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January 2015
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How To Start Your Home Business

The goal of Sewing is to give information, tips and inspiration to those who have a small to medium size business AND for those who would like to earn a living through their own endeavors.

It has come to our attention that we’ve told you how to become an expert in your field and how to have loyal customers, but we’ve neglected to give a basic outline of how to actually start your own home business.  It is our desire to help the new home business entrepreneurs get through the “learning curve” with as few mistakes as possible.  Even those who have been in a home business for years will pick up some pointers and will say “why didn’t I think of that?”.  Here are a few tips that would apply to nearly every home business, whether it’s sewing, crafting, alterations or whatever your interests may be.

**Never use “grocery” or “rent” money to begin ANY business.  There is no business that can guarantee success, much less “overnight” riches.  If you don’t even have the basic $100 or so that many businesses can be started with, we suggest you save amounts of money each week until you do have enough to start.  Proceed cautiously and keep in mind that few miracles occur in any business.  Rule out luck and use your ability, perseverance and judgment to utilize all attributes of a successful business person.  Keep costs at a minimum, use what’s available and keep it simple.

**Open a separate business checking account for your new home business.  Use this account only for business.  This will make your end of year accounting much easier, in addition to knowing immediately what money is coming in and what you can spend on advertising, new products, etc.

**When selecting space in your house for an office or work area, keep in mind that the location can have a direct impact on how well you run your business.  If you don’t “like” your office you probably will spend as little time as possible there and you certainly won’t get much done!  Is the heating and cooling system adequate in your office?  If you’ve chosen to put the office in the garage, spring and fall weather might make working conditions okay, but summer heat and winter cold will prevent you from working in your “office” unless you make some changes.  If you’re using a spare bedroom, can you arrange things so you can look out the window while you’re on the computer, or have outside lighting while cutting fabric, etc?

**If the working area you’ve chosen has limited space (such as a spare small bedroom), it becomes easy to make a “pile” of papers here, a “stack” of letters over there, a separate “pile” of letters to answer later, etc.  Eliminate the clutter and take care of work as it comes in — answer the letters immediately, file the papers NOW, open and go through the “stack” of letters you’d saved for “later” – get the table cleaned off!  Set a time EACH DAY to take care of the “will get to it later” items – and don’t wait until “later”!

**A manila “expando” file is perfect for keeping all your cash and paid-by-check receipts.  An expando file sectioned off by “months” will work nicely.  You can make labels for the various categories of receipts — Advertising, office supplies, postage, telephone bills, equipment purchase, etc and place the new labels on top of the “month” separation headings.  At the end of the year all receipts will already be categorized and ready to be totaled for income tax filing.  Oh, yes, speaking of POSTAGE receipts – keep EVERY business related postage receipt, even if it was just for one stamp.  You’ll be amazed at how much these add up over a years’ time.

**You should be prepared to stay in business for at least a FULL YEAR in order to get things running smoothly and profitably.  Give it your all!

**The number one reason for business failure is management – or the lack of it.  The lack of knowledge, experience, imagination, ambition, preparation, determination, unexpected competition and a waning of motivation.  Eliminate as many entrepreneurial risks as possible at the beginning – know what you want and be determined to go for it!

**Enthusiasm is contagious.  Choosing to look at the world with enthusiasm, confidence and a sense of humor is a choice YOU must make.  Avoid pessimists – they can poison life and your outlook on life!

**THOUGHTS determine what you want… ACTION determines what you get!!

Lastly, and this little tidbit is free — it’s amazing how much more  can be accomplished in a day if you get up 30 minutes earlier than usual!  That’s for early risers like me, my daughter would say “if you stay up 30 minutes LATER than usual”.  Whichever works for you, the extra 30 minutes x 365 days makes all the difference in how committed you are to making your home business work!

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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