Getting Your Online Business Started to Work From Home

by WorkFromHome on September 4, 2011

Thanks to the internet, starting your own business to work from home no longer requires a large investment in a lease, fixtures, signage, inventory, and time. Whether you are selling products or services, you can be reaching customers on no time at all. But, there are still a few steps you must take to be sure your business will operate legally and as efficiently as possible.

Forming Your Company

There are four basic types of business structures. But, until your business grows large enough to make personal liability too much of a risk or your expansion needs require a business loan, Sole Trader is the easiest and least expensive structure option.

If you want to run your business under your own name (eg. “Mary Smith”) all you need to do is obtain an Australian Business Number and a Tax File Number. If you’ve been employed currently or in the past, you probably already have Tax File Number. If not, you can obtain one from the Australian Tax Office when you apply for your Australian Business Number.

If you want to run your business under a business name (eg. “Smith Industries”) you will need to register that name in your particular State. As States can vary in their requirements check the State office that is relevant to you for paperwork and fee requirements.

All businesses with an annual turnover of $75,000(At the time this article was written) or more must register for the Goods and Services Tax. Hopefully, this task will be on your list soon.

Where to Place Your Store

Your own web site is a logical place to start. A quick search will find inexpensive places to secure a domain name and web hosting. There are also numerous sites that will provide free templates for decorating your site as well as free HTML guides if you choose to build the site yourself. Opening an account with a trusted and secure third party payer will allow your customers to pay you by credit card or check easily and safely.

While a web site puts a face on your business and adds credibility, it may take some time before customers discover it through your own marketing efforts and before search engines drive potential customers to your site. One way to jump start the process is by posting your goods or services on established marketplace type sites Some have online tutorials to show you how to open a store or post a single item with tips for driving customers to your products. Their user forums also provide firsthand knowledge from veteran sellers to help you avoid pitfalls and have a successful experience. Depending on the number of products you are selling, fees can add up to a considerable expense. Do the math before you over extend your finances.

Use your search engine and find local sites that provide free classified ads. Make good use of these by posting an ad in every one you find.

Getting the Word Out

Putting your product out there is one thing, but it is another thing entirely getting people to find it. Take advantage of social networking sites to promote your business. Find, join, and participate in message boards related to your business and include a link to your products in your signature.

With just a little effort marketing your online business, you will be up and running in no time.

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