10 Basic Steps To Starting A Home Business

Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibility and a new family member, whose name is Uncle Sam.  One thing about family, is we try to avoid any family disputes, to do this, you must follow the rules and regulations, which govern starting and running a business. There is no excuse for ignorance of the Law! There are 3 branches of Government you will have to answer to, Federal, State, and Local.

1. PLAN YOUR BUSINESS

The first mistake many people make is they start a business without a plan or vision for the business! When I hear someone talk about vision my mind wanders to a scripture passage found in the bible Proverbs 29:18, which says where there is no vision, the people perish, the same rule applies to starting a business without a vision for your business is destined for failure.

A Business Plan is a document that clearly describes your vision, including all the details of your business operations. If you plan to seek financing for your business then a business plan is a must! The main purpose of a business plan is to guide the entrepreneur from where he should start and the business goals.

2. REGISTER A FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME

If your intention is to operate your business under a different name other than your own, you may be required to register your trade name with your state or local government. This form of registration is known as “doing business as” (dba) or fictitious name filing. Check with your state office for information on Business Name Registration.

3. DETERMINE IF YOU NEED A EMPLOYER ID?

Generally, if you are going into business for yourself and you are not starting a corporation or non-profit organization and do not employ anyone, you do not need an EIN. Your social security number is your EIN. You will only need an EIN if you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions.

4. CHOOSE A BUSINESS STRUCTURE

When beginning a business, you must decide what form of business entity to establish. Your form of business determines which income tax return form you have to file. The most common forms of business are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and S corporation.

A sole proprietor is not only one of the common forms of business structure, but it is also one of the easiest types of businesses to form. You are not required to do any kind of special incorporation filing. A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself.

A limited liability company (LLC) or corporation helps protect your personal assets in case a lawsuit is brought against your business, for products sold or services rendered. But may require the help of a professional to start. Learn more about the different types of business structures.

5. LOCAL ZONING LAWS

Local zoning laws, also called ordinances, establish what business activities can be carried out in a particular municipality. You need to get approval, and any required permits from zoning, before setting up a business in a particular location including your home. In some areas zoning and planning, agencies require all home-based businesses to get a Home Occupation Permit.

6. BUSINESS LICENSE And PERMITS

General Business License

As a business owner, you are normally required to purchase a yearly general business license. Contact your county clerk’s office for more information and/ or any other licenses or certificates you may be required to carry based on the type of business you are starting. If you plan to run a home business from a property you are renting you may also be required to get permission from your landlord to acknowledge he is aware of the fact that you are starting a home business on his premises.

Sales Tax Permit

If you intend to sell taxable goods or services online or offline, you may be required to collect state and local sales taxes from your customers. It is your responsibility to apply for a sales tax permit if the state where your business will be located charges a sales tax or levies a gross receipt or excise tax on businesses. Check with your State Revenue office for more information on your state requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax.

7. STATE BUSINESS REGISTRATION

Most States if not all, require you to register your business with your State Revenue Agency. State Revenue offices issue a variety of business permits/ licenses depending on the type of business you are starting and the needs of the business.

8. BOOKKEEPING

Setting up a good Bookkeeping system is a must! Keeping track of your business income and expenses will help you in the long run, to be prepared in case of an IRS audit and it will keep you comp[iant with the law.

9. FILE AND PAY TAXES

As a business owner, you are required to file and pay small business taxes including State, Local, and Federal. Check with your state and local officials for more information on the self-employment taxes you are required to file.

Beginners Guide To Small Business Bookkeeping

Small Business Bookkeeping is just about one of the most important responsibilities a small business owner will have. If you are making money from self-employment full or part-time you are considered a small business owner and the success of your business depends on creating and maintaining an effective record-keeping system. It does not matter if your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.

The gig economy is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform. The “gig economy” is a relatively new term for a traditional way of earning a living: being paid on a per-job basis for work performed directly for a customer.

Being hired to do a single short-term task, project, or job can be called a “gig.” This type of occasional work is part of what is now referred to as the “gig economy.”

