Working from home is something many people dream about. But what a lot of people don’t realize is how difficult running your own online business is. But for those of you who still want to forge on with your plans, this article has a few tips and tricks to give you a leg up!
If you need a business license, find out what the laws are in your state and county. If you like, but you should also be able to find this information online, you can check with a lawyer or an accountant. Depending on where you live, and what you are selling, you may also need to collect state sales tax. Just make sure that you know and follow all applicable laws.
Ask the other members of your household to refrain from interrupting or otherwise compromising your work. Keep regular work hours so that they know what to expect. If you have kids, schedule work hours while they are occupied at school or extracurricular activities. Don’t leave work materials in common areas where they might be moved or damaged.
Get a dedicated phone line. This is essential, regardless if it’s a home or cell phone, if you spend a lot of time talking to clients on the phone. This expense is 100% deductible. If you talk to your clients occasionally, make a note of the calls, and write them off as an expense as long as you have back up to prove that it is a business call.
If one of your products is not available for any reason, post that information on your website. Nothing upsets clients more than knowing that the products they ordered will take a while before they arrive. Suggest your customers purchase a similar product by being honest when items are not currently available.
Pay estimated taxes. For a home business owner, it is preferable to pay your taxes four times a year. Unless you want a shock when it’s tax time, contact the IRS and set up a payment process. Not only are you responsible for regular tax, you will have to pay self-employment tax.
Make a budget for your business. Base it on different things, such as, advertising costs, free products or samples and printing costs. If you have to, stick to this budget and cut out things you don’t need. If you can afford to raise your budget you should, at least for advertising.
Do more than your customers expect. One of the things customers love most about home business enterprise operators is the incredibly personal touch they feel when they interact with you or receive your products. Give your customers a surprise sample or coupon with their order. This does not have to cost you a lot — but it will build a large amount of goodwill with your customers.
Offer your customers a coupon or a referral incentive after they order from your home business enterprise. You want them to feel compelled to purchase from you again and nothing is more attractive to shoppers than a good deal. They have the potential to make you a lot of money, even though these incentives will not cost you very much.
Have a mailing list and announce your specials on it weekly. If you link it to a newsletter, it would probably be more successful. In order to read all of the content, this will bring more users to your site since they would have to visit your site.
Hopefully this article didn’t scare you away from your plans but instead gave you a push toward meeting your business goals. Running a home business enterprise isn’t an easy task, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. There are plenty more out there that can give you more advice on being successful if you’re still leery after reading this article.