QUESTION ON How to Start a Home Business
I am starting my own business as a training consultant and I need some resources. I don’t know if I can simply start making contacts and seeing what happens or if I have to do something more formal before I can name my business and begin working from my home. My plan was to begin the business and see how it develops. After I develop a client base then worry about the “official” stuff. Should I be worried about something other than focusing on the initial marketing of myself and my goals?
Advice by Tammy Harrison
The “wait and see” attitude could certainly cause problems down the road, and it is not a suggested way to start a business.
At the very least, you need to make sure you can do what you want to do out of your home….via city, county and state regulations. Some residential areas are not zoned for home-based businesses and you could lose a lot if you were to begin your business without making sure you are legal. I would make sure you have approval from the local agencies by at least filing a d/b/a (doing business as) form with your city/county offices.
Additionally, I would never start a business without consulting my attorney and my income tax advisor, as well as my insurance agent. What if you were held legally liable for something you did? You are at risk for losing your home, future income, etc. That is not a recommended practice.
Marketing is a major factor in being successful. You can create and work a contact list from the very beginning, but, I do not recommend performing business tasks until your business was properly set up.
You need to find out if you must charge sales tax, in your city/county/state for your services. Some states require it, even on consulting. If that’s the case, you will have to have that paperwork filed and the forms at-the-ready to fill out.
You can always start with a d/b/a and move up and forward with that…incorporating later on (or many other options).
Hoe this helps!
Recommended Resources on How To Start a Consultancy Business
- Preparing Better Consultants: The Role of Academia (Research in Management Consulting)
- Managing the Training Function For Bottom Line Results: Tools, Models and Best Practices (Essential Tools Resource)
- How to Run Seminars & Workshops: Presentation Skills for Consultants, Trainers and Teachers
- How to Start a Home-Based Personal Trainer Business: *Turn your fitness passion to profit *Get trained and certified *Set your own schedule *Establish … everybody wants! (Home-Based Business Series)
Article originally published in June 2001
Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.