Ever asked yourself, “How to start a small business at home?” Of course, you did! The ability to create a flexible work life and not report to a “nine to five” is compelling for many people. There are various avenues to becoming more independent, and starting a small business is one way to add more freedom to your life. In today’s connected and digital world, starting a business at home or online is easier than ever. We’ve compiled a simple guide to share what you need to know.
Questions to ask yourself before starting an at-home business
When considering a new business, it’s important to be realistic about what you can accomplish while employed full-time. You’ll also need to have a true understanding of the money required to start your venture. Do you have enough? How will you accumulate the capital? How much time can you devote to your new business if you’re working full-time elsewhere? What is a breakeven point, and when will you be profitable enough to quit your day job?
But don’t worry, many businesses can be started in spare time.
Key steps toward starting your own small business
There are a few steps you should take early in the process of creating your at-home business:
- Consider a company name, and perhaps consult a tax professional about the type of company that makes sense (an LLC, etc).
- You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and the appropriate business or resale licenses. LegalZoom is a great resource for questions and legal documents for small businesses.
- You might want to set up a website: GoDaddy can help you find a domain name and begin the process of securing it. There are various easy-to-use platforms to help you create a website within hours, for example, Wix.com.
- Create a separate bank account to manage business expenses.
- Writing a business plan. This is an opportunity to thoroughly think through each step of beginning your company so that you can ensure you’re prepared for success. You’ll need to consider weaknesses in your ideas or plans, find untapped opportunities, and develop processes for dealing with any challenges that will undoubtedly arise. A robust business plan can assist in obtaining capital or financial assistance from outside investors. If you need help, you might want to consider a service like LivePlan. They can guide you through a simple, step-by-step process to create an impactful business plan.
How to keep your work life separate from your home life
You have a home life, and you have a work life – and though it’s difficult to keep them separate, you should try.
No matter what type of business you’re considering, you’ll need customers. An essential part of obtaining – and keeping – customers is creating open lines of communication and making your business easy to find and access. Though it’s tempting to just use the phone line you already have for your business, that will eventually become confusing and inefficient. Is the answer buying another phone?
The great thing about a virtual number from Keku is that you’ll only need one phone with you at any time. You don’t have to buy a separate desk phone or another device to take business calls. Stay reachable, no matter where you are – you can sound professional even from the beach! Just install the Keku app and begin handling business calls from your own phone, while keeping your personal number private.
How KeKu can help your company appear established from day one
Here are a few other great features from KeKu that will make your company appear credible from day one:
All virtual numbers are SMS-enabled. Text messaging services for businesses are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. Keku lets you receive and send SMS messages, and your addressee will be able to reply to you. SMS can be sent to almost any country in the world.
Helpful voicemail capabilities: If you don’t pick up your line in one minute, the call is routed immediately to voicemail. A recording is sent to your email address, free of charge.
Record calls. Use the app or website to turn call recording on. Listen to the first 30 seconds for free, and access, share or save full recordings for a low monthly rate. This is particularly important for analyzing recorded calls with your customers and maintaining good customer service.
A “multi-instance” experience. In instances where you’d like to have multiple people respond to the same number, you can simply install the KeKu app and have them log in using the same KeKu account. This is particularly helpful when you have more than one customer support person.
Keku is constantly improving. There are several new features in development to make running your business even easier.
Call forwarding offers flexibility. Clients can forward all incoming calls for a virtual number to the phone number of their choice. For instance, if you have a bad internet connection in your area, call forwarding solves the problem.
Custom Greetings: Create announcements for people who call your number. Record or upload the initial greeting. Here’s an example: “Thanks for calling my awesome company. Please hold for just a moment while I pull some information for our chat.”
Extension numbers: You can set up more than one line on each virtual phone number. Each extension (e.g. “1”, “2”, “*3”) could be routed to a different device on your account. For example, if there are 3 people in your company, they can all use the same KeKu account. They would each install the KeKu app on their phones (Android or iPhone). You would see the list of associated devices in your account settings. It is possible to set up which extension should go to which device. And you can have all extensions point to the same device if you want to, to give the illusion of being a larger company.
There are lots more benefits that you can learn about on Keku.com. You’ll also want to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for tips, tricks, and updates that can help your small business achieve success. Check out our blog for ideas that have helped hundreds of our clients. And of course, if you need help or have questions getting your new business venture going – we’re always here. Just give us a call!