It’s the dream of so many; to run a business from the safety of your own home (in your pyjamas, with the eighth cuppa of the day in hand). You can be your own boss and avoid the hassles of commuting and, well, having to tolerate irritating colleagues. Of course, there are pitfalls and negatives, too; your income may be erratic, stress levels higher, and you’ll likely find you’re more attached to your emails than ever. But with a little foresight, planning and know-how, you can make it a success. Here’s how; our 5 IDEAL steps to setting up a home based business.

STOP SEARCHING FOR INSPIRATION

Sometimes, a dearth of skills and talent can be as obstructive to business success as possessing too few. Because when you spread yourself too thinly, it can be difficult to know what path to pursue. Well, it’s about time you decided what you want to do; get specific, focused and fixated. 

If you’re afraid of doing something completely different, transform your current job into a freelance service. And then, turn your freelancing into a career. Easier said than done, we know, but you have to start somewhere.

DETERMINE THE LEGAL STRUCTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS 

Starting your own home business requires specialist knowledge and a good understanding of the law. To be able to appropriately manage the legal structure of your business, you need to be properly informed of the fine print. 

The HM Revenue and Customs accept the following legal structures when it comes to home-based businesses: sole traders, business partnerships, and individual partners. As a sole trader, you can run your company as you like. The profits go to you after you’ve paid tax on them. With business partnerships, things are more complicated in the sense that you share the profits and losses. Remember that the partner doesn’t have to be a person. Individual partners, on the other hand, are separate accounting entities, and keep their own records, file their own tax and the rest.

HIRE AN ASSISTANT 

Just because you’re setting up your own business at home, doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Accept that you may not be able to do everything yourself. As such, you could do yourself a favour by considering a virtual assistant. 

Alexa, this is not. Companies such as Virtalent offer virtual assistants who are people, rather than machines, and can assist you with anything from accounting to transcription and word processing. Such a remote professional will help your organisation get by in the toughest of times.  

RECOGNISE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROFIT

Profit is one of the aspects that determines the manner in which people start and run their own businesses. Indeed, having complete power over your profits can be both a blessing and a curse, as it involves great responsibility. Recognise that your whole business’ success hinges on your management and embrace that burden. How you respond to that pressure will determine if your business has longevity or not. 

ENSURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH FUNDING FOR GROWTH

As the always pertinent saying goes; you have to speculate to accumulate. But the old assumption that high street bank loans and high-interest credit cards are the only sure-fire ways to fund growth hasn’t stood the test of time so well.

You do not need to empty your bank accounts, grovel with the local bank’s loan manager, or max out your company credit cards just to get the money you need to spur on business growth. A great alternative for the modern entrepreneur is the flexibility and affordability of unsecured business loans. That said, it’s important to be aware that you need to handle your debts diligently if your credit score is not pristine; if not you risk further damaging it in the future.