Thinking of starting a home based business....

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    Feb 05, 2011 7:58 AM GMT
    So I have been given the opportunity to start my own insurance business (internet and phone based). It would be franchised in part. I can do it part time and can take it with me when I move. If any of you have owned your own businesses or currently do, what are some the issues you think I will need to address that the parent company won’t be responsible for. I already know I will have to get my own insurance (that is taken care of). I am more concerned about needing a lawyer, accountant, tax preparations, etc. I am 90% sure I want to do this at least part time to start out. Just concerned about some issues that may arise. What has been your experience?
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    Feb 05, 2011 8:32 AM GMT
    From working at home I've been YEARNING to get out of my bedroom. I feel like it's a prison for me.
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    Feb 05, 2011 8:40 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON saidFrom working at home I've been YEARNING to get out of my bedroom. I feel like it's a prison for me.


    Well, I will have the office in the dining room or part of the living room depending on the place I move into. At least I will have to leave the bedroom.
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    Feb 05, 2011 8:44 AM GMT
    Do you feel like you'll get lonely by not differentiating work from home? Will you be alone in your house the whole time?
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    Feb 05, 2011 8:47 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON saidDo you feel like you'll get lonely by not differentiating work from home? Will you be alone in your house the whole time?


    It's possible I may have a roommate who will work during the day and who knows I am thinking about this if I move to that city, but the plan is to have my own place if possible. And yea, loneliness won't be an issue and I will be able to set my own hours.
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    Feb 05, 2011 3:56 PM GMT
    Make sure that you set firm hours that you are going to work your business and that you actually do productive things during those hours. Do not take any personal phone calls and do not turn on the TV or radio for noise. Those were the problems that i had working from home. Also, make sure to have a work space that is just that. If your office is going to be in the dining room, do not eat there. Set up another space for eating if possible. Make sure that your friends or roommate do not bother you while working. The last thing you need is to have someone over hear your roommate talking on the phone while you are trying to do business. I hear that the insurance business is a good thing to get into now. I have recruiters calling me all the time for this.
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    Feb 05, 2011 6:15 PM GMT
    There are plenty of step-by-step guides for new-business-startups. Your state may also have a brochure with a check-list of state and local requirements.

    By setting up an office in your home, you may trigger insurmountable zoning requirements. Although as long as customers never go there and you have no signs or externally visible evidence of a business, the authorities may let it ride.

    Having a separate room set aside for work does help. You can "go to work" and more importantly "leave work." I started on a shoestring, (laptop and cell phone) but quickly found that I needed a separate phone line (with an 800 number) and a separate computer for business use. You do not want customer data on the same machine that you use to look at internet porn. Of course, if you keep any sort of customer's confidential information, it requires a whole extra level of physical and electronic security.

    Although it seems convenient Do Not EVER give out your cell phone number to customers. Have a land-line for the office and if you need to roam, forward calls to your cell. Otherwise they will NEVER leave you alone. I stopped giving out my cell number five years ago, and it's still floating around out there in cyber space. I even had a dickhead customer call me during christmas dinner this year.

    As much as possible, NEVER keep paper records. Get a fast scanner and a shredder. Scan everything and file it electronically. (Multiple automatic backups, of course.) Your accountant and lawyer will tell you what paper you actually need to keep. You won't BELIEVE how fast paper files will fill up your home.
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    Feb 05, 2011 6:35 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidThere are plenty of step-by-step guides for new-business-startups. Your state may also have a brochure with a check-list of state and local requirements.

    By setting up an office in your home, you may trigger insurmountable zoning requirements. Although as long as customers never go there and you have no signs or externally visible evidence of a business, the authorities may let it ride.

    Having a separate room set aside for work does help. You can "go to work" and more importantly "leave work." I started on a shoestring, (laptop and cell phone) but quickly found that I needed a separate phone line (with an 800 number) and a separate computer for business use. You do not want customer data on the same machine that you use to look at internet porn. Of course, if you keep any sort of customer's confidential information, it requires a whole extra level of physical and electronic security.

    Although it seems convenient Do Not EVER give out your cell phone number to customers. Have a land-line for the office and if you need to roam, forward calls to your cell. Otherwise they will NEVER leave you alone. I stopped giving out my cell number five years ago, and it's still floating around out there in cyber space. I even had a dickhead customer call me during christmas dinner this year.



    I have the option to lease a laptop or desktop (leaning towards the desktop) from the company I am looking at and they will give me an allowance for a separate cell phone which will be business only and that computer will be business only.

    Keep 'em coming fellas. Great info! Thanks and keep 'em coming.
  • fitdude62

    Posts: 294

    Feb 05, 2011 6:42 PM GMT
    I have been running businesses from home for years. There are lot's of little issues that come up, but none that can't be delt with.

    If you ever want to chat just message me.

    Best of luck.
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    Feb 05, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    One thing:

    Make it clear to family and friends that, yes, you DO in fact have a job and are WORKING from 9-5 (or whenever) and NO you cannot be there to accept a package delivery/cable guy/mow the lawn, walk their dog, etc!

    You may think this will not be an issue...but it will. Eventually.