How to Start a Small Business at Home

Perhaps you are wondering how to start a small business at home but you have little to no experience or money.

Well, you do not need to let your lack of experience or money to stop you. Nobody start with experience. You can always gain experience along the way. As for money, you can always get a loan. However, a much better way is to start a low cost business.

So, what kind of business can you start at home?

Before starting a business, you will want to look at your skill set, your passion as well as your current situation.

Are you a housewives who love kids? Then you can always start a childcare business. You are fulfilling your passion and earning money at the same time.

Alternatively, you can also consider starting an Internet business.

Why Internet business?

Well, an obvious reason is that you can start an Internet business from home. All you need is an Internet connection.

Obviously, there are more advantages for starting an Internet business than the one we mention above.

First, you can literally start out online with $0. You probably can’t find a cheaper business to start than an online business. At most, you will only need to spend $100 to start your online business.

Second, an online business can be extremely profitable. There are many people who are making a $100 per day within the first few months in business. Given more time, you can also grow your internet business to 5 figure per month. You can do very well despite starting with little or no experience and money.

How To Start An Online Business

With the state of the economy and thousands of people around the globe losing their jobs every day alternative sources of income are becoming more and more popular. The purpose of this article is to direct you to the right information that will teach you how to start an online business. Also I am going to leave you with some online business ideas as well as tell you things that you should avoid.

The internet is growing at a phenomenal rate every single day. There are over 700,000,000 people that have access to the internet daily. So with all the online businesses in existence we have only just scratched the surface of this incredibly fast growing behemoth. There will always be plenty of room for anyone that wants to learn how to start an online business. I hope this article helps inspire you to come up with some online business ideas of your own.

I have been on the internet marketing for approximately 2 years now and I am here to tell you that it gets more exciting every single day. I can hardly contain myself when I think about all that is going on with the internet and the changing economy. I know people become apprehensive and afraid when they think about the state of the future economy however I cannot help but be ecstatic. The reason for this overwhelming feeling of euphoria that I experience daily is not only a positive attitude which helps by the way, but the knowledge that the economy has always gone up and down usually in 7 year cycles give or take a few years. Also is my belief that where we are going is exciting and filled with unparalleled opportunity. Let me explain.

What we are going through I believe is what is called a paradigm shift. The world we live in has been and continues to become an information based society. The way we communicate is almost instantaneous in most cases due to technology and the internet. We can talk to people anywhere in the world in mere seconds with our computers and an internet connection.

That is the beauty in learning how to start an online business. Here are some of the benefits.

  • Unlimited Income Potential
  • Absentee Ownership
  • Freedom To Live Anywhere And Anyway You Want To (provided you have internet access)
  • Inexpensive Start Up Costs
  • Some Of The Best FREE Training Available If You Know Where To Look
  • You Control Your Time And Income
  • Easily Work From Home
  • Unlimited Supply Of Prospects

These are just a few of the benefits. There are many more of course as you will find out for yourself if you decide to head out on your own internet adventure. The possibilities are unlimited. You never know from day to day who you are going to meet. The world you experience on the internet is so much bigger than the world we go out into as a general rule. You can go anywhere in the world you choose in a moments notice. You will meet people all across this huge planet of ours. Below are some online business ideas designed to get you thinking about what you want to do and maybe come up with some ideas of your own.

Choose Your Niche

The first thing you need to do in your endeavor to learn how to start an online business is decide what your niche is going to be. There are 1,000’s of things you could possibly do online. Affiliate marketing, network marketing or MLM (multilevel Marketing), eBay, ClickBank. ClickBank deals in all digital products such as e-books etc. You can sign up for an account and become an affiliate of the different products they promote. You could also create your own product. My personal niche is network marketing because I like the walk away income potential. The hottest things that sell on the internet are software and e-books.

