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Starting and Growing a Home-Based Business; Uncle Sam has some Props that can help!

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Starting and Growing a Home-Based Business; Uncle Sam has some Props that can help!

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: September 17, 2009

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It's

quite a staggering fact that in the last few years home-based businesses have

grown to represent 52% of all small businesses and 10 percent of the total

receipts of the economy (approximately $314 billion), according to the Small

Business Administration (SBA).

At

the root of this trending is the fact that of all the forms of business

ownership, starting a home-based business is low cost, low risk and for the

long-haul (less than five percent actually ever move out of the home).

This

isn't to say that it's easy. You'll need a significant amount of personal,

financial, and family commitment. You'll

also need to remove any rose-tinted spectacles and confront the realities of

business ownership - from tax considerations to the laws and regulations that

govern exactly what business you can do from within your home, and so on.

The

good news is that the amount of resources available to help home-based business

owners get started and scale their operations and profits is growing at almost

the same pace as the at-home businesses themselves.

The

U.S. government is at the forefront of much of this growth and below are some

of the best resources, offered by the government, that help home-based business

owners learn more about working out of their homes and managing their business

within the law.

Home-Based Business Guide from

Business.gov

The

Business.gov Web site (managed by the government's Business

Gateway initiative) features a

whole host of resources and tools to advise and guide small business owners

through the process of starting and operating their business. Its Home-Based Business Guide includes tips on the following:

  • Before You Begin

    - Assess whether you are ready to operate your business out of your home.

  • Starting a Home-Based Business - Includes a legal (think permits, zoning, and other

    state regulatory requirements) and operational checklist to help you get

    started, as well as guidance on business planning.

  • Financing a Home-Based Business - The costs of starting

    a home-based business are low, but if your venture requires some form of

    financing, programs such as the SBA Microloan Program

    can help. Find the right loan for your business using this loans

    and grants search tool.

  • Tax information -

    Home-based businesses can benefit from certain tax deductions, but you'll also

    need to understand how being self-employed changes your tax reporting

    obligations.

And

while you are on the site, check out this very useful checklist - 10 Steps to Starting a Business. Business.gov also has its own social media arm - the Business.gov

Community ; if you can't find the

answer to your home-based business question on the main site, there's a good

chance that someone on here (peers and industry experts) can help you.

Free Small Business Online Training

& Podcasts (from the Small Business Administration)

These

self-paced 30 minute SBA online courses

are really great value and cover all aspects of doing business, including

operating a home-based business, starting and marketing your business, finance

and accounting (such as How to Prepare a Loan Package), and so on.

The

SBA also produces podcasts

that are available for download on subjects that range from 'Getting your Small

Business Ready for Tax Season' to 'Marketing to the Federal Government'.

Peer and Expert Advice in Your

Community

Small

businesses and home-based business are also very well served in terms of

business advice in the community. From the great resources offered by support

groups and peer networks, to local government resources such as your local

Chamber of Commerce, Small

Business Development

Centers, SCORE, and local

SBA offices - there are oftentimes a host of resources in your own community,

if you know where to look. Find assistance, free training and advice in your

community here.

Additional Resources

Message Edited by CaronBeesley on 09-17-2009 08:33 AM

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

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