START A HOME BUSINESS: Proceed With Caution,Stop Reading NOW!

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them?

–William Shakespeare

OK, MENTOR MAMA GAVE YOU FAIR WARNING!!!! She told you to stop reading.  You don’t really want to hear what she is going to say about how to start a home business.   Don’t worry if you promised to syndicate her.  She will understand.  Just hit ESCAPE now!

Why you are still reading is a mystery to me.  You wanted to start a home business and you did.  They said it would be easy and you would make lots of money.  Now, a few things have probably occurred.    Possibly, you are bringin’ in the bucks.   HURRAH!   Possibly, you haven’t made a dime.  Awwww…..  Or possibily you are somewhere in between.   Yawn…..  Whatever category you are in, STOP READING WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!

Mentor Mama suspected that you might be stubborn, so you only have yourself to blame when she bursts your little “start a home business bubble”.  Never again will you be able to hide in all the hype, surround yourself with overinflated hopes and dreams, or build castles in the sky.  Ask yourself, “Do I really want to be successful?  Do I really want to be an entrepreneur?”

To be, or not to be: that is the question.

If you truly believe in your company and yourself, then you will build your castle with a firm foundation on the ground.  You will embrace age-old principles of sound business practice that will never change, no matter how many new marketing systems the gurus create.

If you are serious about starting a home business or if you are already running a business and you want to grow and expand, maintaining your success long term, I repeat, maintaining your success long term,  then it is critical to build a team.  Not a downline, people!  Get your heads out of marketing for a minute and think BUSINESS.  You need to build a team of professionals who will help you develop a sound format and platform upon which you can build your marketing efforts.

If you would rather run your business as a home-hobby, no judgement here.  Just forget everything that I have said.  If you intend to rock your industry, then here is who you need on your All-Star Team.*

1.  Attorney: Every small business needs legal advice.  At the outset, when you start a home business, your attorney will discuss with you the form that your business will take.  Depending on the size and structure of your business, she will help you select a business entity, such as a sole proprietorship, an S-Corp, an LLC, or a corporation, to name a few.   Your attorney will discuss protection of your personal assets, income tax liability, and long term capital requirements.  She will help you project the future needs of your company, as well, so that your choice of entity will make sense as you grow, with a minimum of tax consequences.

As you are operating your business, your attorney will advise you about copyright and trademark laws.  She will keep you current on Federal Trade Commission regulations, conduct audits of your blog or website to assess compliance and draft contracts that will protect your interests as you enter into Joint Ventures.

If you are not up-to-date on all of these issues or if you are completely clueless, don’t worry!  That is why God made attorneys, so you could market and they could handle all of this boring “blah, blah, blah” to start a home business!  Don’t get confused by popular misconceptions.  Your attorney is a valuable resource and a trusted advisor, whose recommendations will save you many thousands of dollars and massive stress over the course of your successful career.

2.  Accountant: Whether you are planning to start a home business or you are already in full swing, it is critical to have an ongoing relationship with an excellent accountant.  This is the best person to help you select an efficient accounting and tax system or provide those services for you.  These systems will contribute to the success of your business by providing timely and accurate financial information.  This information is every bit as important as split testing!

Your accountant should play an important role, along with your attorney, in discussing the tax implications in your choice of entity.  He will also be able to advise you in detail about the tax deductions available to your business and whether it is advisable to take advantage of those deductions.   Some deductions raise red flags that you might not want to fly.  Your accountant is well equipped to point out the pros and cons.

This savvy part of your team will also keep you on track with timely tax filings, making sure that you avoid costly penalties and interest with both state and federal taxing authorities.  Your accountant should also be able to advise you about other taxes that might be specific to your industry or state.

If you are doing your own bookkeeping and tax returns, ask yourself if this is the best and highest use of your time.  Maybe it is when you first start a home business, but before long, you should be concentrating your efforts on what you do best:  Running Your Company!

3.    Business Insurance Agent: Every action that we take in this litigious world subjects us to risk.  Did you know that your homeowners’ insurance will probably not cover your business assets?  You know: the computer, printer, scanner, phone and office furniture that you deducted from your taxes as business expenses.  What about the samples, the brochures, the inventory?????  These can add up.  Can you afford to suffer a loss of those items without insurance?

A reliable insurance agent can discuss options such as a rider to your  homeowners’ policy, which is often very affordable.  Such a policy may even cover lost income due to damage to your home as well as valuable papers, and accounts receivables.

