We started by converting half of our two car garage into an office. The garage door was replaced with a wall and regular entry door. The inside was finished in drywall, and commercial flooring was put down. I was finishing my courses to get my EFIN, and we were getting tax preparation software for professionals to install on the two computers that would be in the office. Some office furniture and a phone system was added, and I was open for business.
I lived in an area where I could have a home business that had minimal customer traffic. About five or so people came by each day, and that was more than enough to replace two full time incomes. All I was doing was preparing taxes for people. I was not even allowed to have a small sign outside, but people knew where I was at. They knew my phone number and they memorized my office hours. I was providing a valuable service to them, and they trusted me to do it right. It is amazing, but I know the financial secrets of a lot of people in the neighborhood I live in. They trust me to keep things confidential, and that is what we are all about. I do not even discuss who my clients are with other clients.
I also have a record now of helping clients be prepared to pass the strictest of IRS auditors. I do not have to guess at the tax code as I am constantly learning it as it changes every season. Using the best tax preparation software for professionals is a huge help. I can rely on it to not make mistakes. It makes my job so much easier to do. I cannot imagine having to prepare some of these returns by hand as the tax code gets more and more complicated every year.