Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How To Start Your Own Profitable Home-Based Computer Business

Anyone who owns a computer has the means to earn a sizable full-time income from the comfort and privacy of his/her own home. That's because, practically anything you can do for yourself on a computer, you can also do for someone else -- for money! Therefore, the hundreds of services which can be provided with a computer present the opportunity of a lifetime to achieve independence and financial security. Of course, starting your own homebased computer business will require careful thought and planning. Some services are more feasible than others and you'll need to be as certain as possible that there is a demand for the services you intend to offer. The first thing to consider when picking a computer service to offer are what you do best and what you enjoy doing. You'll need to be certain you are capable of providing a quality service.

After all, your success will largely depend on the quality of your work. Therefore, you should stay away from offering those services for which you are not qualified.

After you decide on what service(s) you want to offer, there are several other factors to consider before taking the big step of actually starting up. The first of those factors is profit potential, or how much income you can reasonably expect. The particular service(s) you provide and your own personal initiative have a lot to do with how much money you can make, but you should also be aware that service business income can be limited by the number of hours you can realistically work each week.

It may be difficult to bill more than 30 hours a week when you are not only doing all of the work, but you are also "soliciting" work, running the business, and keeping your own books and records. With that in mind, it's usually a good idea to try to provide services for which the hourly fee is high. Of course, once you've established a sound reputation, you can also begin taking in more work than you can handle alone. This extra work can be subcontracted out, and your total income increased.

The next consideration is what kind of demand there is for the service(s) you plan to offer. This will require some basic market research on your part. Find out for yourself, as best you can, just how many people there are who are interested in your proposed service, and would be willing to pay a "fair" price for it. It's important that you be able to define your market and pin-point your customers.

Once you've conducted 2 to 3 months of market research and, to your satisfaction, feel that there is indeed a potentially profitable market for your services, your next step should be toward "fleshing out" your overall business plan. Your business plan should outline how much capital you will need as a start-up investment, monthly operating expenses and procedures, an advertising plan, and a detailed breakdown of your work schedule.

The success of your computer business will come a lot more easily if you have a specific and detailed plan before you actually start up. Too many home-based businesses fail because their operators "jumped in" before they understood that the costs involved and the time required were beyond their means and abilities. If you have everything down on paper before you start, you have a much better chance for success.

You should also have a good idea of how well your business will do in especially tough economic times. In order to achieve long-term success, your business will need to be one that provides economic security even during periods of recession. It's essential that the computer service(s) you plan to offer will have a stable demand throughout any type of economic conditions and, in fact, have a good growth potential.

After all these considerations, before you start your business, you must be certain that you have the capital and time to sustain your business throughout the first six to twelve months of operation. In order for your business to be profitable, your living expenses must not come out of your business until it is on solid financial ground. And that usually takes 6 months to a year. Generally, once you have been in operation for 9 months, you can start giving yourself a monthly salary. Until that time, all the money you make from your service, should be re-invested in your business so it will grow and reach its planned profit potential.

Obviously, no one home-based computer business will excel in all the areas described in this report. That's why choosing the business that is best for you may require finding one that is the most desirable in light of the importance of factors such as what you are qualified to do, what you would enjoy doing, profit potential, demand, capital required to start-up, and resistance to low economic cycles. And, as mentioned before, there are hundreds of such computer services from which to choose.

Some of the more standard home-based computer businesses include desktop publishing, tax preparation, resume writing, word processing, and freelance writing. Starting up any of those services is relatively easy. As long as you already have the necessary computer and equipment, your biggest expense will most likely be in advertising your service. Once you have your market targeted and you know who your customers are going to be, you'll need to determine exactly how you are going to reach them. In general, your most effective advertising for computer-based services will come from classified or display ads in national magazines, and less frequently, newspaper ads.

Some other computer-based businesses that currently present viable long-term opportunities include computer consulting, mailing-list service, medical-billing service, collection agency, and a brokerage service. All of these businesses have excellent income potential, good-to-high demand, good resistance to recessionary periods, good-to-excellent growth potential, and relatively modest start-up costs. While a medical billing service requires a special knowledge, the other businesses listed above have only moderate qualification requirements.

You may also want to investigate the possibility of some other relatively new computer-based businesses such as desktop video production, an export agency, a medical transcription service, real estate appraisal service, and a temporary-help service. All of these services are experiencing increased demand, and present home-based entrepreneurs with above average profit potential.

Whatever computer service(s) you decide to offer, you'll need to have your business plan properly organized before you begin. Once you've implemented and followed your plan for about one year, you may be able to consider hiring other people to take over at least part of your workload. Of course, that decision will be entirely up to you. Operating your own home-based computer business should ultimately give you the independence and the financial security that will enable you to choose between running the entire operation and doing all the work yourself, or hiring other people to do the work for you while you relax and collect a regular income from your original investment.

Depending on the type of computer service(s) you offer, you can realistically expect to make an annual income of $20,000 to $100,000 and more. Your desire and initiative will go a long way in determining just how much profit you make. The opportunities for success in operating a home-based computer service are expanding every day. Any enterprising person who has a computer and who is willing to do the necessary research and planning, can achieve success and financial security with a home-based computer service.

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