Find a trustworthy agent.  She will analyze your needs and provide you with a quote.  Insurance is just a cost of doing business and a savvy entrepreneur who plans on long term success will bring a skilled Insurance Professional on board.

4.  Banker: As in every industry, it is not what you know, but who you know.  If you do not yet have a working relationship with one or two bankers, it is time to get on it.  Every person who wants to start a home business needs a checking account and a credit card account.   Your banker will help you design a set of accounts that will facilitate the flow of money into and out of your business.  Hopefully, more in, than out!!!

Depending on your needs, the size of your business, and any joint ventures in which you are engaging, a money market account, a merchant account, or several of each could become necessary.  If you do business online, you may also need an Internet payment processing system.

It is very helpful to have an ongoing relationship with a savvy banker, who knows your business.  He can help you choose the most advantageous accounts, keep you updated as new products are introduced, waive fees, and  facilitate transactions like loans.  That is the power of personal relationships . . . . assuming that your finances are in good order, of course!

So, there you have it:  Mentor Mama’s first round draft picks, the key players on the team of any responsible entrepreneur.   If this post has depressed you (I told you not to read it!)  and you are ready to quit because you “know” that you cannot afford this high powered executive team, stay tuned for my next blog post which will address “Affording an Executive Team”.

Do you HAVE  to use these professionals?  Why no!  You may choose “to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,”  taking your chances and hoping for the best.  Or you can step up “to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, END THEM.”  It is your choice. But, if you go it alone, I am warning you right here and right now, it will be a matter of:  Pay them now or pay them MORE later.

Please don’t make Mentor Mama say, “I told you so!”

*Disclaimer: This article is meant for information and discussion purposes only.  It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all of the professionals that you might need in starting your business.  Further, this article is not intended in any way to be construed as legal or other professional advice.  For decisive information about any of these topics, seek out the appropriate professional, who can represent your specific needs.

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37 Responses to “START A HOME BUSINESS: Proceed With Caution,Stop Reading NOW!”

  1. Jodi Lee Says:

    Mentor mama,

    Sound advice. I have 2.5 of the above and will acquire the rest. thanks for the solid warning.

    .-= Jodi Lee´s last blog ..Quit yer complainin’ =-.


  2. Gabriel Gannam Says:

    This is great advice Nancy! It is so important to have your team in place that can take you to the next level and offer sound advice.


    P.S- I love your writing style!


  3. Curt Bizelli Says:

    Wow, this is some amazing advice Mentor Mama! I appreciate it so much. It’s going to take some time to acquire these things for I’m still trying to catch up on email (HEHE), but nonetheless its in future plans! I’m writing everything down. That’s the important thing. Again, thanks so much. I’m bookmarking this blog post.
    God Bless Your Success,
    Curt aka CBiz
    .-= Curt Bizelli´s last blog ..The Big Picture with a Marketing Funnel (My Aha! Moment) =-.


  4. Lori Robertson Says:

    This was great advice for anyone who is in a home business already or is starting one. This is a solid foundation that we all as responsible business owners should implement.



  5. Linda G Cox Says:

    What a crack up! I love reading your posts! Or in this case just partially reading them!! Your intro was awesome, I was hooked! Then I scanned through the list of professionals needed – like you, I’m doing it all myself and your post validates the depth of starting a business! Keep up the good work!
    .-= Linda G Cox´s last blog ..Create a Wonderful Life: reprogram your minds =-.


  6. Paul Klaszus Says:

    Behind every great business is a great team. These people help you run your business better than you EVER could by yourself.

    Thanks for this great reminder!
    .-= Paul Klaszus´s last blog ..Wisdom from a loser =-.


  7. Lynn Otterlei Rekvig Says:

    Mentor Mama,

    You have a marvelous way of bringing humor and wit to even serious topics– from goat herding to Shakespeare!

    Glad I kept reading… Every suggestion you have made for the team is critical to ensuring both long and short term success.

    Thanks for sharing the great advice!


  8. Pat and Lorna Shanks Says:


    Thank you so much for all the great advice. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a new business without thinking about all the things that will help so much to make it successful.

    ~ Pat and Lorna
    .-= Pat and Lorna Shanks´s last blog ..Preparation… Then Bam! It All Breaks Loose… Are You Ready? =-.


