By Henry Brown
For the entrepreneurial-minded student, starting a business might seem like the next thing to do. If you are able to put in the necessary hours and dedication, then running a business from your room at home or in your college dorm is perfectly doable. As more and more college, and even high school students are proving, you don’t have to have a diploma in your hand before dipping your toe in the entrepreneurial world.
But that is not to say that it will be easy or straightforward. There are many things that you will need to consider if you are going to run a business from your home or your dorm room. In this article, we look at some of the main concerns. If you are able to deal with the following in the right manner, then you might find that yours is a business that truly stands the test of time.
Remember the taxman
Before you even get set up, you need to start thinking about all of your legal concerns. The most important among these is taxes. As a business, you will have to pay certain taxes that you don’t have to pay as an individual. To make sure that you are paying the right amount, and on time, you need to register with the government as a business. This process varies depending on where you live, but in most places you can now do it online in a matter of minutes. It is a small and simple step, but also a surprisingly important one. If you ever fail to pay tax, you could find your business being disbanded within a very short space of time. This is one of the quickest ways for an early business to fail. Make sure you don’t fall into that trap, as it could be disastrous.
Outsourcing: The home business’ best friend
Outsourcing is the best option for the majority of people running businesses from home. The thing about outsourcing is that you are able to ensure that all of the work gets done, but without the constraints of your room being an issue. No matter what it is, chances are there is a firm out there who will outsource it for you. The other main advantage to this is that you are likely to save money this way. Outsourcing is almost always a cheaper option than producing the same work yourself. This is obviously a huge benefit for a business in the early days of its operation. However, not all outsourcing is based around the actual work that needs to be done. It is possible that you can use outsourcing as a way to free up space in your room or home. For example, you can use Quote Colo to outsource your data storage. This means that you will not need the space for those servers, as they are being held offsite. This alone can make a huge difference to a young business that does not have many resources – or space – available.
Forwarding addresses & virtual offices
One of the biggest hurdles you will face is trying to convince people that you run a legitimate business. Many people will likely have a certain image in their head when you tell them that you run a business from home or out of your dorm. However, there are ways to add credibility to your business. For example, you could use a virtual office forwarding address. These are services you pay to allow you to have an official business address in a prominent location. That way, potential clients and customers alike will be more impressed, and more likely to take you seriously. This can also be a genuinely useful solution to receiving post, if that will form a large part of your business’ operation.
Marketing is an important part of any business, and for you there are specific issues to get over. Chances are, you are starting with a relatively small budget. There is also the fact that you want to run it without leaving your room, if possible. Right? Nonetheless, it is still possible to develop a powerful marketing strategy that will stand the test of time. These days, most marketing is done online anyway – and it is easier than ever to build a brand. Use social media to your advantage, and make sure that you are making some real connections with people. This is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.