Article: Mark Gilbert

The Small Business Library

January 13, 2001

Home-Based Business: A Few Tips

It has often been said that all you need to start a business on the Internet is some creativity, a telephone, a computer, and a clean spot on your kitchen table. However, to SUCCEED at your Internet business, you may need just a little more than that! By this, I don't mean that you have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars setting up your own corporation -- WHAT I do mean is that you should take the time to think through your options and choose the ones that will maximize the effectiveness and profitability of your home-based business.

Home-based businesses have many advantages, especially in terms of time and cost effectiveness. However, there are also a few obstacles that need to be overcome when you work from home. Fortunately, there are ways to easily fix the problems you encounter. For the person working from their home, there are a few basic "tricks" or tips that you can use to make your business run better. Some of the things I would suggest are:

  • Do everything you can to create a professional demeanor. Many home-based businesses encounter problems with credibility. You can overcome this by making your business as professional as possible. For instance, if you can, make any phone calls away from the noises of the typical home: pets, children, the TV. Also, the way you treat your customers will help your credibility -- by quickly and courteously answering emails and other customer inquiries, you will be seen as professional, no matter whether you are working from home or working in a downtown skyscraper.

  • Give yourself some business "space." It may be true that you can do your work on a clean corner of a kitchen table, but that will be the most effective way to work. If you can, create a permanent space where you can "work" your business. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have a home office -- just dedicate a space to where you will do your work.

    Creating your own space can help you in several ways. First, it will save time by getting rid of those "clean-up" and "set-up" times that occur if you need to change your space from work to home. Also, if you have a space dedicated to work, it will help you concentrate -- When you are in that space you will feel like you are in "work" mode, which may help your efficiency.

    Finally, having a dedicated space for business may help you on your taxes. By having equipment or space that is used purely for business, it will make it much easier for you to deduct them as business expenses.

  • Get the help you need. One of the nice things about the Internet is that it has many resources for the home-based business person. You can get help marketing and promoting your business, managing your assets, or even investing your money. Many of these services are very reasonably priced and allow you to benefit from the expertise of others.

Many people dream of having a home-based business, but are afraid of the problems it might present. In fact, you can overcome these obstacles with just a little thought and research. If you take the time to do it right, and make use of the right resources, having a home-based businesses can be both fulfilling AND profitable.

Author Mark Gilbert helps his clients create businesses using just their computers and phones. To find out more about these money-making, time-saving tips and services, visit his web site at