  9. Mark Gubuan Says:

    Whew! That was a lot. I really enjoyed your take on this. Being an accountant, I can assure you that finding a good one is so important.
    .-= Mark Gubuan´s last blog ..Online Brand Development in 90 Days or Less =-.


  10. Bruce Backman Says:

    Nancy…I appreciate your wisdom very much. I too believe that you need a proper team in place such as listed above but I would be sure that the timing is right before putting them into place. Many people spend so much time in preparation to start a business that they don’t get into the business of doing business.

    Internet marketing is no different. You can spend so much time in preparation that you lose your edge to be able to actually create an income. If you are not bringing in an income I would say you do not have a business yet. Thinking like a business person is first and foremost learning how to make money. Secondly…it is how to protect your money. I am all for being prepared but I have seen in many people where their drive to be prepared simply gave them excuses not to start. The sad thing is they didn’t even realize this was happening. They were simply doing the “responsible” thing.

    I always appreciate what you have to share and again…I completely agree with the concepts outlined here…but I would just encourage people to learn when the right time is to add these players to the team…some will be early on…after you are making some money…and some can be added as your begin to really create wealth for yourself.


  11. Edward Says:

    Hey Nancy!

    Great post. This is a good refresher of what every business should be built. Time to get some more things in order.
    Thanks for sharing this with us all.

    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,


  12. Admin Says:

    Hello My Friends! Thank you all so much for your support!

    Jodi, Glad to hear that you are on the road! Lori, Linda and Gabriel, How are you coming with setting up your teams?

    Curt, You may never catch up with e-mail if you are anything like me! LOL!

    Paul, You are so right! And that is the point in a nutshell! Let the pros do their job and you do yours!

    Lynn, do you have any part of your team in place? Mark, What do you think is the biggest benefit of having a good accountant?

    Ed, What are your priorities in this area?

    I hope that you will all keep me posted on your progress. Don’t forget to check back next week. I will be discussing how to make this affordable!

    Here’s to doing business!

    Mentor Mama


  13. Admin Says:

    Hi Bruce,

    You are dead on, my friend! You cannot stay in planning mode forever. I know many people who are taking course after course “getting ready” to do SEO or pay-per-click, yet they never actually do it.

    The difference between that and what I am recommending, it that this IS part of running the business. Marketers need advice from the get-go, so that they do not find themselves in hot water with the IRS or an agency like the FTC. I’ll be going into more of this over time. Maybe one less $1997.00 marketing course and a few hundred to consult an attorney? They don’t need to do everything at once, but some of these issues are critical to handle up front.

    I’ll be discussing the cost/benefit next week along with info to make this affordable.

    Thank you for what is always valuable input!

    Mentor Mama


  14. Debbie Stevens Says:

    Hey Nancy,

    Excellent post. One of the reasons that it is so important to do some of this planning ahead of time before you just forge ahead, is that there are a lot of decisons that cannot be made after the fact and then you are stuck with structure that you never intended.

    It’s always about balance. You can’t plan so much that you never take action, but taking action with no planning can have serious consequences.
    .-= Debbie Stevens´s last blog ..Why I Love What I Do =-.


  15. Stew Shaw Says:

    Mentor Mama – oh tell me, why have you misinterpreted The Bard so? The 2nd option would certainly end the troubles all right – because there’d be no more life to enjoy.

    Anyway, I agree, we have to have our business ducks lined up as a solid foundation on which to build.
    .-= Stew Shaw´s last blog ..People Who Need People =-.


  16. Val Wilcox Says:

    Great advice Mentor Mama.
    The only point I would add is to be sure your accountant understands all the tax advantages and quirks of a home-based business. I have run into some who don’t know all the ins & outs. Also, even with an accountant, you MUST keep accurate records to back up all your deductions and expenses. So there still is some hands-on there. :)

    Have an awesome day,
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Along The Path of Self Discovery… =-.


  17. Admin Says:

    Hi Stew….I should have known that you would catch me! On its face it worked and I just went for it! LOL! You have to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on you!

    Thanks for keeping me on my toes! ;)


  18. Joe Emmet Says:

    Hi Nancy,

    Great advice. As one grows ones company, the experience and expertise of professionals is indeed worth their weight in gold.

    However, making sure you start out on the right foot is extremely beneficial and you don’t need high level (expensive) expertise to begin with.

