Setting up and maintaining a home-based business isn't an easy task, but it can be a very rewarding experience. I created my home-based business, LikeWear®, with my husband Ken in 2006. LikeWear is the first and only company to focus on selling licensed apparel and accessories via the Direct Sales channel. It's a modern day fusion of a fun, boutique children’s clothing line and a more traditional party plan direct sales company.
’ve learned a lot in the four years I’ve been running a business out of our home, and I know what it takes for someone to create their own home-based business. Here are 6 easy tips to get you started:
1.) Be organized and treat your business like a business! It can be very easy to let your home life interfere with your business when it's all taking place under one roof. It is imperative that you set boundaries for yourself and your family. Create your work schedule and share it with everyone in the house. Just because you're at home does not mean that you're available to mediate every situation that arises. Decide on what your working hours will be and stick to them! Remember that it’s just as important not to work when you should be spending time with your family. It’s all about balance.
2.) Hire an accountant . If you don't already have an accountant, find one. Taxes are completely different for business owners than they are for regular employees. If you are not very familiar with tax laws, then save yourself the headaches and hire a reputable accountant. Your accountant will help you find deductions and make sure you are doing everything right with your taxes.
3.) Organize your finances . Keep business income and expenses separate from your personal expenses. I suggest setting up a separate bank account and getting a business credit card. Remember to save all of your receipts for business expenses! It’s best to create a good filing system and stick with it. You can never be too organized when it comes to your home-based business. Get organized early on and you will save yourself from frustration later. All of these things will make life easier for you and your accountant come tax time!
4.) Record important information . If you are in sales, make a database with key customer information. It is easiest to keep your customer information recorded on the computer. You can use Outlook, Excel, or any other database program. Remember to back up your digital files often! I also find it helpful to use a digital calendar to track events, meetings, appointments, follow-ups, etc. Google Calendar is a wonderful resource and will even send you daily text alerts with your appointments for the day!