So you decided that you are going to become self-employed and start off your business from home. Millions of people make the same decision every year, but not all of them succeed. You will need to take care of the small details to make sure that your venture will succeed, and you don’t burn out before you would break even. From taking care of the space you are working in to looking after your health and well-being, balancing household chores and work, there are plenty of things you shouldn’t ignore if you are ready to take the next step. Find out more below.
1. Safety and Security
It is important that you protect your home and your business at the same time. If you have machinery or computers on the premises, you will need to up your game when it comes to deterring intruders, People are likely to find out that you are running a business from home, sooner or later, and this means that you have to add extra alarms and security equipment, so you can carry on working without having to deal with theft or robbery.
2. Virtual Address and Office Services
While you might be able to register your home address as your business one, it is not recommended in every case. If you would like to look more professional, you might get a virtual mailing address and office service with a P.O. Box. Most people would not take you seriously if your business is registered in a residential area. Make sure that you compare the prices and packages available before you make a decision.
3. Broadband Speed
Most people who start off a business from home work through the internet, No matter if you are a freelancer, a virtual assistant, or are selling your own products through your website, you will need a reliable internet service. You can compare the available broadband providers in your region and find out which business packages provide the best value. Check the reliability score of each package, and make sure that you don’t commit to a deal that is not suitable long term.
4. Work-life Balance
Most people starting a home based business struggle with maintaining a work-life balance, You might want to restrict your working hours and opening times, and plan some activities every day that helps you relax and take a step back from your busy home office. In the first few months you are more than likely to work more hours than you would in a job, but once you have established your brand, you should gradually reduce your hours and enjoy the rewards of your work.
5. Special Permits
Depending on what type of activities you are planning to carry out at home, you might need to get a special permit. For industrial or noisy activities, you might be required to carry out and environmental impact study and talk to the local authority. If your business activities are likely to result in increased traffic in the residential area, you will need to get permission and written consent from people living nearby, or you might get into legal trouble. It is always better to check before you start planning your home based business.
6. Noise Levels
If your business is likely to cause noise in the neighborhood, it is important that you check how this will impact neighboring properties. If you are setting up a workshop in your garage, you will be likely to have a restriction in place on when you can operate noisy machinery. Even if you are only fixing and doing up old motorbikes, the noise pollution can be a cause for concern and get you in trouble.
7. Health Issues
Working from home might sound ideal, but it now your responsibility to look after your health and well-being. You will have to set up your workshop and office in a way that it is not causing mobility issues for you. Get an ergonomically designed desk and chair, and make sure that you have adequate lighting in the room, or you will damage your eyesight long term if you are working on the computer all day.
No matter if you already have home insurance, you will also need a business insurance to cover the assets of your home based venture. You will have to talk to your insurance company, as your cover might be void if you don’t let them know that you are operating a business from home. At the same time, you might need to add public liability insurance to the cover, so your customers and visitors are protected while on your premises.
9. Separate Budget for the Business
While working from home might seem like living your dreams and making money off your hobby, you should always keep your business and home finances separate. If you are using your home for business, you can write off some associated costs in order to lower your tax bills. However, paying for your stock from the household budget will never end well, nor will buying your kids a car through your company. Have a separate budget for your business and your home, so you always know where you stand financially.
One of the major issues people neglect when starting up a business at home is the distractions. You might have small kids at home who will walk in and out your office, or neighbors and friends who think that they can pop around for a chat any time, as you are at home anyway. And – of course – there is the daytime TV that can greatly impact your productivity. If you would like to keep your social and family life alive, make sure you schedule time off, but don’t simply drop everything whenever other people think you’re not busy.
Running a business from home can be more challenging than you could imagine. You have to deal with distractions, legal cover, insurance, budgeting, and protect your mental and physical health.