By Uwe Dreissigacker

With the increasing size and scope of the gig economy, people are moving further and further away from traditional work. Instead, they are getting involved in freelancing, peer-to-peer commerce such as Uber, and of course their own home-based businesses.

In fact, in the UK, more than half (52%) of all businesses are registered as being home-based. This is a great increase over the previous years and it shows now signs of stopping.

However, although you might be ready to get started on it right now, there are a few important steps you should take first. Let’s look at the most important ways to get your home-based business started today.

Determine Your Personality

This may be a hard one for many people to accept, but this needs to be stated right off the bat: not everyone is cut out for starting a home-based business.

When you start your home-based business, you are starting off with a few disadvantages. Primarily, you are dealing with the same things other self-employed people are dealing with: instability and insecurity. You don’t have a steady salary from an employer, so all the money that you earn will come directly from your hard work.

However, home-based businesses have something else to take care of: procrastination. There is a psychological aspect to working in the same place where you sleep.

For those reasons, you need to have an independent personality that will enable you to rely on yourself. Other personality traits that are important to have include motivation, perseverance, initiative, and self-reliance. If you don’t have most or all of these, you may have quite a difficult time maintaining your new home-based business.

Identify Your Talents and Skills

If you’ve determined that you’ve got the right personality, then you need to find where your talents lie so that you can decide the type of work you’ll be doing. Essentially, you need to decide what you can do that will earn you money. However, because it’s a home-based business, it is better that this is something that you also have appreciation or even passion for.

Your talents may be related to, for example, creativity, whereas your skills can include graphic design, creative writing, blogging, or drawing. If you have a talent for analysis, then you may have skills in SEO (search engine optimization), data analysis, or others.

If you decide to go with something that you are good at, but not particularly passionate about, you are essentially doubling down on the pitfalls of home-based businesses. As mentioned above, motivation and initiative are important to starting a home business, mostly because the lack of motivation and lack of initiative can sneak up on you.

When you choose something that you are not particularly fond of, you may end up increasing your risk for losing motivation, initiation and in general an ability to continue.

Outline and Edit Your Home-Based Business Ideas

Now that you’ve figured out your skills and talents, you should commit to writing down all the business ideas and later focusing on those that will be profitable and can be done from home. The first part is important. You’ll need to initially have an unrestrained brainstorming session where you try to think of as many ideas in line with your skills that you can do from home.

After you have your list, you should eliminate those that won’t turn you a profit or those that are not practical for a home-based business. For example, although you are a passionate skater, you won’t be able to manufacture thousands of skateboards per month from your home. Similarly, if you love creating large paintings but can only do 3 per month and figured that you can sell them for $300 each, you would only be making $900/month in revenue. After expenses, you’ll be left with a lot less.

In this part of your home-based business planning, you need to be surgical — eliminate all the impractical and unprofitable ideas, or you could be setting yourself up for failure.

Create a Business Environment in Your Home

Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you can relax in your pajamas all day. As I mentioned above, there is a psychological aspect to working where you sleep, and therefore it is important that you create a psychological barrier between your home space and your work space.

Primarily, you need to get a room with a door, an item that can impact your memory and focus. This may be difficult for people with limited space or in studio apartments, but you can create a door-like barrier that will separate your working space.

The door or door-like separator will help you to clear your mind and focus only on work. Similarly, you should have things inside your work space that are only for work. This means that you probably shouldn’t have a tablet in your work space, as you’ll be using a laptop or desktop for your work. The tablet is largely impractical for work and will lead only to distractions.

You should also remove or cover up any distractions, such as the television, video games, noisy pets, children and other home features. Besides that, you should also make it clear to your friends and family that you are at work. This means that they should treat your home-based office the same way they would treat your traditional office. They can’t just drop by for coffee, Netflix or any other reason that can cause immense distractions.

The Key to a Successful Home-Based Business

If you are committed to succeeding in your new home-based business, and you follow these tips, you’ll find yourself moving steadily towards a consistent and growing income. Of course, it goes without saying that there will be hard times in the beginning. This is especially true for unstable income and long, dead periods where it seems that you’ll never be able to make even a dollar, rather than a thousand or a hundred thousand.

That’s where your personality comes in. If you are committed, motivated and self-reliant, you will be able to pull through and move full-steam ahead towards your successful home-based business.