The shift from a full fledged office with a complete infrastructure to a home-based office can be complicated. The most important change is that you are the boss now and have to identify the key elements that you will incorporate from a regular office into your home based business. You have to take care of the same daily operations- there will be the same virus attacks on your computer and it can still crash. It is advisable to get yourself a mentor/trainer to help you out. Here are some of the basic guidelines about how to make a home business work out for you:
Merchant services and billing options:
You will still have to accept credit cards even if you run a home business. Suppose you have an e-commerce website, you can organize direct payment with a merchant services provider.
Time tracking, estimates, invoicing and information storage:
Since you will not be having an accounting and bookkeeping department as in a regular corporate office, all the paperwork should be entrusted to a person capable of handling it. A CPA can also be used to help record and track your time apart from processing your invoices.
Fulfillment of orders
In case you have retail based business; you may find it difficult to store products without sufficient space. In such a scenario, the ideal way to work around this is by outsourcing your fulfillment services. The plus point of this set up is that the majority of fulfillment companies can have an understanding with your product suppliers to ship directly from their warehouses to your customers. When you sign the contract with a fulfillment company, all the essential points are mentioned - customer returns storage, inbound customer calls & shipping and order.
Online marketing, Web design and IT outsourcing:
One of the best ways of boosting your home business is to use online marketing options to promote your business. A website is a very effective way to offer your services and reach your target clients. You need not be an expert at creating websites. Most Web-hosting services like Go Daddy offer templates to enable you to plug in the necessary information, company logos, blogs, etc. The other methods of online marketing are SEO pay-per-click advertisements and e-mail marketing options.
Basic infrastructure for a home office:
You can set up a home office as per your requirements and budget. There can be home offices of various kinds. You can have an office consisting of an extra room with entire computer systems or just a couch with a wall outlet to plug in your laptop. After identifying your needs, you can look for bargains while shopping around for your office requirements.
VoIP services and video conferencing, Internet
In your home business, you will require constant and consistent communication with your clients, fulfillment companies, suppliers and business partners. You will need a standard telephone although international charges and long-distance can add up to your expenses. Other requirements are a steady internet connection, digital voice mail; a VoIP service provides video conferencing, hold music and any other features that the home-business owners prefer to incorporate in his/her office.
The entire above are highly lucrative if you can find the right mentor/trainer for your enterprise and work with a little guidance and help.