A Brief list of Examples of work in the  gig economy is:

  • Drive a car for booked rides or deliveries 
  • Rent out property or part of it
  • Run errands or complete tasks 
  • Sell goods online including in Online Marketplaces
  • Provide creative or professional services
  • Provide other temporary, on-demand work
  • Freelance work

People working in the gig economy use Digital business platforms that match workers’ services or goods with customers via apps or websites. This includes businesses that provide access to:

  • Ridesharing services
  • Delivery services
  • Crafts and handmade item marketplaces
  • On-demand labor and repair services
  • Property and space rentals

Examples of Gig platforms connecting service providers with customers, or gig workers, are too numerous to list here, a couple of popular gig platforms are Etsy and Uber. Gig economy workers are generally classified as independent contractors.

In a gig economy, large numbers of people work in part-time or temporary positions or as independent contractors even in the corporate sector. Gig work can be a great way to supplement income, try out a business idea, or become self-employed. Gig work is also referred to as a side hustle.

According to a new law beginning with the tax year 2022 if someone receives payment for goods and services through a digital platform, third-party payment network such as eBay, Etsy, Uber, and others their income will be reported on Form 1099-K if $600 or more was processed. Keeping good records of money coming in and going out of your business will assure you are in compliance with your tax obligation!

The downside is gig work doesn’t offer traditional benefits like insurance or retirement plans. On the upside, some people are making six figures in online gig work. With that kind of money, you can invest in your own retirement plan and insurance!

Why Starting an Internet Business is a Great Idea

What better place to start a business right now than online? The Internet offers anyone and everyone, the same opportunity to start a low-cost, highly profitable business online on only a shoestring budget!. The only limitation is your imagination!

Do away with the mentality that says you don’t have enough knowledge or money to start a business on the Internet. Been there done that! If you really want to make money online, there is nothing stopping you, the Internet has opened up the door to a world of possibilities! Opportunity is knocking, ordinary people are making extraordinary money online and becoming millionaires almost overnight. There has never been a better time to start an online business than right now!

I started a retail business online on only a shoestring budget and earned money beyond my expectations! If you are dreaming about starting a business of your own, stop right now and just do it! It just takes stepping out of your comfort zone, and thinking like a millionaire! Even if you are an ordinary Joe with Macy’s taste and only K-mart money in your pocket, you can do it!

During the last 20 or so years, large numbers of people have chosen to market their skills and talents from home. Recent studies estimate that over 50% of all new small business enterprises are operated out of the home, and this trend is growing.

Internet Users Profile:

Research has proven that high on Internet users to do list is Social Networking. Just look at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and youtube, they all hold high rankings on the Internet. Facebook is #1 on the charts. Once people got a hold of Facebook it took off like a bat out of HE- double hockey sticks. The News and up-to-date happenings are also a crowd-pleaser, Twitter has been known to light up like a Christmas tree, with people exchanging tweets about what is affecting people right now, in various areas of the world.

YouTube is like having your own TV program and it has brought everyone out of the closet, from mom and pop to aunt Sally, in search of stardom. For some people youtube is the first place Internet users go, to learn something new. Humorous videos are also a crowd-pleaser.

Money Making Ideas

YouTubers produce videos on just any subject you can think of. Producing videos YouTubers can make a substantial amount of money through various channels including advertising revenue.

Selling online is one of the quickest and easiest ways to begin making money online and a part of my humble beginnings on the Internet. Internet Users love the convenience of being able to shop from home online due to the convenience and the savings found on various products on the Internet. It’s estimated that consumers spend over $200 billion on all types of Internet-based goods and services. 

Creating Informational digital products is also a great way to make money on the Internet.

What it all boils down to is a large percentage of Internet users who love to socialize online, they are always in search of information and they don’t mind spending money online for goods or services!

Finding Your Money Making Idea:

Now as you begin to search for your money-making niche idea you will have to do your research. Your job is to figure out how to use what you are passionate about and knowledgeable about, to come up with a money-making idea that will coincide with what will turn on the bells and whistles of your target market.

Take a moment and think about how you can turn your talents or solutions to a problem into a money-making business idea?

