Starting and running a business from home has many benefits, most of which are financial. When you first launch a business cash flow is at a premium, as most business startups have associated costs. Running a business from home means that you don’t have to spend money on premises and you don’t have the expenses associated with commuting. There are pitfalls too and this article aims to highlight ways of making running a business from home work for you.
Inform the tax man
You need to register your business with the relevant authorities, depending on where in the world you live. This is for tax purposes and failure to do so within certain timescales means that you could incur hefty fines.
Working from means that you should also inform your mortgage provider or landlord. Other regulating authorities may also need to be informed depending on the nature of your business. For example if you are producing products for the food industry there are strict controls and measures which you need to adhere to.
Create your workspace
Ideally you would have a spare room that you could dedicate as an office, but unfortunately most of us don’t have that luxury. It is important to allocate an area of your home, whether it’s a corner in your kitchen or an alcove in your bedroom for your desk and storage. If your business involves baking or any kind of food preparation, your kitchen would be your best area, as long as it meets food hygiene regulations. If you have a garden you could consider creating an office in a garden room or another option would be to convert a garage.
There are so many tasks associated with running your own business and you soon become a “Jack of all trades”, however if you complete everything yourself you will have little time left to run your business. You could outsource certain tasks so that you can concentrate on generating sales. Tasks that lend themselves to being outsourced include bookkeeping, accounts and website management.
When working from home you may be reluctant to use your home address for correspondence. As an alternative you could set up a virtual PO box like those provided by https://physicaladdress.com you will then be able to manage your PO box via your smartphone or computer.
Stay on task
One of the downfalls of working from home is that it’s easy to become distracted. By the time you’ve put a load of washing on, walked the dog and made the beds, half your day will have gone! This is why it’s important to have an allocated workspace so that when you’re at your desk you’re at work. Try to write lists and prioritise your day, with essential tasks at the top. It’s important to stay focused, as starting your own business from scratch takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
Take a break
Another downfall of working from home is that you’re essentially always at work! Try not to let work tasks run into family time, which is easier said than done at the beginning.
Switch on the answer machine and don’t be tempted to read emails until you are “at work”.