Find The Proper Training And Support

The next thing you will need to do is find the right place to put your trust in for the correct training and support to help you learn how to start an online business. You can Google online marketing training. Just be very careful because I know this is hard to believe but there are those who just want to make money off you and do not care about your success. However there are many good marketers. Here are some things to watch out for

  • Wild crazy income claims: Make $12,248.56 in3 days etc.
  • No real product behind the promotion. Get details of the product and how it will be used
  • No congruent message. They use gimmicks to get you to click on their ad and when you get there what they are selling you is something totally different than what they lead you to believe.
  • No good iron clad guarantee. I know this is questionable however anyone serious business person should be willing to stand behind what they are selling 100%.
  • No testimonials. This too is something to watch for because there are those who get paid to give testimonials

The main thing to remember is that you have to do your due diligence to find that one individual that you feel comfortable with to train you. Go to a lot of sites and you will eventually see the ones that are good over and over again. See if their testimonials are verifiable. When you decide on one then stick with that one until you learn what you need to before going on to another otherwise you will end up with tons of e-books and courses that you download and none are used and you are even more confused than when you first started out. Keep everything you download saved to a file with that programs or the trainers name.

Another Thing To Remember is do not opt in to every offer you see that promises you to make a fortune online especially in an incredibly short period of time, not that that can’t happen but that it is unlikely. Any business takes time, work and some investment. The internet is no different however you can start a business easier online than offline with a very small investment if you get the right training from the correct source and the rewards of owning an internet business as opposed to an offline business are phenomenal. You can start an online business and succeed. Like any other business it is a skill that can be learned. Realize that it will require some investment just like any other business also.

Do not make an investment in hosting for your website, when you are ready, or any other tool in learning how to start an online business that you are not sure you can keep. Once you start don’t give up and just keep at it and I promise you will make money if you do what they tell you to do, but don’t start opening 100’s of e-mails from tons of offers you have opted into and get discouraged and not do what they ask you to do and then blame the teacher. Follow a system and you will be successful. Also support from your spouse is essential if you want to be successful in your efforts to learn how to start an online business.

I will have more articles that will further expound on what I have already written with more ideas and do’s and don’t’s in your endeavor to start an online business.

With the state of the economy and thousands of people around the globe losing their jobs every day alternative sources of income are becoming more and more popular. The purpose of this article is to direct you to the right information that will teach you how to start an online business. Also I am going to leave you with some online business ideas as well as tell you things that you should avoid.

The internet is growing at a phenomenal rate every single day. There are over 700,000,000 people that have access to the internet daily. So with all the online businesses in existence we have only just scratched the surface of this incredibly fast growing behemoth. There will always be plenty of room for anyone that wants to learn how to start an online business. I hope this article helps inspire you to come up with some online business ideas of your own.

I have been on the internet marketing for approximately 2 years now and I am here to tell you that it gets more exciting every single day. I can hardly contain myself when I think about all that is going on with the internet and the changing economy. I know people become apprehensive and afraid when they think about the state of the future economy however I cannot help but be ecstatic. The reason for this overwhelming feeling of euphoria that I experience daily is not only a positive attitude which helps by the way, but the knowledge that the economy has always gone up and down usually in 7 year cycles give or take a few years. Also is my belief that where we are going is exciting and filled with unparalleled opportunity. Let me explain.

Business Ideas in Starting Business

Starting business is never easy enough. You will always be burdened by decision-making and having the right mindset is your only means to get through it. Starting a small business is not very different from starting a big one. In fact, most businesses sprout from the utilization of a single idea that works in the market.

Identifying this idea is the start of your endeavor. You need to take that extra step into finding one idea that suits you and one that will work for your advantage in the market. In starting business, defining the factors that affect the way you will consider a business idea is necessary in finding one.

A successful business starts from a business idea that works for the people within the market. In choosing an idea to use for your business you need to take into account several things that will be useful in choosing the business that will be good for you.

  1. Passion. It is important to choose what is within your interest as an individual. A business that you are passionate about will be good for you because you can always find a way to make it marketable. You can always add something that will make it more competitive in the market because you know the things that need to be innovated within the range of your interests.
  2. Market. What is in demand? This is a consideration that you need to really think about. Even if you are passionate about a certain business idea, if it is difficult to create a need for it in the market, chances are, your idea will not work. The market is an important aspect of your business. Therefore, in choosing an idea for your business, make sure to think about your prospects and how to create a demand for it in the market.
  3. Costs and Availability. It is important that you know if it will fit your capital requirements. A business idea that will be suitable for you is one that you can spend for within your allotted capital. Its availability also needs to be identified. This way, you can provide your clients with better service with an available business idea that you will choose to work on.
  4. Commitment. A new business idea can be an existing one. The one thing that will help you in taking it into a whole new level is the commitment that you can give toward making it marketable. Choosing a business idea will be so much easier if you know that you can commit to making it work to the best of your abilities.

