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Post Info TOPIC: Some Tips for starting a home-based business


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Some Tips for starting a home-based business

Starting your own business at home can be a viable business opportunity. This publication will give you some idea of the types of businesses which can be operated from the home and provide some tips on start-up, pros and cons, and available resources.

Tips on Starting a Home-Based Business

  • Pick a home business idea that interests you, for which you have a talent or expertise, for which there is a need, and which you can afford to finance.
  • Do your market research. In a home business, as in any business, getting as much information as possible on your customers, competition, suppliers and market area before you start is essential.
  • Do a complete business plan, including financial planning, before beginning.
  • Check on and obtain all necessary licenses, permits and registrations for your line of business. This includes checking with your city/town/R.M. to see if it's legal to operate your business from home.
  • Have business cards, stationery, brochures, etc., printed by professionals. A polished, professional look is particularly important for home-operated businesses.
  • Advertise. Scan and target T.V. and radio stations, newspapers, magazines and newsletters geared to your market. Use public and special libraries to access this information. Canadian Advertising Rates and Data (CARD) lists Canadian publications, T.V. and radio stations, and their advertising rates.
  • Self-market. Go to stores, companies, etc., to market your service or product in person. Be sure to spend some time finding out about your potential customers before you try to "sell" them.
  • Designate and design a work area that is separate from the mainstream of your home activities. Install a separate business phone, fax and Internet connections.
  • Check on any extra insurance needs. Shop around for policies, but make sure that you're adequately covered.
  • Make use of free publicity. Send out news releases, present your product or service to a newspaper editor, radio or T.V. producer if applicable.
  • Don't overlook management/bookkeeping. Lack of managerial expertise is one of the single highest causes of business failure. Take courses, seek expert advice or hire help, but do learn basic management skills before you start.
  • Talk to owners of similar businesses outside your market area to get an idea of the potential and status of that line of business.
  • Join trade associations, business community associations, (i.e., chambers of commerce), business networks or clubs to help establish contacts.
  • Check both federal and provincial taxation requirements with Canada Revenue Agency and the Provincial Retail Sales Tax Office in the provinces where these are applicable. Find out about allowable deductions for automobile expenses, business meals and entertainment, and home offices expenses for self-employed persons.

Home-Based Business Ideas

It's important to note that some of the businesses below may be subject to the approval of local authorities (i.e. health, zoning, etc.)

Arts-related Businesses:
Antique Refinishing and Repair
Appraisals - Art, Antique, etc.
Art Dealership
Costume Design
Film Production
Illustration/Graphic Arts
Music/Dance Lessons
Miscellaneous Businesses:
Candy Making
Dog/Cat Breeding
Dog/Cat Grooming
Business Services:
Advertising/Public Relations
Answering Service
Billing Service
Collection Agency
Coupon Clipping Service
Data Processing
Detective Agency
Entertainment Bureau
Home Economics
Interior Design
Inventor's Bureau
Messenger Service
Personnel Agency/Executive Recruitment
Software Development and Sales
StationeryDesign and Production
Technical Writing
Telephone Solicitation/Surveying
Trade Show/Convention Organization
Typing/Secretarial/Word Processing

Personal Services:
Baby Items/Stork Deliveries
Babysitting/Day Care
Beauty Salon/Barber/Beauty Consultant
Bed and Breakfast
Chimney Sweeping
Cooking Lessons
Dentist's Office
Doctor's Office
Gift Basket Service
Important Dates (Reminder Service for Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc.)
Insurance Agency
Lawyer's Office
Limousine Service
Mobile Home Rental Registry
Party Planning
Plant/Pet/House Sitting
Private Investment
Real Estate
Resume Writing
Shopping Service
Sports Lessons
TelegramsSinging, Cookie, Balloon
Tours, Transportation Services (Children, Seniors, etc.)
Travel Agency
Videotaping Special Occasions
Vocational Counselling

Retail Businesses:
Furniture Retail
Home Retailing & Selling
Mail Order
Clothing Design
Doll Manufacture and Repair
Furniture Manufacture and Repair
Jewellery Design and Repair
RepairElectrical, Appliance, etc.

Landscape Design/Gardener/Horticulture
Vegetable Growing

Pros and Cons of Working at Home

  • Pros:
    • Lower costs: office/store rental, commuting, tax deductions, child care.
    • Time saved: work when most productive, combine work and home chores, commuting time.
    • Own boss: set own priorities, direct financial benefit when doing well.
    • Can be home with family.
  • Cons:
    • Work space: may be hard to set up a permanent, separate work space. If you must see clients/customers in your home it can involve costly renovations or you may have problems creating a professional image.
    • Time: can be difficult to find quiet time to work or, conversely, work may cut into your family/personal life; it may be hard to "get started".
    • Travel: if you visit clients in their office/store it may require a lot of time and will involve higher costs.
    • Isolation.


forum baby

Status: Offline
Posts: 5

Very useful information. Thx

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