Tips to Run a Home Business on a Budget
Running a home business is a double edged sword since it can be very rewarding yet stressful at the same time. The first question a self-employed owner should ask should concern how the business will be financed. If there are already funds available, then the owner has many options on how to run the operation. But if like most small businesses, the budget is small or nonexistent, then it’s crucial for survival to cut expenses as much as possible.
The core of the business will likely deal with communication in some form. Chances are the business will need at least a phone, internet connection, email address, website and post office box. This combination should come to under one hundred dollars per month. Phone bills can be cut by switching to a voice over IP service, which involves using cable internet for phone service. Internet connections can be shared with others in the home who may want to help with the expense and email addresses are already free. Post office boxes are useful so that owners do not have to publish their home addresses. One way to save on a post office box is to pay for a year instead of six months.
Moving toward a paperless office is another way to save money. Doing as much of the work on computer as possible and only printing necessary documents will cut down on a lot of waste. Even though paper is just pennies a sheet, it can add up over time. One way to make sure important documents are preserved without printing them is to pay a small monthly fee for cloud computing services that will store the documents online. This will save office space and will not require physical storage, plus the documents will be securely archived. The documents will also be more organized and can be accessed instantly. Cloud services can also offer fax communication when necessary, which replaces waste-producing fax machines found in physical offices.
Instead of hiring a staff, a home business owner who needs help can outsource work through online platforms such as Guru.com and Odesk.com. Both of these sites bring employers and job seekers together from all over the world. Since there are many candidates who offer quality work at competitive fees to choose from, there will be no shortage of virtual office assistants who can work efficiently online. Outsourcing cuts many expenses since virtual assistants will use their own computers, software and office space. Help that can be outsourced spans a wide range, which includes experienced professionals with Masters in accounting.
Avoid traditional media advertising unless the deal is free or hard to beat. Instead, learn SEO techniques that give the company website high search rankings in search engines. This skill is actually much more basic than some expensive web companies portray. The key to a competitive edge is to find niche untapped keywords that users already search for. Web sites can be free through platforms such as WordPress.
Hopefully these tips will guide you in the right direction to starting a home based business on a budget. With a little creativity and a budget you can accomplish your dream of being a business owner.