With the explosion of remote work, more and more people are realizing the viability of a home-based business. Workers are leaving traditional employment in pursuit of their dreams, starting their own companies from scratch. And often this means working on a laptop from the living room sofa.

Remote work really can work, and home-based businesses are no exception. But if you want your business to succeed, you still need to treat it as a business. The following tips can help you stay organized and professional as you pursue your dream of becoming a business owner.

Create a plan. The freedom allowed by a home-based business can tempt some to fly by the seat of their pants. But a home-based business is no different than a traditional one, in the sense that you should chart a logical course and commit to a plan. Develop a step-by-step plan that will get you where you want to go and stick with it.

Research your market. Even a killer idea needs some additional development. Seek to understand your target demographic so that you can respond to consumer needs and fill a niche with your product or service.

Go digital. These days, every business needs a web presence. Some of your first steps should include building a professional website and creating social media profiles.

Check on zoning. Just to be sure, check with your zoning commission to be sure you can even run your business from home.

Address your tax situation. Taxes are not something that any new business owner should leave until the last minute. Consult with a tax professional early on, so that you understand the different opportunities available to you. Otherwise, you could face a headache at tax time next spring.

Pursue your marketing and advertising options. Even the best product will fail if no one knows about it. Identify your target demographic and then decide how to create a relationship with them, so that they understand what your brand is all about.

Maintain a professional attitude. It can be tempting to run your home-based business while wearing pajamas or lounging by the pool. But your result will always reflect the level of professionalism and dedication you put into the business. So, get dressed every morning, use a professional demeanor throughout business interactions, and keep regular business hours.

Stick to a schedule. It can be tempting to mix business with pleasure (or housekeeping chores) when running a business from home. But resist the temptation to give in to distractions. Set a schedule and then devote all of your energy to business matters during that time.

Establish a dedicated office area. Success will depend partly on your ability to devote undivided attention to your business. Establish a dedicated office area, eliminate distractions, and treat your home office just as you would a traditional one.

Seek support. A number of supportive services are available to new, home-based business owners. Sometimes you will need to escape the home office or go in search of a faster internet connection. You might also require the use of meeting spaces for networking or sales purposes. Parlay Cafe was established with the home-based business owner in mind. Come tour our facility and see what a membership can offer as you organize and chart the course of your business.