What should I know about starting a Home Business?

You should be aware of the regulations that might affect the business you are interested in running from home.

I know rules and regulations are boring.

However, the government whether overall or local has the power to close your business down once you get started.

Whether your business is in your local community or on the internet or both, there are always rules.

Other than the government wanting their taxes from your revenue and the government wanting to make sure your business work environment is safe for your employees, your neighbours whether living in the home beside yours or apartment across the way from yours will be the biggest issue which some people don’t consider when starting their business.

Your neighbours can complain about the new traffic coming to your home office. Your neighbours can complain about lack of parking from your client visitors taking up spaces. Your neighbours can complain about the increase in noise or the increase in smells etc. from your new business. The neighbours go to local authority who can fine you depending on the bylaws or rules in your community. In an apartment complex, all these complaints can apply and you could be evicted if there is rule on no businesses in your apartment bylaws.

We started back 20 years with our own home-based local engineering business when home-based business bylaws were only just being created but we have always made sure we are a quiet neighbour by making visits to clients residence a priority and clients come on infrequent basis to your home office.

Believe it or not, even if you have a business always on the internet, if your neighbours notice increased deliveries they can complain to local authority.

So, always be a quiet neighbourhood business. :)

5 Common Newbie Concerns – Solved

When you’re a newcomer to Internet Marketing, there are so many worries you may have over starting your own business. Although there’s a large community that offers some camaraderie, it’s still a solo business where you succeed or fail on your own.

When newbies were asked about their biggest anxiety in launching a start-up business online, there were some common themes that seemed to be looked upon as obstacles for those who don’t have much experience with this business yet.

Knowing Where to Start

You get online and hear about Internet Marketing and when you start Googling the words, you get a huge array of opportunities. There’s not just one Internet Marketing business model – there are dozens.

You can create products, promote as an affiliate, engage in mobile marketing, provide services – the list goes on and on. It starts to get a little overwhelming because you don’t know what’s the best starting point.

You want to ask yourself what your primary need is right now. Are you desperate for money or are you hoping to build a business for your personal satisfaction?

It’s okay to have both, but if your electricity is about to be turned off, then you might want to pursue services and work for those who are already successful before you try to carve out a place for yourself as a leader in a niche.

Some business models will take more time to see a return than others. For example, if you were ghostwriting for someone, you could get paid today with a PayPal payment.

But if you decided to start off as an Amazon Associate, using affiliate marketing as your business model, you would have to wait at least two months to get a payment from that – not including the time it takes for you to create content that converts into sales.

Learn what the various business models are and make a list of those that interest you. You don’t need to know all of the details about it yet, but if you hear that people make money ghostwriting and you love to write, jot that down as a possibility for you.

Then make a list of the skills and talents you have that you’d like to put to good use, like graphics, research, writing, technical tasks, etc.

Go out searching for courses and information that can help you get started. And have realistic expectations. There’s a reason you shouldn’t start with online marketing if you’re desperate for money – it’s not an overnight cash cow, no matter how many people toss words around like “push button” and “done for you.”

When you buy a course, implement every word of it before you consider it a flop. And even then, go to the product creator and show them your efforts and see if they can help you get on the right track.

Expect a few failures along the way – not one person has avoided them.

Don’t buy every course and tool and one time offer presented to you. You can easily get started with free and low cost options before you re-invest in your business for a few upgrades.

There is no exact starting line you have to find. You gather information and jump in. You can look for information online or buy a course that helps you get going.

Deciding What Courses to Invest In

Once you have a business model in mind that you think you may want to try, start looking for a course to teach you what you need to know. Start with one and then after completing it, move on to another.

There is no one soup to nuts course for you. Every seller will have a slightly different strategy and concept – and it’s likely that you’ll pick up a few golden nuggets from each one, rather than follow one course verbatim for your entire career.

Know where to look for courses. You start by asking in a forum or asking a reputable blogging what his or her recommendation is for learning a specific business model.

You can also Google things like “best Amazon affiliate course” to see what comes up. Look for discussions, not blatant promotions written by someone who is just out to make a quick buck.

Evaluate the reputation of the sellers. Look for real information – does he or she respond to emails? Are refunds difficult to get if there’s a problem? Are they known for quality or have they had to reinvent themselves under an alias one too many times?

Look for honest reviews, not promotions. You want thorough reviews by someone who actually purchased or owns a copy of the product and is explaining to you what makes it good (as well as what’s lacking in it).

