Invaluable Resources for Entrepreneurs Launching a Home Business
Starting a business comes with a lot of challenges as well as rewards. A home-based business has unique difficulties and roadblocks, from the usual funding and marketing issues to the pitfalls of working where you live.
As a small business owner, you have to face these challenges head-on. You’ll have bigger bills to pay, more complicated taxes, insurance to deal with, technology to manage, and much more.
But you don’t have to be an expert in all of these areas—you just have to be resourceful and willing to learn along the way. If you’re a new home-based business owner, you may find much-needed support from the following organizations, opportunities, and professional services.
Home-Based Business Networking Groups
Networking is essential for businesses of all sizes, but especially for entrepreneurs with smaller companies. As a home-based business, you can fall into the trap of becoming isolated from your industry. If you make an effort to network, you can reap the many rewards, like:
● Sharing knowledge and experiences
● New opportunities
● Reaching new clients
● Making connections that may be important later
● Raising awareness for your company and brand
If you aren’t sure how to network on your own, try joining a networking-focused organization. You can look into broad networking groups like the Young Entrepreneurs Council and the American Marketing Association or you can get involved in your local chamber of commerce to meet other business owners.
The Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great place to start for any entrepreneur. The website is invaluable for information, including guides on business plans, market research, franchising, licensing, business registration, financing, and a lot more.
You’ll also find resources specifically for home-based businesses, including information about zoning laws and other special considerations for operating out of a home office.
Your States Small Business Assistance or Development Center As a new business owner, it’s important to have local resources and understand local and state
policies that impact your operations.
The SBA’s Office of Small Business Development Centers is a network of offices that support local small businesses. Look up your states or your local areas SBA office for targeted resources. You can also find local resources outside of the SBA, as many cities have private organizations invested in building up the local economy.
Your Insurance Agent
Once you have the lay of the land through information sources like the SBA and state development centers, it’s time to get down to the details of operating a business. Having proper insurance is a huge component of running a company without taking on as much personal risk.
Your insurance agent is an essential resource for helping you determine the coverage forms and limits you need based on your specific state and municipality laws, industry, business structure, location, payroll, and more.
Your Tax Accountant
If you have never owned a business before, be prepared for more complicated taxes. A home-based business is a unique situation with specific tax requirements and deductions.
A tax accountant is a valuable ally and resource to help you file correctly. They can also help you find as many cost-saving deductions as possible. For instance, you may be able to write off portions of rent, utilities, real estate taxes, maintenance, and other expenses based on the home office tax deduction.
Small Business Grants
Unless you have the capital readily available, you’ll need financial assistance to get your business feet off the ground. Aside from loans and investors, you can also look to grants for assistance.
● Federal Grants– To find federal government grants you may qualify for, search the SBA and
● Private Grants– Finding and applying to private business grants may require a bit more
legwork. You can start by researching information on small business grants on websites like Fundera and NerdWallet.
A microloan is a small, peer-to-peer loan, meaning they don’t involve banks or credit unions. The money can come from individuals or organizations, usually non-profits. The SBA now has a microloan program that connects small business owners with intermediary lenders.
Asking for Assistance
The savviest entrepreneurs are the ones who know when and how to accept help and take advantage of available resources. Yes, owning a business is about beating the competition, but there are countless organizations that want to see all small business owners succeed. If you know how to access these resources and optimize their benefits, you’ll already be ahead of other business owners who try to go it alone.