So, a home-based business is a small business that operates from the business owner’s house. We’ve read stories of so many multi-billion-dollar businesses that started from the founder’s kitchen, living room and garages and so, to a large extent, many businesses started small and grew over time.
We’re going to be looking at things you need to have in place, things you need to know and action steps necessary for every business at the beginning. I have started and built up 4 home-based businesses, all of which are still running to date. This, I think, makes me an authority on the subject.
With the Nigerian economy today, it is foolhardy of anyone to think one income source will sustain you and your family. Many people are moving from 3 income sources to a minimum of 5, I kid you not. This may not be healthy in the eyes of financial experts and psychologists but, desperate times call for such and people will do everything (within legal means) to survive. This will see many people start small businesses from their homes and work with other family members to build it up to a healthy point before launching out big.
First of all, the starting stage won’t be easy. Many plans won’t work out as expected so brace up. But the following things must be in place to help you navigate and take off smoothly and avoid any face-offs with the authorities who have the power to shut down any business that doesn’t meet up certain criteria.
1. Do Your Market Research.
The moment you decide to go into a certain kind of business, you must do some research. Know what the market or streets are saying about it. What need is your business meeting? And how financially rewarding it is going to be? Then what do you need to be prepared for, possible downsides, risks, and hazards, etc?
2. Write Your Business Plan.
This plan should be easy to understand by a child and convincing enough to you first before possible investors. This is basically about how you intend to carry out business activities. Aims and objectives, goal, vision and a safety net to minimise loss.
3. Fund Your Business.
You should have your starting capital to invest in your business. May not have it 100% but that initial funding must come from you. In these days of grantpreneurs, any founder with big dreams requiring huge funds from investors will never be taken seriously by serious investors if you haven’t put in a good amount of your personal money to fund your dream or idea. I use the word grantpreneurs because it would seem we have more of young minds looking for grants everywhere than we have individuals rolling up their sleeves and getting down to do the work of building a business.
4. Choose A Business Structure.
Here you will need to decide what kind of business you’re building. Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LTD or PLC. There are different rules guiding each of these.
5. Pick Your Address.
In this case, it’s your home. If it involves moving products or any other frequent form of commuting, the location will play a huge role in effective service or product delivery. This is an important factor to be considered. I know a business involving products that are produced in the founder’s home but warehoused in the home of a relative for ease of shipping cos of its location.
6. Choose Your Business Name.
Should be catchy, embody what your business is about and be Google search engine friendly 😁.
7. Register Your Business.
The authorities require every business to be registered. You also get access to loans, and funding very easily and support from banks and other financial institutions. Operating without a registered business name looks fraudulent. You’ll also never be taken seriously.
8. Get Federal and State Tax IDs.
This almost goes hand in hand with business registration. When I registered my business, I did them together.
9. Open A Bank Account.
Every business needs a corporate account. The federal and state tax IDs will be linked to this account. So, there’s no escaping payment of taxes 🤣🤣. The bank will even request it before you’re given an account number.
10. Apply for Licenses And Permits.
I will also add all the other certifications and registrations necessary as it relates to your business. If you’re going into food production or drugs or skincare, then NAFDAC and SON registrations are important.
Once you’ve done all these, I’d say you’re ready for business. Like I said, it won’t be easy. Things won’t always work according to plan. Plans will fall through but it’s an interesting place. You will learn to think on the spot, improvise and be more creative. With the help of family, friends and angels, you’ll do just fine.
I’m rooting for you.
- Joy Mfon Essien is an Entrepreneur and the CEO, Discover Essence Media, Millionaire Woman Soapworks and Delicioso Foods. Writer, TV presenter and producer, Wellness Coach and mom of two.