  • What is it you are good at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What problems or issues do you see on the Internet you have a solution for?

Begin by writing down all the things you are passionate about and knowledgeable about.

How To Discover Powerful Money-Making Ideas

We all know the Internet is filled with millions of websites and almost any business idea you could think of. Some Internet business types are so common that the market is saturated and the competition is plentiful. But there is still hope! How would you like to discover the ideal topics, products, or services for your business that people are actually searching for? Finding your Niche Market is the key, that will unlock the door to making money beyond your expectations!

To be successful you have to come up with a unique idea or a better solution to an idea already available online! Targeting a niche market is an ideal way to build a profitable business on the Internet, which requires less overall investment.

What is a Niche Market?

A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs.

For example, there are all types of dolls and materials and methods used to make them, “dolls” is a small segment or niche of the toy manufacturing industry and the doll collectors industry. Instead of focusing on the Doll industry as a whole, you would build a profitable business on a small part of that industry, an example is handmade dolls. Handmade dolls are a small segment of the doll industry!

There are two important ingredients that go into finding your million-dollar niche market, it should be something you are passionate about! Your passion will keep you pumped up and energized through the ups and downs of the business. You will not want to give up so easily if it is something you are passionate about! And of course, it should be something you are knowledgeable about!

In the following example, Ms. Mary Flower-head (not a real person) researches the profit potential of her Niche business idea! Ms. Mary Flower-head is an ordinary person, just like you and I. She is a teacher by day and a hobbyist by night. Her hobby is making “handmade dolls” which she is passionate about!

One day an idea struck her so powerfully, that it almost blew her brains out! She could make and sell handmade dolls on the Internet, she thought! Ms. Mary Flower-head is actually targeting a niche market.

I think we all can agree that one of the biggest advantages of business is knowing what people want. Surveys are based on the idea of gathering information that would lead to the discovery of what people like and want.

Google Trends makes it easy to research what people are actually searching for. Simply put Google Trends- is a window into what people on the Internet want. It is a great tool for market research to identify topics to write about hot selling products and even services people are looking for.

GoogleTrends allows you to tap into Google’s database of searches. Google Search, shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. To begin using Google Trends visit https://trends.google.com and enter into the search bar your desired niche business idea, topic, or product you want to sell.

In this example, I will enter handmade dolls. If there is enough interest in the search term “Handmade Dolls” Google Trends generates a report. The Google Trends report answers the following questions based on the search term entered:

  1. The interest Over time in Handmade Dolls, by default the past 12 months is selected you can select a different time period by clicking on the drop-down arrow. If you run your mouse over the peaks in the chart you will be able to see which months have the highest interest.

2. Listed below, Interest by subregion answers the question of which regional areas have the most Internet users searching for handmade dolls, listed by the state. In the chart below you can see that treading right now people from the New Your State area have a big interest in handmade dolls.

3. Scrolling down the page under the related queries which means they are showing up for the first time. A lot of people are searching for this particular query at this time you can see Waldorf dolls are trending.

4. In The Related topics Section, you get an upfront advantage of knowing what related topics people are searching for. Knowing what people are interested in and searching for can trigger solid business ideas.

Is it a Profitable Business Idea?

The next step is to research the competition. Internet competition is a key factor in determining if an Internet Business idea has the potential to be profitable. Million-dollar niche ideas will be the ones with little to no competition.

We will turn to Google.com for the answer. Google.com is considered the top search engine used by millions to search the Internet.

Armed with all the information gathered on possible niche business ideas, topics to write about, and or products to sell enter your search term into the search engine. In my example, I will enter Handmade Dolls. Below you can see there’s a lot of competition for Handmade Dolls 97,900,000.

Keep in mind that a potentially profitable business idea will be the niche market idea that people are searching for, that has little or no competition on the Internet.

Continue to use this method, until you find your niche business idea that people are searching for that has low competition. Try experimenting with various search terms related to your niche idea. The lower the competition the greater the success rate!

On the Google Home Trends home page you’ll see the popular topics people are talking about. Google provides you with a list of all the hot topics and it’s a good way to stay informed about what the internet is talking about.