Actually read the entire sales copy – even between the lines. So many people buy on a whim – using either recommendations only or headlines only to go by. You need to read every word. And if you don’t understand something, email the product creator and ask before you buy.

Don’t buy and then say to yourself, “Well if it’s not what I wanted, I’ll just refund.” That can get you blacklisted – not to mention it damages the seller’s ranking for sales.

Don’t order it until you have time to implement it. If you’re swamped without a second to spare, then now is not the time to be trying to launch an online business.

When you have at least an hour each day or a few times a week to implement a new course, then buy it and begin implementing it right that minute. You can even start a blog and conduct a thorough review of your implementation process, helping you make some affiliate sales along the way.

Coming Up with an Idea Where Competition Isn’t an Issue

It’s not just newbies who get stage fright over competition. It’s really not necessary, but it strikes fear in the hearts of newbies and seasoned marketers alike.

Competition is a good thing. It means there are people scrambling to get a piece of a profit pie. If there’s zero competition, then that’s a sign that there’s no pie at all – in other words, no profits.

Instead of being so worried about competition, learn to become one of the competitors that others should be fearful of. This doesn’t happen in an instant – it grows over time, and there’s plenty of room for you, regardless of what niche you want to be in.

Think about what niche you want to be in. Does it seem like everyone and their grandmother is in that niche? That’s okay! Even if it’s dieting or making money online, there’s a place for you.

You don’t have to pursue underwater basket weaving as your niche just because no one else is doing it. They’re not there because it’s a dead niche for making money.

What do you want to be known for in that niche? Let’s say it’s dieting. Would you like to be known for helping people stop yo yo dieting, or helping them lose a massive amount of weight as fast as possible?

You need a slant. You’re the one who is going to be creating a buzz about yourself in this niche, so you have to know what you want the conversation to be about.

Who is your competition? Don’t be scared of them – dissect their offers and topple them that way. When two groups go to war, they learn as much as they can about the other group – what weapons they’re fond of, what mode of transportation they prefer, etc. This is how they ultimately defeat the other group.

What (and how) are they operating in the niche? What products do they have? What services? How often are they networking on social sites? Look at every detail of how they conduct business.

Now how could you do it better or different? If there are virtually no videos by these people, then you can dominate on YouTube. Or if they haven’t bothered to release a trendy product lately, you could get into the niche by scooping something in the news.

Picking a Website Name

It’s hard to tell you not to worry so much about picking your site name because it is important. But you don’t want to let it paralyze you – and you don’t want to become a domain hoarder who keeps buying URLs because you keep thinking you made a mistake with the last one.

First things first – try to get a dot com extension. Yes, you can make do with a dot net, dot org, dot info or many other extensions but consumers typically assume everything is a dot com, so it’s best to go with that.

You need to know what the purpose of your site is before you go shopping for a domain. Is it going to be a review site? Then try to work that word in there, like this:

· TopToyReviews.com
· TopBlenderReviews.com
· MarketingProductReviews.com

If this is a domain for a niche blog, then you don’t need to put the word blog in your domain URL. You just want to grab a domain that preferably uses keywords and explains what the site is about.

For example:

· SelfHelpTips.com
· DailyMoneyMotivation.com
· SkincareSolutions.com

These domains are all pretty self-explanatory. What you don’t want to do is be vague about it. Unless you plan to become a master of branding, stick to a keyword-laced domain.

Vague domains like “FlyHigher.com” might be about self esteem – but it could also be about hang gliding. No one knows at first glance.

Handling the Intimidating Technical Tasks

Some people have a mountain of motivation, a ton of determination, but absolutely zero technical prowess. If this describes you, don’t consider it an obstacle you can’t overcome.

There are several ways to get around the fact that technical issues are your Achilles Heel.

If money is an issue, then you can look online for step-by-step videos or text instructions that teach you how to do something. Be very specific when you search, by using phrases like, “How to install a WordPress blog.”

If money’s not an issue, or if you feel like the frustration level and time consumption will be too much for you to take the do it yourself route, then save up to outsource any tech tasks you don’t want to handle.

You can find someone to do everything – install blogs, upload content, set up your email autoresponder – you name it. Sometimes the people who sell certain tools will conduct the service you need for a small fee.

For example, Sam Stephens does this with his Download Guard product, which delivers expiring download links to your customers after they purchase something from you so that they can’t share the links all over the Internet.

Being a newbie should be an exhilarating time for you, not one where you feel paralyzed and intimidated by everyone else’s success stories. Keep in mind that everyone’s made mistakes, we’ve all failed, but the ones who succeed are those who get back up and try again without shame.

