I did start it, and we are almost finished with our first year. I am now in the process of accreditation as a small private school (no more than 8 students, but optimally 6) and have expanded my online AP class offerings to four (and potentially 6 by the fall). I found it very difficult to break into the homeschooling market, and if I am going to be charging parents to actually teach their kids, I needed more street cred (hence, accreditation route).
We have had an incredible (and bumpy) first year; one of the biggest challenges for me was getting out of the public school mindset that gets pounded into you. Pratical advice would include the following:
1. Get a business license first. You can be building clients and advertising, but you need to strat the process for your license. I am currently tring to ge tmy house re-zoned so I can have a private school, and that is shutting the barn door after the horse has been out for six months. I can't get a license until I have a re-zoning, and it all costs money.
2. Get everyone to sign a contract or give a deposit (non-refundable). I am not a business-y type person and I have been relying on people keeping their word. The universe has been gently reminding me all year that this is bad business practice, and if I don't listen soon, it is going to be ugly. Get it in writing to protect you (and the client).
3. Expect to spend a ridiculous amount of time OR a ridiculous amount of money getting your website up and advertising going. I don't have money, so it toook a lot of time. It is at least one or the other.
4. Whatever part of education you love, do that. If you want to write curriculum but don't love to deliver it, sell that. If you want to teach but don't want to have to focus on designing curriculum, buy a good curriculum and teach. Try to hire out or pawn off what you don't love/can't do. If I could hire someone to recruit students, I would, and I would just hang out and design curriculum and teach all day (mostly what I get to do, though, so it is beautiful!).
5. Fill a niche. I have primarily students who are either gifted and bored, gifted and bullied or are twice exceptional. I design individual curriculum for everyone, and we all get our needs met here.
I will not go back to public school (at least in its current state), and I will not put my kid back in there either. Be prepared for that. I should have done this five years ago. The one piece of advice I got when I was trying to decide whether or not to take the leap and quit a stable job was to think about whether or not I was prepared to lose everything. I said yes, and this means losing our house on five acres where the school is and moving back to our townhouse. We are not there yet, but the economy has not helped. I am putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward, though, and doing what I can, and we are hopeful.
Let me know if you have other questions, and I will be happy to help!