You have decided that you want to work from home. Starting a business from a home base can be very daunting for most people. You probably have an idea of what you would like to do and where you would like to be in say a year’s time. Before you launch yourself into your chosen business you should first pause a while to develop a work at home program.

A work at home program will set out the route map of how you get from where you are at the moment (having no business) to where you have decided you want to be in the future. It could set out steps for development in one, two and three years for example.

Such a program will act as a business plan for you to follow as you set up your new home business. It will allow you to measure your success rate in terms of whether or not you are meeting your targets at the set milestones and gives you the opportunity to make changes in good time if you find you are straying from the plan.

A work at home program is effectively a business plan. Not only will it allow you to measure your success against your expectations, it will also act as a testing ground for the idea you have decided to put in place. As an example, let us say that you have decided to set up an eBay shop. This is a very feasible business opportunity and one that is providing a lot of people with a healthy income already – many of them working from a home base.

You will first have to decide what you are going to sell, where you are going to get your products from and how big and buoyant the market is. You will need to assess the competition and decide frankly how much of your product you will be able to sell and at what price. You will also need to factor in the time needed to establish your presence as a trusted seller.

This information will allow you to do some simple financial projections that will tell you when you need to buy stock and when your business might start being profitable. If you have been honest with your estimates – it might even tell you that the business is not viable and save you from wasting your money on this particular venture.

Other aspects to include within your work at home program will be:

1. Overhead costs – estimate what you will need to outlay

2. Advertising costs and when you should be doing this

3. Logistics – can you really run the business, pack the goods and take them to the Postal Service all by yourself? If your plan tells you that to be profitable you need to sell 100 items every day, consider how long it will take to process these 7 days a week!

4. Finance needed

5. Do some “what if” scenarios. If you only sell half the items you hoped to – would the business still be profitable or would it actually cost you money?

6. Most importantly set your timetable and if this includes an allocation for time to spend on the business, make sure that you follow this!

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