Ultimately, choosing a business idea can be a difficult task. Having the right information regarding the business that you want to gamble into can make choosing worthwhile for you. Knowing these factors can help you take the first step toward starting your own business. Remember that in starting business,you can do all things with the right mindset and the right information. Taking that initial leap toward your desired business is attainable so what are you waiting for?

How To Keep Business Records

In this article we are going to look at the reason for keeping accounting records and by the end of this article you will have the knowledge to be able to keep a set of books in their simplest form for a small business.

What we need to look at first before deciding which bookkeeping system is best for our business are the following:-

  1. Why do we need to keep accounting records,
  2. Is our Business a Small Cash Based Business
  3. 3, Does our Business offer Credit Terms to Our Customers
  4. Do we get Credit Terms from our Suppliers

You may not understand the above terms yet so lets look at each item in detail:-

1 Why do we need to keep accounting records-

The first reason we must keep accounting records is that it is a statutory requirement. At the end of our financial year we have to produce a set of accounts in order to fill out a personal tax return, or in the case of a limited company file a set of accounts with the Registrar Of Companies. And if we are registered for VAT we need the information from our records to complete Vat Returns.

Secondly and the most important as far as we are concerned is so that we can keep track of where our business is going:-

  • Are we making a profit or a loss?
  • Which products within our business are making a profit and which are making a loss?
  • Are we in line with the business plan we put together before we started our business and did our initial business research?
  • We may have put together a Business Plan which we took to the Bank in order to get a loan to start our business. If we did the chances are that the bank are going to want to see if our business is in line with that plan on a regular basis. In other words the Bank may ask you to produce Monthly Management Accounts”
  1. Is our Business a Small Cash Based Business?

If we have only just started our business, maybe it’s a small work at home business, we probably start by only selling products to people who have paid us first. Similarly because we have only just started our business we probably cannot get credit facilities from our suppliers so we have to pay cash up front to get our products. If this is the case we only need a very simple bookkeeping system. All we need to do is keep track of our Cash Receipts and Cash Payments. All we need for this is what Accountants call a Cash Book.

3, Does our Business offer Credit Terms to Our Customers?

If we have products or offer a service whereby we allow our customers or clients to pay for our product or service at a later date we are going to need to keep some record of who owes us money. For example I am an Accountant and although most of my business is cash based if I were to keep your accounting records, I would have to spend time writing up your books and then producing your accounts which I would then review with you. I would have initially spent time on producing those documents which I would keep a record of and then produce an invoice for you which you would then pay either now or at sometime in the future. Therefore what I would do is have a book to keep a record of the sale. Accountancy Term:- Sales Day Book And also a record of when you paid me for that sale. Accountancy Term:- Sales Ledger

  1. Do we get Credit Terms from our Suppliers?

This is the reverse of item 3 above. If our suppliers allow us to have goods that we pay for at a later date then we have to keep a record of- What we have bought. Accountancy Term:- Purchase Day Book and who we owe money to. Accountancy Term:- Purchase Ledger

So how do we keep these business records?

To best answer this question because it will vary for different types of business and it is one of the most difficult things to learn as an Accountant when you start from scratch to put someone’s records together in order to produce a set of accounts in the quickest time possible.

Once you understand this process it is really quite simple. If you only want to keep your records and let your accountant put your year end accounts together for you. If you at least understand the following you will save a lot of money on your accountancy fees because your accountant will charge you base on the time it takes to analyse your books in order to but those final accounts together..

So this is where we are going to start.

We are going to start at What information do we need at the end of the day?

We are going to start by looking at this process by assuming that you keep the simplest set of books discussed in section 1 above (i.e. a Cash Book. Record of Receipts and Payments) When we say Cash Book we mean a record of Receipts into your Bank Account and Payments from your Bank Account. Every business will have a cash book no matter what its size and it is where your Accountant will start when he produces your year end accounts or does your bookkeeping for you.

Why?

Because your Bank Statements are the only independent check that your records are correct. By this I mean that your Bank Statements are the another (wait for it another) Accountancy Term:- Double Entry to your Cash Book. This term Double Entry is the one most feared by anyone starting to learn accountancy and take the bookkeeping stage to Trial Balance stage. You don’t need to worry about it so much as a bookkeeper because you are just working on one record at a time. So what is the end result that we are aiming for?

