You’ve read about them. Seen them on Oprah. Women who started their small or home business working from their kitchen table. Or at a computer in a small corner of the bedroom. In spare time. How did they do it? And how can you do it too?

Before we get to that, if you’re a woman thinking about starting up a business - but haven’t - it may be because you’re still thinking about it; or unable to leave your day job. Not to worry. You’re part of a huge group. Many of us thought the same way. But once we began our new start up part time, we were able to learn as we built our new business. Plus - moving slowly, gained more confidence.

So don’t worry. You can still start a new business at home. Even at your kitchen table. But before you start, it’s important your family understands, and agrees, with your decision. Once they do, here’s how to get started:

1. Decide how much you can spend on your new business. Per week, per month. Include such things as samples or product development, office supplies and other necessary items needed to create, and build, your business. Then pare back your list to the essentials. And set a budget.

2. Decide what type of business to start. Consider this only after you’ve determined what your personal and business financial needs are. Your first business should be related to what you know, or do, well. Let your skills, education and experience guide you.

3. Begin your research to discover whether there’s a viable market for your products and services. Search the Internet, check out newspaper and magazine ads for similar products and services. To help determine if there’s a market. Join online forums and ask questions. Ask friends and family. Don’t risk failure. Have a viable, buying market before you start a business.

4. Develop and write a formal business plan. While a business plan is essential for all businesses, many bypass it as unnecessary. It need not be extensive. But should include, a statement of who you are, what your product is, customers you’ll sell to, pricing and marketing plans. Plus a mission statement. In the future, you’ll use it as a guide to help solve, or avoid, problems. To focus on key issues, expand or consider other opportunities.

5. If necessary, sign up for training. Take free Internet classes, participate in Teleseminars and Webinars hosted by online experts and gurus. All of which can be done for free, in your spare time, at home. Or, take free classes locally.

6. Will you need a loan or start up funding? If so, it’s best to apply for it while you have a job. Since you’re not yet a formal business, apply for an additional credit card or line of personal credit, for example. Set this money aside and use it only for your business.

7. Starting a retail biz or re-selling products? Begin researching products and vendors to buy from. Send for info such as catalogs and price lists. Attend gift shows (usually free). Check out online drop shippers (you sell their products and they ship to the customer).

8. Or, start developing your product or service. First, sit at your computer and write out exactly how you plan to develop your product or service. What’s the first thing you must do, the next and so forth. Will you create it in stages? What are they? That done, organize the necessary items. And begin development.

9. Reselling? Set up an account on eBay and/or other auction sites which are free to join, but to whom you pay a commission. Get creative. Set up your own yard sales, or sell from home (if local laws allow it). Sell at flea markets, craft and antique malls. Consign to sell your products at local gift and antique shops; lease selling space at local functions. I, personally, built my successful businesses using several of these. And know tons of others who also have. These are easy, inexpensive ways to get off to a slow, but great, start.

10. Write, develop or sell information products online. Find products at Amazon.com. ClickBank has 10,000 info-type products. Develop your own info product and sell it; or have others sell it for you.

Remember, when you start a new biz part time, you begin small, slowly and inexpensively. This allows you to work out any bugs, find new and better ways to promote or develop products or services. Plus, experiment with things like pricing and shipping, which become more difficult the bigger your business. In short, starting part time - from home - whether it’s at your kitchen table, or in your garage or basement - allows you to develop and grow it into a solid, profitable business. At your own pace.

One last word: To keep abreast of business, join business and networking groups. Very importantly, the people you meet and interact with, will not only share info, but will often provide resources and friendship far into the future.

Author's Bio: 

Jean has 35 years experience starting up, developing and marketing business. She's the Executive Director of the Womens Marketing and Business Network.

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