There’s good news for entrepreneurs who dream of starting their own retail businesses from home: You can do it! With the proper resources, a solid strategic plan, and some business savvy, you can be on your way to creating your own fully functional online retail business operating entirely out of the comfort of your own home.
One of the first steps in establishing your online retail store will be setting up your home office. Here are five things that your home office absolutely must have:
- A reliable computer, high-speed Internet, and printer/scanner
These things are probably no-brainers, but if you’re running an online business from home, you probably won’t get very far without a computer. Make sure you pick a desktop or laptop that has all the specs that you need—enough space, a fast enough hard drive, compatibility with all your other devices, etc. And don’t forget the highest-speed Internet that you can find, as well as a printer and scanner.
- A business phone and phone line
Since you’ll probably have multiple phone conferences—or at least phone calls—each week, invest in a phone that can handle business tasks. You will also want to invest in a separate phone line for your business, since you don’t want customers or partners calling your home phone while you’re sitting down for dinner with the family.
- A paper shredder
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the fact that your home office is down the hall from your bedroom. The fact is that you’re running a business, and businesses need to be secure. You’ll have important confidential documents around you all the time. Not only will you need to protect the personal information of yourself and your business, you’ll also be responsible for keeping your customers’ information safe. A paper shredder will be necessary.
As a business owner, it will be important for you to keep an eye on the trends at all times. Not only will it benefit you to stay ahead of the curve with regards to the latest e-commerce crazes, it will also be to your advantage to know what other online retailers are up to.
- Candy…Or something else to keep you going. A stash of candy does the trick for some of us, but for others, maybe it’s an inspirational “Hang in there” poster on the wall. Find whatever it is that will help you get through your day, buy a bunch of those things, stock your office with them, and you’ll be good to go!
Once you have your home office set up and stocked with these necessities, you’ll be on your way to fulfilling your entrepreneurial dreams of running a business from home!