    In the beginning, an attorney would advise a home based business owner to make sure they comply with business license requirements of their local municipality or county. They’d also recommend you be adequately covered by insurance, and that you make sure you are in compliance with IRS regulations pertaining to the operation of a business. Easy, quick and inexpensive — you don’t even need to use an attorney to do this.

    However, as your company grows you will need advice on whether or not to hire employees or use independent contractors. Either option has numerous legal pitfalls (and tax implications) if not handled properly. You’ll also need to know at what point incorporating makes sense and which form of corporation is best for you. There are many tax, retirement and legal advantages, as well as expenses and certain legal and accounting requirements pertaining to corporations that business owners need to weigh against remaining a sole proprietor.

    Your accountant (actually, all you really need is a good bookkeeper to begin with) will define the information you must keep track of in order to properly file your taxes and take advantage of tax write offs only business owners are eligible for (hint, a business license is proof you own a business).

    This is really important because the IRS is giving every indication they are going to be sharpening their pencils (looking for ALL the tax dollars they can extract), when it comes to home based businesses.

    Since so many people operate home based businesses, many home owners policies provide some basic coverage for home based enterprises.

    Your insurance agent can help you make any necessary modifications to your homeowners or renters policy to ensure you have enough fire and theft protection for all your office/business equipment, as well as personal and business liability if the nature of your business requires it.

    Bankers can be helpful, but I wouldn’t count on them to help you with a loan at this time. More than anything else, they can help you make sure your business accounts are set up properly and streamlined to help you easily comply with the legal and accounting requirements of operating a business.

    By the way, much of the information needed to start a business can be found on line.

    However, my suggestion is to use this information only at the beginning of a businesses start-up. As your company grows, and you are making a profit, you’ll need to utilize expert advice to ensure that your personal goals, dreams and aspirations are being adequately met AND PROTECTED by the structure of your enterprise. It can make a huge difference in how easy your company is to run, and how profitable it is.

    Joe Emmet


  19. Donna Merrill Says:

    Hey Nancy, What sound advice. I’ve been in the brick and mortar business for decades and learned back then that you do need a team behind you. I have mine set up pretty well, juggling a few businesses
    and internet marketing comes under the same umbrella.

    I also like to have my mentors, geek squads, editors, etc. all in place.
    As for redistribution of work, I’m on it too. I have an MLM and when someone comes into that, I use part of my team I created to answer questions. I’m the Internet Marketer specialist, There is a man who does placements and a woman who knows the ins and outs of the MLM company and all its products.

    Teamwork is the way to go. -Donna Merrill!


  20. Becca Says:


    Thanks for this post as it’s a great reminder. I agree with Val in making sure your accountant is up to date on deductions as they can make or break you during tax time!

    Take care,

    .-= Becca´s last blog ..9 Tips to Growing Your Health Business Online =-.


  21. Beth Allen Says:

    You have such an excellent knack for blending wisdom with humor to educate while keeping your readers engaged. I really appreciate that, Nancy!

    Thanks for these great tips ~ being responsible and protecting our hard earned money really is a key to LONG term success!
    .-= Beth Allen´s last blog ..Who Is Really In Charge of Your Health? =-.


  22. Glyna Humm Says:

    I really love your writing style – you had me hooked on sentence one – even though you warned me not to be. This is such great advice for any new home business owner. A strong foundation is the key! Thanks for the advice!
    .-= Glyna Humm´s last blog ..Why are you REALLY Blogging? =-.


  23. Jennifer Akers Says:


    You always give us the straight scoop on what to do, and that’s one of the things I love about your writing and advice. I hadn’t thought about half the professionals on this list, so now, I’m adding your advice to my business to-do list because I want a strong foundation.

    .-= Jennifer Akers´s last blog ..Article Marketing Questions – What is Article Marketing? (Nice to Begin With the Basics) =-.


  24. Krisna Says:

    Thanks Mama! Thanks for looking out for your little ones! This is why we make sure to listen to OUR MAMA!


  25. Bill Hartman Says:

    Mentor Mamma,

    You have some wonderful advice here. Love the disclaimer that you have placed at the end of your post. Spoken like a true Attorney!

    Bill Hartman´s last [type] ..Time Management


  26. Don Enck Says:

    Mentor Mama,
    What was the point of your article? I took your advice and stopped reading and came right here to comment. LOL

    I enjoyed your style of writing on this post. I agree with you and your recommended advisors to have in your camp. I learned a long time ago that I didn’t want to be a “jack of all trades…master of none”.

