This post is brought to you by our contributor Patti Conner.

Starting a business from home can be one of the most exciting and daunting tasks you face in your life. But if you’ve looked at different professional paths and ultimately determined that you might be better off trying to start something on your own, more power to you! It’s a long, hard road, but it’s also immensely rewarding to give it a legitimate shot – and even more when you succeed.

Every private business venture is different. But if the idea of starting your own company from home appeals to you, here are a few general tips to keep in mind before you dive into the process.

1. Start Blogging
That might not sound particularly relevant, but it’s an important step to take. Very few businesses can survive today without strong web platforms, and unless you have the means to hire someone to build and maintain your website, it’s probably going to be on you. Your blog doesn’t have to connect directly to the business you want to start—instead, it’s practice for how to design, format, and maintain a website. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a coding expert or WordPress maestro to figure it out these days. There are numerous platforms, from Squarespace to Wix, that have simplified web design in a way that can be particularly helpful to small businesses. Wix has recently taken an interesting step for its customers by introducing artificial design intelligence. This is a feature that works with you to help create a beautiful, intuitive website. And rest assured, that’s something you’ll need! We recommend starting with a personal blog about whatever you like so you can get the hang of it and know what you’re doing when it comes time to launch your business.

2. Write A Business Plan
It may seem like an obvious step, but a lot of people actually aren’t inclined to put themselves through this relatively grueling process when starting private businesses. However, it’s still a good idea to research business plans and write up your own. You never know when you’ll need to pitch to a potential investor or reference your own original ideas to get yourself back on track. Having a firm, professional business plan written down is always a good idea.5 tips for starting a business from home

3. Build Relevant Connections
You’ve heard this one before, right? But we’re not just talking about the vague idea of “networking” here. This was inspired by Menlo Coaching, a platform dedicated to helping prospective MBA students with their applications. They mentioned in a blog post that when adcoms read applications they’re trying to envision students at the school and that prospective students should relate information about connections they’ve built with alumni, faculty, and elsewhere. This can also apply to the business world. If and when you make a pitch to investors, or when you’re talking to possible clients, communicating the fact that you’re connected in the relevant industry can lend you an air of professionalism. If you communicate with competitors and understand customer needs first hand you come across as a more legitimate option. (Take a look at this Networking piece we wrote a couple of months ago)

4. Set Up An Office Space
This is a smaller tip about the actual, physical setup of your company—but it’s a vital one nonetheless. You need to have an office space set aside if you’re taking your business venture seriously. Camping out at your bedroom desk or laying on the couch with a laptop and a coffee mug just doesn’t put you in a position to dedicate your full energy and attention to the work. Of course, there are plenty of people who are exceptions and can work diligently just about anywhere. But in general, you’re going to be more productive and even take your own venture more seriously if you’re going about it in a designated workspace. Having said that, your office space can be in your home but make sure it’s separated from your bedroom.

5. Remember: You’re The Boss
Entrepreneur magazine put together a list of 50 tips for starting a company that ended with the idea that you shouldn’t rely solely on the advice of others, and we thought it was a good enough point to reiterate here. Yes, advice is important and can be a great help. And yes, you want to allow some influence. But for the sake of maintaining your authority and vision, it’s always important to remember that, at the end of the day, you’re making the decisions!

Are you planning in starting your business from home? Let us know in the comments below the steps you are taking to make it happen!

                                 

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