Home Business Startup Costs


Home Business Entrepreneurs are a vital and growing part of the business economy in North America. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 United States Report in 2012, over 69% of new entrepreneurs started from home. 55% of the new businesses remained at home even if they hired employees. Also, the average financing was $15,000 with 82% of the entrepreneurs receiving financing from personal funds, family or friend. If you are thinking about starting a home business, it is possible to start from home with less money than you think!

If you haven’t heard the term “bootstrapping”, it is a new mindset for you to save money by doing some of your startup activities yourself and financing your business plan.

1. The first step would be to create a budget of potential income and expenses possible in the first year. Most important would be to define all the expenses as income may not come in the first year.

2. Looking at the expenses, see how you can save by reducing expenses by, for example:

a) doing your own bookkeeping

b) using your existing furniture for your office rather than buying new or go out to garage sales to find used items.

c)asking your computer saavy family member to help you setup your internet in exchange for…

For most service businesses that are home-based, the initial year is the most expensive but saving money by creating an office in your home and using existing furniture and computer equipment helps to reduce costs.

Now on to needing money, a bootstrapping entrepreneur will use:

a) their own personal savings

b)credit cards debt

c)ask family or friends for startup money or if you are lucky, use your family members skills within your business in exchange for whatever you decide on.

The advantage to using your own personal finances is you are not indebted to any other person or company like a bank.

Without knowing what your startup expenses will be, you won’t know what money you need to raise before you even start your business. So, even though the thought of doing a business plan may be something you consider unnecessary, even if you are going to be bootstrapping, a business plan is worth doing to see what you need for the first year.

Government Resources for Writing a Business Plan

The U.S. Small Business Administration has a free resource on creating a business

The Canadian government resources at Canada Business Network

Australian government at Business Plan Template

Great Britain at Write a Business Plan

Go and write up your business plan even if you aren’t going to a bank for financing because it is the guide and plan to use in your first year to keep costs under control!

by Jane Gardner from Jane-Gardner.com To empower and implement your business dreams!

Home Office



Designing an Optimal Home Office
Your home office makes a big difference on your overall productivity and work happiness. Having a great home office makes it easier to concentrate and will help you get more done in less time. Here are some of the many things you should keep in mind while you’re designing your home office.

==> The Space Itself

Your home office should be separated from the rest of your house and especially the rest of your bedroom. If you don’t have a separate office space set aside, at least use curtains or other material to partition off the space.

When you step into your home office, it should feel like you’re stepping into a workspace. It should not be an extension of your bedroom.

==> Designing Your Flow

Place all the tools you’ll need within arm’s length. In other words, your phone, your keyboard, your printer tray and your notepad should all be in reaching distance if those are tools you use regularly.

==> Measure Your Space

Before you buy any equipment, make sure you take a tape measure and measure everything out. The last thing you want is to buy office equipment only to discover that it doesn’t fit.

==> Make Sure Your Cabinets Have Room to Open

This is one of the more common home office design mistakes people make. They remember to measure the cabinet’s space, but forget to measure enough space for the cabinet to open out. You don’t want your cabinet to hit anything else when it opens – including you or your chair.

==> Add Real Plants

Working in a home office all day can be quite stuffy. Research has shown that nature and real plants can help people concentrate and boost mood.

Add a real plant or two in your workspace to help lift your spirits.

==> Invest in a Quality Chair

Sitting in a low quality chair can result in back pain, aching shoulders and other kinds of body pains. If you’re going to spend money on anything in your office, spend it on your chair. Get a quality chair that supports your spine and allows you to work for extended periods of time without undue pressure.

==> Lighting Is Important

You don’t want to work in dim lighting. Having good lighting helps reduce strain on your eyes, promotes better mood and helps improve productivity.

The light in your office needs to appear diffused, so it can’t just come from one source. Ideally you’ll have three or four different lights that all contribute to an overall sense of having a well-lit room.

These are some of the many things that go into designing the optimal office. Your office space has a big impact on your overall workflow. The time you put into improving its design will pay off many times over.

What is a perfect name for my business


a smiling businesswoman holding empty card

What is the perfect name for my new home business? Is there a reason I should pick a business name carefully? 

When it is time to figure out a name for your new home business sometimes it can be something that you agonize over and wonder am I picking the right name? The idea that once you file the business name with the local government means it is “written in stone” can sometimes hold you back from picking one. 


