I work from home and have my own small business. I was very afraid to take this step especially with the economy being as bad as it is but it has allowed me to spend valuable time with my young son and get things accomplished during the day.
I got a lot of advice from people that I know with business and finance degrees. Some of the best advice was common sense advice that I had never thought of before.
The first piece of advice was to live in reality and not expect to make any real money my first few years in business. I had to plan for that so I spoke to my husband and we arranged our personal finances so that the business could stay solvent as long as I was the only employee.
The next piece of advice was to only do business locally if possible. I found great deals on office equipment such as printers, fax machines, and computers at local auctions and electronic stores. Many people think it is more expensive to do business with other small businesses but you can find great discounts and establish great working relationships with them. Because they are small businesses too they want to make a sale no matter what whereas bigger companies do not depend so much on your business.
The third piece of advice was to network with other small business owners in the area. I heard about mixers for people with small businesses and decided to give one a shot one Wednesday evening. I was able to make a contact with a great paper and office product supplier so it really helped me get organized.
The fourth piece of advice was to get computer accounting software to back up my books that I do in writing. Many people create huge errors when doing their own books. Using computer software can verify a person’s accounting and help keep financial documents legible and up to date.
The fifth piece of advice was to start my own website and write a blog about my small business. It helps to get the word out and creates an online buzz. I am able to communicate with prospective clients through my site and many people have used search engines to find my business so it has been a great benefit and costs me less than ten dollars a month to maintain.
Starting your own business takes a lot of hard work, discipline, and know how. It is an on the job learning process because each small business and small business owner are entirely different. Many people give up but you have to swing with the punches or you will go bankrupt and lose everything very quickly.