Course Code: shb
The first lesson will introduce you to the variety of reasons why most people want to operate their own home-based business. You'll take an honest look at the benefits as well as the challenges of working at home. Then, you'll see what it takes to be an entrepreneur—and if this lifestyle will work for you.
What kind of home-based business should I start? Have you asked yourself this question? Hopefully so, because this is one of the most important issues you need to consider. By thoughtfully exploring your options, you'll spare yourself costly mistakes that come with sinking your time, money, and energy into the wrong business. In this lesson, you'll focus on your talents and abilities so that your home-based business will be a great fit!
Having the right name and look for your home-based business is essential. In this lesson, you'll find out how to create the image that will draw customers to you and bring them back time and again. You'll get creative with names and logos, and then you'll learn how to protect your work with fictitious name statements, trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
Did you know that not all businesses are allowed to operate from a private residence? It's vital that you are familiar with the rules and regulations for the area you live in—before you start! For that reason, you'll explore zoning laws, licenses, permits, and insurance issues in this lesson.
If you want your business to succeed, then you'll need to write an effective business plan. Your home-based venture is like a road trip; to get where you want to go, you need a map that shows you where you're starting from, where your destination is, and which route you want to take. In this lesson, you will learn how to put together a step-by-step action plan. This requires thorough research into each area of your business, so plan to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
To make your business thrive, you need to market it like a professional. So in this lesson, you'll learn how to create a marketing plan. Simply providing terrific products and services is not enough—you need to know who make up your marketplace, what your objectives are, and what your competition is up to. Remember, a home-based business doesn't have a convenient storefront. You've got to be creative about letting people know what you do.
In this lesson, you'll learn a lot about the fine art of selling your product or service. It's so important to be real, to listen, and to know how to bargain and close the sale. Sound scary? Many people get cold feet when it comes to sales. Don't worry though, because this lesson will give you the key to effective selling: Developing relationships based on trust and credibility.
Are you just dying to learn about banking, record keeping, and taxes, right? No? Well, they're not the most exciting topics, admittedly, but they are crucial to your business. In this lesson, you'll learn about expenses and deductions, maintaining the appropriate records for all your revenue, categorizing your expenses, and keeping track of sales tax. Grab a cup of coffee, and keep your eyes open for this lesson!
Do you know how to set up your office for maximum efficiency? If not, then you've come to the right place. Conducting your business from the kitchen table is really not the ideal situation. So join me and see how to find just the right area in your home that will allow you to work in a sane and productive fashion. Learn how to set boundaries for your office, figure out what size office and setup you need, and make sure your office is ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing. Taking the time to set up your home office today is an investment in your future.
In this lesson, youi'll delve into getting organized. To some people, the word organize sounds constricting and limiting—everything has a place and must be in it at all times. It's time to toss that idea right out the window! The goal in organizing your business is to give yourself freedom. Whether you're dealing with paperwork or time management, your system of organization should not restrict or confine you in any way. Come and see how organizing will work for you and never against you.
One thing entrepreneurs often overlook is their professional image—how their business looks to the outside world. When your 5-year-old answers the phone and starts playing guessing games with potential customers, or when your computer equipment is still running Windows XP, you've got an image problem! The impression you make through your image can bring customers to you or drive them to your competition. So, in this lesson, you'll look at what not to do and what to do regarding your personal appearance, attitude, and printed materials.
In all your hard work of building a business, you don't want to forget the most important people: not your customers, but your family. You'll need to clarify expectations, reach compromises that work for everybody, and especially set boundaries. In this last lesson, you'll learn how to protect your work and your relationships and have fun with both. It's all a matter of balance.
Helene K. Liatsos is a business advisor and QuickBooks Certified Advisor with more than 25 years of experience. She consults for a range of companies, from travel agencies to startups. Her company, Home Office Management Experts, was awarded the 2004 Home-Based Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Helene holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.
Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have three-month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.
Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your three-month access expires.
Instructor-Led: The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.
I have been having a blast with this course. Through the years I have wanted to have my own business, doing a lot of research, just never going full steam ahead. Your lessons are so helpful and validate a lot of things that I have been doing on my own, but never sure if they were correct. Thanks again! It is always rewarding to have such a good instructor and I really enjoyed the course."
I am starting two home based businesses. This course has given me great insight and encouragement to succeed at both of them, and maybe more down the road."
I have researched online and in books on how to go about writing a business plan and this was the most comprehensive and streamlined description of how to and what to include. So far I have been very impressed with the information covered in this class. I have been studying this stuff for months, and this is the most useful info yet. Kudos to you, Helene!"
I learned a lot from this course. It opened my eyes and gave me inspiration to pursue my dreams of being my own boss. Thank you very much!"
I never imagined the depth of information necessary to starting a home based business. Thank you so much for slowing me down enough in taking one step at a time instead of diving in head first and getting stopped before I even got started. Now I know where to begin correctly."
I thought the course was very insightful and, due to the fact that I could print the material, it will be a most helpful reference tool when I begin setting up my home based business. I felt that the instructor posed very important questions to ask one's self in pursuing a home based business career."
This was a very informative class. I will be using everything that I have learned here to make my business successful. I think ANYONE that is going to start a small business should take this course. It definitely opens your eyes."
Thanks for the course Helene, I am completing it today, but am by no mean finished. It has been a great foundation on which to build upon. I have most definitely benefited from this course and would recommend it to others."
Your course is wonderful and very helpful. I am starting slowly and am going to be putting together my "building blocks" for my business with my husband. We are going to form a partnership with an LLC and are going to be working with the Small Business Development Center in our area with a business counselor. I am excited, scared and nervous. It is definitely going to be a big adventure. I highly recommend your course to anyone starting their own business - large or small. Thank you most sincerely for all the information."
I would just like to send a big "thank you" for this wonderful course. I feel so much closer to starting my own home-based business now. The simplicity yet thorough material that you provided was a breath of fresh air! Now finished, I am going to take the next few weeks to implement all I have learned and start my event company [...] For anyone that crosses my path with a dream to start their own home-based business, I will be highly recommending your course."