What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;  

from Romeo and Juliet

Michael Fortin, in his book “10 Commandments of Power Positioning” says your business name should stick in people’s mind long after they have met you.  Make it unique. Have it reflect what you do in the name, be “Heather’s Wedding Wreaths” not “Heather B. Business”.  A person will remember a unique business name.  At the very least, have what you do in your name,  ABC Cleaners not ABC Enterprise.

With my husband’s Structural Engineering firm, we called it Peak Engineering because Maple Ridge is below Golden Ears which has two peaks.  Also, whenever we tell people our name, we say Peak, as in mountain peaks spelling since peek is another spelling. It seems fairly easy for people to remember the name spelling though Brian is usually called Brain.  Or maybe, he just thinks it is an appropriate name for him.

For my company, JGardnerMarketing, I took a business name that was my name + marketing since our local government registrars have stricter guidelines about business names.  I could not have called it The Business of At Home Business because it used the word business in it was too generic.  So, it is alway good to check with your local authority and see what type of business name they will not approve before you send in names for approval.  With our local government authority, you have to give them three choices for the business name and if they disapprove the first name, you’d better like the second and then third name.  So, don’t start printing up your business cards or letterhead until you get the business name approved by the government.

Also, if you pick a name too close to a trademarked name or  it seems to come close and the other business can sue you and make you change your name.  So, no Burger Queen or Starebucks for you!  You can do a search through local Yellow pages, Google, your local Business registry and domain search.

If you want to go put up a website using your Business Name, you had better check early before registering your business name with your local government.  It is not possible to have the exact same domain name in the internet and when you are looking at the world businesses up on the internet, the odds are good that there would be a ABCCleaner.com up on the internet already!  You don’t want to be known by the website domain of ABCCleaner2.com.

Michael Fortin in 10 Commandments of Power Positioning had another good test for picking a business name that people remember.  Create about 5 business names and tell some of your friends you’d like to know what they think of the names.  Ignore this advice (just kidding).  What is important is to see them or call them up in an hour or two and ask them to recite the names.  See which names stuck in their mind and that will give you some idea on the uniqueness of the business name.

When deciding on a Business Name for your Home Business remember to:

    • pick a business name unique to you
    • pick a business name that has what you do for a living in it as an action word –  Cleaning, Engineering, Marketing, Writing–  somewhere within the business name
    • check that the business name is not already being used on the World Wide Web
    • check with local government authority on their business name rules
    • test some business names by getting friends to remember the most memorable of a list after an hour
    • stay away from other businesses names who are already registered as they can sue you to change it ,if it is too close

In the end, what your business name is will not define your business in your customer’s mind. Who you are and how you deliver the services or product to them  will be the reason customers will return to your business.  Micheal Fortin’s book “10 Commandments of Power Positioning” has some other great ideas about keeping your business name in top of mind of your customers so you receive a copy when you sign up for The Business of At Home Business newsletter.

Start a consulting business – Fred’s story

Fred consulting paperwork to start his home business
Fred consulting paperwork to start his home business

What do you need to do when starting a home business as a consultant?    The continuing story of Fred, the home based business consultant.

Fred had made the decision to work from home as a consultant rather than an employee. He had talked to his employer who was agreeable to them starting a new relationship with Fred as a part-time consultant.

For Fred to be an independent consultant, some of the things he would need to do are :

  1. Set up a home office space and office equipment
  2. Define a business name for his company
  3. Decide on the type of business as to whether he wanted to be a sole proprietorship or have an independent limited company
  4. Apply for a business number with the government so he could remit his taxes and fullfill any other government requirements when running your own business
  5. Apply for a business licence from his town or municipality so that he can run a business from his home.
  6. Sign a contract with his client (his previous employer) defining his responsibilities and his hourly rate for his services
  7. Make sure that the relationship between him and the client  was clearly defined in the contract including:
  • The defined hours of work he would be available in his home office for communications
  • The number of hours he might be required to spend in the client office during the week
  • The  other expectations of work involved activities such as meetings or required paperwork
  • The easy access to the intranet system for email conversation and collaboration and review of documents

Fred made sure he went to see a lawyer to see what should be in his standard contract to define his and his client’s role and responsibilities in this new relationship.

Fred went to see his accountant to review all the government rules and regulations he would have to fulfill as a a self employed business.

Fred also went on the internet and checked his federal government website on how to start a home business as the brochure listed the steps clearly on what regulations he had to follow whether it was:

1. United States of America 

2. Canada 

3. Great Britain

4. Australia

All the governments have very good step by step guides on starting up a home business so check them out!