Starting a business from home is a great idea and can be a quick way to get your company up and running. Before you start however, it is worth spending time developing a plan to outline how you intend to start and progress. A plan will give you the best possible chance of creating a business that can compete and become successful into the future.
We’ve put together the following steps to get you started:
What type of business do you want to manage?
You first need to have an idea of the type of business you want to run. A good business to start is one that you are already interested in and have a passion for, but also one where you can identify a need in the market.
Create your business plan
A business plan will enable you to clarify your thoughts and help if you need to apply for a small business loan. Keep it simple and focus on the important aspects:
- Include your target customers, competitors and your financial projections; this will help you to establish if your business is viable. Your plan will almost certainly change as you move forward but having something to start with is important.
- Include any insurances and permissions required to trade
- Outline your marketing plans and any qualifications you may need.
Research the market
This is a crucial part to setting up a business so it is important to be thorough:
- Research your target audience – you could even look at their social media accounts and join discussions in related community groups.
- Research other companies trading in your field to find out if there is space for you to compete.
- Join related business groups for support and advice, connecting with local and national suppliers if you can as they may provide you with some useful contacts.
- Review prices across the market to make sure you can be competitive.
- Read feedback on competitor sites and search for ways to improve the customer experience.
Be aware of any legal requirements
Be aware of all the legal requirements in setting up a business from home; these will be dependent on the type of business you intend to run:
- You may need permission from your landlord, mortgage provider and maybe even your local council.
- If people are visiting your premises or you are selling food from home, you may need to follow certain health and safety rules and get appropriate certification.
- Look at your tax responsibilities and make sure you adhere to them. Get advice from an accountant in the early stages as this could be extremely helpful and avoid you getting into trouble.
Will you need any planning permission?
Setting up a business from home may require planning permission depending on the type of business you want to run. If your business has no obvious impact on your surroundings then it will likely be okay, but if you think your neighbours or community will be disrupted in any way then you will need to look into the legal and planning obligations.
Will you require any financing?
Know how much money you have to invest in your business and how much funding you will need.
If you think financing is required, make sure you feel confident you can get this before you start.