Whether you are looking for a change of pace, more time with the kids or a fun opportunity to meet up with friends and family, starting your own home business can be a great way to add an additional source of income to your monthly budget! Starting With an Idea There are countless avenues you can take to start your home business, and whether it’s candles, make-up, kitchen gadgets, jewelry, talent workshops, cooking classes or any other money-making product or service, joining the home party or direct selling business can be a great way to reconnect with friends, family and coworkers while adding to your family budget. Before you decide on a particular route, it’s important to determine what the financial goals will be for your home business venture. By outlining how much of an investment you are willing to make, and your financial goals, you can create a clear picture of the time, money and effort it will take to get your home business up and running. A great way to find your home business niche is to consider products or services you already like and/or use, keeping in mind how your product or service may appeal to your friends and family. The home party business is heavily based in personal recommendation —friends and family tend to make purchases based on valuable, reliable suggestions on products or services that work well for you. I personally am much more likely to consider a product or service that my friends, family and coworkers can’t stop raving about. Considering the Finances In any business venture it is important to evaluate how you will organize your finances, but it is especially important when you are the accountant, boss and sales rep for your home business. Taking the time to estimate your startup costs and work out a detailed budget will pay off when it’s time to make prioritized purchasing and marketing decisions based on your needs. My recommendation would be to keep your personal finances separate from your business finances by opening a separate or small business account, so that it’s easier to keep track of your spending and to stay organized. This will also be a huge time saver come tax time in distinguishing between your personal and business expenses. Making it Profitable Your ability to keep good records will probably be one of the most valuable assets in your home business. Good records can help you determine your profit margin, keep track of your bills and ensure you pay them on time, define who your potential and repeat customers are, and the products your friends, family and coworkers tend to purchase the most. Whether it’s an excel spreadsheet or something a little more intuitive, discovering an organizational system that works best for you can help you save time and money. My financial advice would be to get the most out of the financial products that are already available to you. Some easy and time saving things you can do are organizing your bills and setting up an automatic bill payment system, creating sub-savings accounts to help you organize your budget and discovering ways to keep track of your finances on the go with apps or mobile alerts. My Final Advice While you’re finding your direction and discovering the resources to help you launch your home business, take the time to talk to a business representative from your financial institution to help you set financial goals and find out your best options for getting and keeping your finances on the right track.
Sarah Bohan is the Vice President Corporate Relations at MSU Federal Credit Union. MSUFCU's headquarters are at 3777 West Road East Lansing, MI 48823. Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 333-2208.