How to Run a Successful Home Business

| July 31, 2009 | 1 Comment

Many people underestimate the skill, discipline, perseverance and huge adjustments that need to be made when you decide to start a home business. They think it is so easy; so simple. Afterall, how hard is it to work in your pajamas?

Working from home and starting or running a home business is NOT easy.  Many home-based entrepreneurs start their businesses with little, to even no, money. Finding financing is doubly hard for home-based entrepreneurs as most banks have tighter lending restrictions to those who plan to start a business from home. Investors are mostly not interested in financing a small-time business run from someone’s bedroom. Then of course, there’s the whole balancing act between the business and family concerns.

Despite the obstacles and challenges (and there will be a lot!), here are tips on how to successfully launch a home-based business:

  • Decide what you do best, and focus on it. For other things you can do marginally, consider hiring others to free up your time to do what you do best.
  • Consider outsourcing. If you are concerned about the cost of outsourcing or hiring outside help, calculate how much time it will take you to do the task yourself (and the opportunity cost of foregoing things you should be doing), and see which option makes the most sense.
  • Arrange for the care of the children. Little kids and a home-based business are very hard to mix. Either you decide to work only when the entire household is sleeping (that means no sleep for you!); or you hire a babysitter or nanny during the day to watch the kids while you work.
  • Understand financials. Sit down and make every effort to understand your business financials. Not only is the knowledge important come tax time, you can achieve your business goals faster if you know where you stand financially.
  • Understand your cost structure. You can only price your products well if you know what it costs to produce them.
  • Think productivity. You need to be very good in managing your time when running a home-based business. Otherwise, you’ll often end up wondering where did time go when the day is over and you’ve accomplished nothing.
  • Be proud. Don’t be ashamed to say that you run a home-based business. Other people might sneer at you for being “too small time”, but they don’t know that you earn 5x more than they do!
  • Realize that you don’t need to be alone. If you dislike the isolation of working from home, take your laptop computer and go to the nearest coffee shop. As long as you order drinks or food, you can stay and work amidst the hustle-and-bustle of people buying coffee. Schedule social times with your friends — e.g. have lunch with your BFF, or go shopping.
  • Find the right office or work space. Create a dedicated space for working in your home, and it must be a place that is convenient to you and suitable for your work habits.
  • Continue to learn. Even if you consider yourself the smartest cookie in the block, there is much to learn from other people. Participate in forums and even social network sites. Talk to other business owners and network.
  • Be out there and trumpet your business. Even home-based businesses can build its brand. Contact bloggers with radio shows and volunteer to be a guest. Talk radio is a good way to market your business. Contribute articles in blogs. Submit articles in article directories.  Contact your local business organizations and let them know that they can tap you as a speaker for their meetings.
  • Do not ignore the social media. Participate in Twitter. Create a Facebook profile for your business. Submit content to StumbleUpon and Digg. But be sure to separate your business from your personal accounts.
  • Learn how to chill out and take a break from work. Discipline yourself to stop checking emails while eating dinner with your family. And do not put your laptop in your night stand so you can check emails at 2 a.m.
  • Find a mentor.  If you look carefully, there may be experienced business owners who may want to guide you to success. Start with the local small business development centers. Network with other business owners and join business organizations. Participate in your local chamber of commerce. Mentors can help you avoid costly mistakes, teach you the business ropes, even open new doors for you.
  • Relax and have fun. You are working from home so you can be free from the rigorous demands and timetable of a corporate environment. Take a break from work and enjoy life at home. Hurry up with work so you can live your life — talking a walk with your dog, having ice cream with your kid, or watching your boy play tball.
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Category: Success Tips

About the Author ()

Isabel Isidro is the editor of She also writes for and Learning from Big Boys .

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  1. Just do your research to make sure you have the funds, and know what your getting into! Never just jump into the deal, because it could be a mistake!

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