Essential Skills For Running A Home Based Business

When thinking of starting a home based business there are several areas of business set up that need looking at before making a final decision. It is easy to get excited (I know I have been there) and charge ahead without really thinking out the long-term ramifications of starting and running the business long-term.

Starting a business takes time to get going and in most cases money, so it is important to look at the whole picture and the long-term chances of keeping the business making a profit.

Take A Long Hard Look Realistically

When we are excited about a new business prospect we often get so carried away with the idea that we don’t look at the negatives, or even if we do, we choose to ignore them. But they are there and they will come back to cause problems you if you do not work through those negatives and work out how you will counteract them so that they do not impact on your business.

Tips For Owning A Successful Business

  • Know your small business inside out.
  • Be a knowledge source in your niche. Small businesses thrive with expertise.
  • During tougher economic times a small business owner has to hone their skills, cut back their stock to the essentials and learn to be an aggressive marketer.
  • Train your staff if you have them
  • Make sure that what you take on is going to last the distance in terms of long-term customer demand

You will see some small businesses that thrive no matter what the economic climate is. The owners just seem to have the know how. But in actual fact the owner has a clear picture of how they want the business to run, how they will promote it and what their long-term goal is for the business.

Some people can run a successful business by instinct but in today’s market it has become so much more difficult to be successful without putting in a lot of effort and also a lot of hard work.

Here are 14 business essentials:

  1. Sourcing or making a product or service that is in high demand
  2. Good budgeting and money management skills
  3. Having sufficient capital to start the business and back up capital to fund the ongoing business, and your personal expenses, until you are making a profit
  4. Good legal advice regarding any legal commitment you may have to make
  5. Be known as a source of excellent information in your niche
  6. Well trained staff in sales and customer communication
  7. Giving above average customer service at all times
  8. Attitude and determination to succeed
  9. Know how to market your business or employ someone to do it for you
  10. Have a Business Plan
  11. Have a Marketing Plan
  12. Choosing a memorable business name
  13. Registering your business name
  14. Registering a domain name and having an optimized website

If starting a business and you realise that there are skills you need to learn, then try to take the time before out-laying your capital, to obtain these skills. As soon as you start operating your business, you will be concentrating on the sales, and getting your business running smoothly. Learning new skills will be the last thing on your mind.

When you start out you won’t know all there is to know but as long as you have some good grounding in business then you can learn as you go.

Purchasing a Business – The Final Inspection

You have come a long way in the business buying process if you get to the final business inspection stage which occurs just prior to you taking possession of the business. However, be warned, this is not the time to be complacent or let your excitement blind you.

Case in point – Lynn – a first time buyer who purchased a business herself earlier this year only to find after the possession date that not everything was as it had been presented to her. Lynn’s experience should be viewed as a lesson learned and not as an opportunity for criticism. In fact, her experience is a common experience for many entrepreneurs buying a business who do not have representation, or as it was in Lynn’s case – not having “competent” representation.

I have therefore taken the liberty to outline what you must do during the Final Inspection of the business. This list is not to be used as an alternative to hiring a savvy business broker but is provided as a means to help you understand why these particular items are important. These are not the only items that need to be covered in a final inspection but are certainly 5 things you must do regardless of the type of business you are purchasing.

5 things you MUST do during the final inspection:

1. Inspect every square inch of the business yourself!

Take the time to inspect the entire business – inside and out. Look for anything that stands out as being unusual or of concern, such as bare electrical cables sticking out of the wall, mold, missing lights, large cracks or water damage in the structure and animal feces to name just a few.

2. Check that there is no missing equipment that should have been included in the sale of the business.

A list of equipment included in the sale should have been included as part of the Offer to Purchase. Print this list out and visually check that each piece of equipment listed is present and accounted for.

3. Check the operation of the equipment, that it has an operating manual and that it is in a good state of repair.

While checking that all the equipment is present, be sure to check it is operating normally, for example computers, printers, ovens, fridges and freezers to name just a few. Any equipment not operating normally should be repaired at the sellers expense unless otherwise agreed upon.

