell down the road.
As you prepare to launch your home-based business, lean into your substantial life and work experience. Don’t be discouraged or intimidated if there’s a learning curve involved with running a startup or handling the technical aspect. Your wisdom will serve you well as you begin this exciting new phase of life.
Guest Post: from ablefutures.org / Ed Carte