You may feel like a ‘stranger in a strange land’ even at the thought of starting your own business. You have likely worked for someone else during your career and as such could assume many things would be provided for you that now you will need to address for your own home business.
First of all you should take stock of your skills and experience. It might help to get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle – you can list the job name or the task and then outline briefly what skills you used to accomplish the tasks you were required to do.
The point here is that you know how to do a lot of different things. You have skills and you have experience. Most any business-related skill or experience may help you with your home business.
Perhaps one or more of the companies you worked for over the years provided some ‘in-house’ training. Sometimes they will do this to introduce a new software application to the staff. Sometimes they will train people to enhance skills they may already have; such as taking someone who has basic skills in a program used for the job and teaching them intermediate or advanced level skills.
It is very possible that you will feel more confidence to take a short course in something related to your new endeavors and there are plenty of free and inexpensive resources online. You may find specific courses in various Internet applications such as HTML, or basic courses in computer skills or creative writing. It could even be something like English as a second language if that would help. These are just some basic suggestions but there are unlimited possibilities.
Look for online community colleges and see what they have to offer that doesn’t involve going in to the school (so it can be anywhere in the world on your PC). You can actually do the whole course “hands-on” online and even take the tests online. Some involve actually getting certification and/or college credits and particularly community colleges are very inexpensive.
While $100 may seem like a lot, if what you will learn will really help you then it is a legitimate business expense to take the course and as such may be a self-employment business tax deduction.
Other assets (and tax deductions) that you will need to consider when starting a home business are tangible, such as computer, printer (ink cartridges/paper), software, desk, chair, light, phone, etc. Make sure you have reliable equipment as ‘down-time’ can be expensive if you are unable to run your business.
So if you have something held together by tape or a computer that keeps crashing, you should take steps to find out how to fix things up that you have and if not to purchase what you need. You may wish to wait until just before tax time for more expensive investments, so that you can recover the money directly.
Keep track of every penny you spend (as well as what you earn) so that you are not scrambling to get it all together in time for taxes; and that you do not overlook something that you could have used for a deduction. Be sure to consult your Federal and State agencies online to be fully aware of all that is required for self-employment and home business every year.