Home Business Start-Up Guide!
Home Business Magazine|December 2016
Home Business Start-Up Guide!

A Home-Based Business Is the Best Type of Business to Operate When Times Are Hard.

In the face of a job market that is over-saturated with educated hopefuls and exceedingly competitive to the level of being impenetrable, people are grasping at drastic measures to make enough money to pay the bills each month. Rent prices increase steadily each year as salaries have lowered for well-qualified hirees. A master’s degree no longer promises graduates a smooth pathway to a top tier enterprise career. Considering leaving behind the corporate world of long hours behind a desk, surviving the drama of office politics and shouldering criticism with little reward in the name of earning a reasonable living? Read on to learn from a panel of home business experts how: to turn a passion project into a profitable home business; how to ensure your business is legally protected; how to take your home-based business to the next level; and how to keep tax issues in mind when managing a home business.

Turn a Passion Project into a Viable Business

By Kris Finstad

At the age of 35, I had an epiphany. After health issues forced me to take time off from my fulfilling and lucrative career in real estate, I realized that life was full of uncertainty (yes, as cliché as that may sound) and that I had to step back from my work and focus on what mattered — my family.

One evening while I was at home recovering, I happily volunteered to prepare dinner for my daughter and her friend (cooking had become a new hobby and served as great rehabilitation), who suffered severe food allergies. As any father would, I diligently scoured each nutrition label and cross-referenced them against a 10-page list of ingredients the friend must avoid, which was provided by the girl’s parents. I was confident the meal I prepared was suitable.

After sending my daughter’s friend to the emergency room, I sat in the hospital lobby combing through every detail of that evening, thinking there had to be a better way for parents and average consumers to decipher food labels. From that moment on, I spent the following nine months researching the food and allergy industry and developing an application to aid in solving this problem. Launched in the U.S. in 2015, I developed Content Checked for the countless families that suffer from potentially fatal food allergies. Now, there are more than 2 million users on the platform, and 66% of the users use the app on a regular basis.

Here’s how I was able to start and grow my own business. Follow these steps to start and grow your own:

1. Have a well-defined business strategy and forecast of the future.

Know your industry. After conducting enough research and evaluation of a particular industry, an understanding of what is lacking on the market or what can be improved will become clear. You can’t build a market out of a one-time concept; it needs to have consistency.

Try to forecast the next big innovation in your industry. This will help you to see the larger picture and let your business evolve. The market is always changing — new technology, new discoveries and being able to anticipate change will allow your business to adapt and stay prosperous.

2. Round up a knowledgeable and dedicated team.

You can’t run a business alone. Every businessperson has his strengths and weaknesses and needs a team that will complement each. First, start with a management team and staff that you trust and are experts in each of their respective fields. This will allow you to step away from micromanaging and focus on the big picture. This helps with productivity and to maintain a balanced workload. Rounding up a dedicated team may seem challenging and it can certainly take time, but if you exert stellar management skills — i.e. setting internal goals for staff each day and clearly defining expectations — you’ll be able to observe staff that is dedicated and enthusiastic. This will help weed out the staff that isn’t a fit or isn’t dedicated to your vision.

Hiring talent who bring in skills that you don’t possess is also extremely important — this allows companies to think outside the box and bring in multiple perspectives that are different from your own. The truth is that referral basis is the most proven way to find the right employees who know what they’re doing and are close to the business. If you’re outsourcing talent, make sure to fly them into your headquarters every few months and use Skype to create a more familial bond.

3. Land investment — perfect your pitch.

Target firms that are already aligned with what your company does and approach them first. It sounds so simple, but good ideas and good businesses will stand out and get funded. Show investors that you have a solid plan and smart team backing it up. That’s the first part; the second part is perfecting your pitch.

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December 2016