4. Count all the inventory included in the sale.

As with the equipment a list of the inventory should have been included as part of the Offer to Purchase. Again print this list off and check each inventory item. For large inventory based businesses this might mean you need to hire a inventory company to come in and count the inventory.

It is important to note that for many businesses, inventory is a fluid dynamic so when it comes to inventory, there may be a need for a financial adjustment to be made in favor of the buyer or the seller.

5. Have the seller confirm in writing that they have paid all supplier accounts to date in full.

The reason we mention this is sometimes there is the assumption that the lawyer will take care of such matters. That may be so but consider the following. As an example assume for a moment that you are taking over an existing account, say the Point of Sale system at a retail location. If the seller has not paid the bill to date, then the vendor of the Point of Sale system may deactivate the account until the outstanding balance gets paid. This immediately effects the operation of your business and intern turns the excitement of business ownership into a high stress, mission critical, situation.

From what I understand of Lynn’s situation, problems started when the person who was brokering the sale did not turn up to the final inspection. Lynn was therefore left to handle a situation without experience or representation – by representation I mean someone impartial to the sale, ensuring that the best interests of the buyer are met.

Upon taking possession of the business, Lynn found out that the computer system was constantly crashing, the toilet was not working and cupboards had to be replaced due to damage from animal feces. A key supplier account had not been paid that effected the operation of Lynn’s business.

Lynn was fortunate to have the financial means to replace computers, cupboards and complete the necessary repairs to the business however it came at a considerable cost that amounted to thousands of dollars. The key is to identify and address such issues before you take possession of a business. This, we believe, only comes from experience.

Even if you want to handle the purchase of a business yourself hiring a business broker as a consultant can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars. Certainly for us being hired to provide a buyer with a second opinion is an opportunity to share our knowledge with the buyer, support the buyer and share in their excitement of purchasing a business.

How a Virtual Consultant Can Jumpstart Your Business

Imagine sitting at next Monday morning’s meeting with a three-dimensional model in the middle of the table in front of you that your entire organization can look at and understand in one glimpse. That’s what your business is paying for when they bring a talented and knowledgeable business advisor on board.

Quality business coaching can make your brand identity sharper, your marketing materials snap, crackle, and pop. Contrary to fears that consultants are high-priced luxuries, consulting services are critical to your operations. Try and change the direction of your organization without a professional consultant who has a view of the larger context your company’s competing in and you’re almost guaranteed to create more chaos than improvement.

Knowing your business inside and out gets you a “C.” Knowing your industry, including your present and future competitors as well as the global dynamics that impact your bottom line, gets you an “A+.” Unfortunately, getting such a high grade in running your business involves studying lots of moving parts, wearing too many hats. For that idealized view from 30,000 feet that you need to be successful, expert consulting services are needed. Only a business consultant with experience can ensure that your company can win on an ever-changing and expanding playing field. Business planning consultants minimize the risk of running a business in a global business environment where disruptive technologies can quickly make the products and services you offer obsolete. They also help you stay in tune with your market.

A consultant is a business coach invaluable in providing fiscal discipline. The pressure for an organization to have financial reports that are impressive, can often lead to justifying poor performance. As we’ve learned all too well in recent years, sloppy decision-making can lead entire companies to pull the wool over their own eyes.

In theory, every business wants to be uniform and coordinated. In practice, too many companies try to spend as little as possible on consulting support. If you want to have a business that’s manageable and capable of growth, you need a business planning consultant. Small and large businesses both require safety nets and those safety nets are business consultants.

Aside from the tangible map and summation of your plans that business transformation consulting efforts will yield, small and large business management consulting creates an environment in which your team knows what to do. If management and the people that report to them are not delivering, the involvement of a consultant is also often a wake-up call to them to get their acts together. There’s a level of urgency that a consultant business plan creates that supports your company’s bottom line and structure. It motivates clearer communications within your organization as well as without. A highly competent business coach maximizes your growth rate, positively influencing the daily flow of your organization’s events.