Simple. Another Accountancy Term:- Income and Expenditure Account.

What is this. Simple:-

  • A List of our Income From our Cash book Receipts
  • And a list of our Expenditure From our Cash Book Payments

So an Income and Expenditure Account will look something like this:-

  • Joe Blogs Income and Expenditure Account For The Year Ended 30th April 2010
  • Income A
  • Expenditure Directly Related To Sales:-
  • Purchases B
  • Carriage C
  • Total Direct Expenditure B+C=D D
  • Net Income Directly Related to Sales A-D=E
  • Other Expenses:-
  • Rent and Rates F
  • Heat and Light G
  • Advertising H
  • Printing and Stationery I
  • Telephone J
  • Postage K
  • Sundry Expenses L
  • Bank Charges M
  • Bank Interest N
  • Total Other Expenses Total F to N= P P
  • Net Income E-P
  • Financed by:-
  • Fixed Assets
  • Cash at Bank Q
  • Capital Introduced R
  • Less Drawings

(I use letters in the example so that you will see below how the totals are used from the cash books)

* NOTE:- EXPENDITURE ITEMS CLAIMED AGAINST BUSINESS INCOME MUST DIRECTLY RELATE TO THE BUSINESS.

So if you have or rent an office to carry out your business you can claim the headings marked with a *. If however if you work from home. You will not be able to claim your House Rent, Heat and Light and all of your Telephone bills. You can however claim apart of your household bills as a proportion of the time and space used to run your business from home. And of course the business related expenditure of your Telephone calls.

The Rent and Rates and Heat and Light proportion would be claimed under the heading:-

Use of Home as Office.

For this proportion it is best to get advice from your accountant. Topics such as this are out of the scope of this article.

So now we know the basic layout for our Cash Book. We will use two books, one for receipts and another with more columns for our payments.

CASH BOOK RECEIPTS Layout:-
Date______Received From__Total___Sales___Other Receipts

1 July 10________Mr A__________100_____100

4 July 10 _______Mr B___________ 25______25

6 July__________ Mr C__________ 50______ 50

7 July _________Company D ____250_____ 250

14 July ________Company E____ 100 _____100

20 July Cash Introduced _______1000 __________________1000

Month Total________________ 1525 (Q) ___525 (A) ______1000 (R)

 

 

Notice here I have introduced a heading here that is not in the Income and Expenditure Account. This is because these are of a Capital nature and belong to the Balance Sheet Part of Your Final Accounts. Again this might confuse you and you might need the assistance of an accountant here.

However JUST TAKE NOTE OF THE SIMPLE BOOKKEEPING LAYOUT AND PROCEDURE.

Also notice that when we total each individual column, because we have analysed our individual receipts across the cash book headings. If we add together the totals of each individual column they should equal the total in the total receipts column. (i.e. 1000 + 525 = 1525) This is called X casting. It makes sure that our books balance.

Oh. And by the way add these totals up at the end of each month. That way it is easier to reconcile your cash book with your bank statements.

CASH BOOK PAYMENTS Layout:-
Date ___Supplier_____Cheque

___________________Number___Total___Purchases__Carriage__Rent and Rates___ etc.

6 July ____Company X_____100010____100________100

14 July___Company Z_____100011______30___________________ 30

etc.

Month Total ______________________130 (Q) _______(F)_______ (G) _________ (H)

 

I think you get the idea.

Don’t forget that when you add up the “Total Column”:- 100 + 30 = 130 (and of course you will have more entries than this) Your check is to make sure that the total of each of the analysis columns add across to the same figure.

i.e. F + G + H + etc. = 130 Great we X cast.

So to summarize.

You now know how to keep business records in its simplest form. You know why you are keeping them. When you first set up your business this is probably all your going to need to start with. When you take these books to your Accountant at the end of your financial year all he needs to do is balance the cash book up with Bank Statements. And then prepare the Income and Expenditure Account.

You can see how easy that is for him to do now. He has all the figures that just slot into place.. Hey you can probably do it yourself now! Of course it gets more complicated than this when we start introducing Sales Day Books and Purchase Day Books.

See you next time.

I hope I have been helpful.

Adrian Lord is dedicated to helping businesses and those who wish to start a new business. He is an Accountant with more than 20 years in the profession and has helped many people start there own business.