    Thanks for sharing this important info so that we can be in the know and have to hear you say “I told you so!”
    Don Enck´s last [type] ..Are You Building Relationships With Effective Comments


  27. Laura Paulson Says:

    Hey Nancy,

    This is my first visit and I absolutely love your domain :) Just think of all the pain we could have avoided HAD we listened to our mothers LOL I Love It!

    Excellent article and advice. These 4 team members are key and I most definitely utilize them all (like you say either pay for it now or pay much more later). I love your writing style and I’m really looking forward to reading your future posts.

    Thanks Mentor Mama! :) Make it a Great Day! Laura
    Laura Paulson´s last [type] ..What Can a Pit Crew Teach Us About Success in Network Marketing


  28. Lori Robertson Says:

    Great tips, making sure that you have a solid foundation for your business and people who you can trust will create the business environment that you are looking for and the success that will come with it.



  29. Mark Hiatt Says:

    There are so many more directions this article could go. Not only do you need the team you mention but a support team of immediate family (first), friends and extended family (if they are supportive). A team of mentors couldn’t hurt. A team of “Power Partners” – people who don’t sell what you do but sell similar things and you could help each other (networking, in other words). I LOVE the way you start this article. I HAD to keep reading.
    Mark Hiatt´s last [type] ..A Powerful Word


  30. Nick Logan Says:

    These are things often leave for later on in their biz venture. It is important to take action and get your business going, but these are important factors to think about and take action on as well.

    Just an accountant alone can save you thousands of dollars…
    Nick Logan´s last [type] ..Finding Strength In Adversity…A True Story


  31. Gary Young Says:

    Great advise for people making transitions. I think this could be extended from transition to making changes even in mature situations. Change can be a good thing, helping us out of our comfort zones where we think we are safe but are really hiding.


  32. Mike Pedersen Says:

    I really like your post Nancy! Building and growing a business takes a concerted effort. One that is planned out, and you’ve put together some great information to help people start. We hate to say the “attorney” word, but in so many situations it’s nice to have one in your corner. An accountant is a must. I think in many cases a mentor could be added to the list also.

    Mike Pedersen´s last [type] ..The Secret To Success When Networking For Realtors


  33. Mike Sweeney Says:


    You touch some good points here. Laying out the foundation of your business will require some planning. Accountant will be a must, unless you happen to be one yourself! Keep your personal and business separate (banker), at some point you may need some legal advise or help. Having an attorney in your corner helps. Insurance, protect your assests… yourself, business and family.

    Many leave these details out or until the end. Thanks for the reminder.

    Mike Sweeney
    Mike Sweeney´s last [type] ..Starting a home based business


  34. Kathy Jodrey Says:

    Hey there Mentor Mama,

    I love how you always have our best interest at heart….thanks for that! And you are absolutely right here, home business is not something to be taken lightly. Just because it’s often affordable to get into and can be run with less restrictions and rules than a typical business, many of us do tend to treat it with less respect than it deserves.

    When we step up, involve the proper professionals, and begin to run our businesses like true businesses we prosper in many ways. I especially like what you say about having attorneys and accountants, we really need to protect ourselves from the things we don’t know that can land us in hot water, and to be able to take advantage of the things we don’t know that can help us.
    Kathy Jodrey´s last [type] ..Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Walk- The Divas- &amp A Challenge


  35. Emily Says:

    Good list of a team. However, be careful of the Banker. They are not there for you but to get money out of you. They talk of helping you lower your fees but at the same time they get you in other hidden ways. Also, they will try to talk you into loans and credit saying that you need the capital for your business. Just don’t trust them when they say credit can be good. They just want to have the 400% interest you will end up paying them in the long run.
    Emily´s last [type] ..Made a Mistake – Suburban WAHM’s Bitchy Monday


  36. David Says:

    Good advice. I am in my journey of starting a business from scratch but to be honest, a big step like this needs real planning. Reading your post clarified some missing points.
    David´s last [type] ..My intentions of starting a business from scratch


  37. Pearly Says:

    Thank you for your great advise, mentor mama :-)

    I enjoy reading your interesting post and the way you put your words in writting, make me feel as if you are talking to me in person ;-)

    It is always easy to get involved in any home based business but not always easy and smooth to make it a real business.



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