Issues such as accountability as well as market momentum can become blurry in the politics of office life. The best way to measure if your company’s bar is set high enough is through the acquisition of an impartial consulting professional. If your company’s longevity and profitability has been handled by the same core management people who are constantly scratching their heads when they analyze it, you owe it to yourself to try something new. Virtual consulting services that deliver the results you seek without charging you an arm and a leg are the best choice — especially for small businesses. At any rate, whomever you decide to hire, common sense suggests that it’s time.

Discover Ideas That Could Mean Big Success In Your Home Business…

As with most things in life, getting your home business going in the right direction is easier when you start with the right knowledge…

Read on to find out useful information on getting your home-based business started.
When beginning your home business, make sure to calculate how much money you will need to pay for initial start up costs. It is true that running a home business is cheaper than an offline business, but it is important to remember that there are still expenses. Estimating the costs of operation for your business is a good way to avoid profit losses early on.

You will find great ongoing support in a related home business forum with others who are doing what you do or want to do. There are many sites available that offer support and ideas to help home businesses succeed. Here you will also find people who understand your challenges and will share their solutions with you. In fact, they can help you conquer any difficulties you encounter.

Be sure to invest in professional looking, quality business cards. There are many online companies that will print your cards for little or no cost. Include all of your contact information and your logo. Don’t forget to include your website address and your email. (This will make you easy to get a hold of).

Pay attention to your own personal health when it comes to your office environment by investing in comfortable and ergonomic equipment. If you have to twist or turn your neck to see the screen, you will be uncomfortable and may even end up permanently injuring your muscles, ligaments or spinal cord.

When you are seated constantly, it is very important to invest in a quality chair. This is also true of keyboards, mice and other computer accessories. You will be surprised at how far you can go with a £200 budget, especially when it comes to office accessories.

When starting out in a home business, you will need a website to start selling your services or products. This will help you reach your target customer base and create more revenue for your business. You can speed up the process of establishing your website and make it less of a hassle by enlisting the help of a professional.

You must create a financial business plan for your home business right from the off.

Correct cash flow is extremely helpful to prepare a statement outlining your projected income for your home business. Inside of the statement, you would guess the growth of your business and it’s needs along the way. These guesses include your future sales and expenses. Your best estimates will provide you with some idea of what you can expect, which will get you better prepared for additional financial business planning.

Keeping track of business expenses helps you stay organized, which will eventually lead to savings at tax time. Keep track of your business expenses, including vehicle costs and internet usage. You can deduct a lot of these expenses from your taxes when you have a business of your own.

Even though the amount seems small, it can quickly add up and save you a lot of money. You shouldn’t have to give the government all of the money that you worked hard to earn using your own creativity and work ethic.

While working at home in your pj’s may seem fun, you may miss daily human interaction… Be sure you go out and have fun from time to time.

Many people who run home businesses are active in online communities. You should always pay attention to and participate in message boards and forums, both ones related to your site and those that are not as well. The best advice about running home based businesses sometimes comes from unexpected places, especially even businesses that are not in your niche.

The separate checking account you open specifically for your business will double as a financial record keeping tool.

All your business transactions and expenses should be made through your business account. This will let you know exactly what is going on with your business at all times. It is also a good idea to open a specific credit card for your business and keep your expenses on this one car.

Market your home based business online as much as humanly possible – the opportunity is huge and wide reaching.

You can create your own website, or have someone design an easy to use site for you. It is important to provide value and offer your customers excellent site content with the ability to make purchases online where practical.

Providing an avenue for them to remain in touch with you is also an important consideration. Continue to fine tune and investigate new ways to make your website a successful marketing tool for your company. A blog that you can update with a newsletter will be something you will want to look in to if you want to get serious marketing online.

Let’s face it; many people would like to turn their dream of a home business into a reality. The main barriers to making those dreams reality are simply lack of will, dam right laziness, coupled with insufficient education and knowledge.