Having a plan before you get started in business is important. Here is a checklist to help you get organized in launching your own Home Based Business.
Home Business Pre-Planning Checklist
Those just starting a home based business may not be fully aware of the many things to watch out for before jumping into their first business. What follows is a checklist of things to be mindful of based on my experiences when we first got into our home business back in 2011. This list is not all inclusive, but it is meant to serve as a starting point for the Entrepreneur in the making.
1. Are you building your business around something you love, or something you may grow to hate?
It takes time and effort to build you first home based business, as well as long term dedication to the task. I find it is a lot easier to get excited everyday about building a business you love rather than just one you are going to tolerate to earn a living. So get started off right by choosing a business you are going to love and be willing to stick with for as long as it takes.
2. Is the business legit?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are some really disreputable businesses out there that the right sales person can build up to look like the “next big thing.” Take your time before diving in and check the business out for yourself before buying into a business opportunity. Beware especially of internet startups with no proven track record of success. I tend to look for business opportunities that have been around for at least 3 years or longer. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A little caution in the beginning can save you a world of regret later on.
3. Is the business legal in your area?
This may seem like another obvious warning, but sometimes an illegal business can be packaged to look legitament. Also be aware that laws will vary from nation to nation, state to state, and province to province. So a business that is completely legal in one area may be forbidden in another. Take the time to research the laws in your area before jumping into a business, especially if something seems fishy to you. Hiring a good lawyer to help you check things out may save you a world of legal trouble down the line.
4. Is the business sustainable?
Is the business you are considering something that is sustainable and scalable for the long term, or is it something likely to burn itself out (and maybe you as well) over a short period of time. If the business you are considering is seasonal (like lawncare) do you have plans on how you may support yourself in the off season? I like to build businesses that are going to last more than just a few months. Long term sustainability is an important thing to consider when building your future.
5. How are you going to monetize your business?
Think of all the different ways you can monetize your business embracing every viable income stream you can think of. If one revenue stream fails in your business, another may be able to make up for it. Consider also Active Income vs. Passive Income. Active Income is the money you make for the work that you do. Passive Income is money you make that keeps coming in even while you sleep. We will discuss this more deeply in later posts. But, for now, make sure you take an inclusive look at all possible ways you can be earning money in your business.
6. Are you in this business for the long haul?
Do you have a long term attitude for the business you are wanting to build, or are you just looking for a “get rich quick scheme?” Be willing to give your business the time it needs to build up and grow. Also give yourself the time you need to learn the business as you go. Businesses are different and develop over different periods of time, depending on how well you are able to work them and other factors. Some businesses may succeed in just a few months; others may take years to reach their full potential. Are you willing to give your business as much time as it needs to grow? Or are you going to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble? Having the right mindset is key to success.
7. Do you have an income stream to support you while you are building up your business?
Some people dream of being able to fire their boss and start their own business from scratch. But it takes time to build up a successful business, and their is no guarantee of success in any entrepreneurial enterprise. If you already have a job, I recommend you keep it and build your home business on the side in your spare time. If not, find a reliable income stream to support yourself while you build your own business. Part time work, online gigs such as Fiverr and other companies can help you earn needed cash while you build your own business.
8. Do you have the startup capital needed to begin?
There are many different business opportunities out there that you can buy into at a variety of levels. Some allow you to start for little to no money, while others may recommend you buy in at the highest level to maximize your chances of success. Do not put a couple thousand dollars on a credit card and then have no money left to buy food or pay rent with. Remember that success in home based business takes time and overnight success is rare. Be frugal and budget your money (and time) well.
9. Do you have a business plan?
Many people are attracted to home based business opportunities because they want to be their own boss and set their own schedules, essentially working when they feel like it. But, if you don’t put enough time into your business, your business will not be likely to succeed. Set a realistic work schedule for yourself and stick with it. Make your plans…and then follow through with them.
10. Do you have training resources to get you started in your business and keep you going in your business?
When first starting out, many new business people do not fully know what to do and how to proceed. Avail yourself of all the training resources you can to help you get started in your business and help you grow into a better business person. If you are getting into a “done for you” type of business opportunity, make sure you use all the training they have to give. If starting your own business from scratch, find good training courses online that can help you get going and stay going. Invest in yourself to become the best entrepreneur you can be.
After reading through this list, are you still ready to begin your first home based business? If so GREAT. I think you will find it the adventure of a lifetime. Just do your preliminary ground work to make sure you are getting started on the right foot with the right attitude. Planning, preparation and hard work are essential to any business enterprise.