Things to Consider When Setting Up a Business From Home

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When starting a business, you might decide to base yourself at home. Many new startups were founded at kitchen tables. But sometimes space, resources, and family can make this difficult for new entrepreneurs. So here are some things to consider when starting a new business from home:


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The first thing is to ask yourself whether or not your home is suitable. Then think about how and where you’re going to make office space that works for you. 

Space

Before turning your home into your workplace or office consider whether or not you literally have the room for it. A lot of factors come into this — for instance, are you only working from a computer? Do you have employees? Do you store inventory at your home as well? If you can’t store inventory there, do you have the money for a place to store it?

Is the room you are considering working in comfortable, not too dark, not too bright? Does it have plenty of sockets for plugging things in? Do you have a comfortable workspace and chair?

Will you be able to write off tax against using a room or rooms in your home for your business? 

Will you need to or want to refinance your mortgage to help fund the business?

What insurance considerations are there? Many home insurance policies don't cover businesses run from the house. 

Recommended reading: 3 Simple Ways to Organise Your Business

Resources

Do you have what you need to do your job from home? We call those things you need your resources. They could be materials, equipment, access to communication, or anything that makes a place workable once the room is taken care of. Depending on the business you’re in, it could be the reason you’re unable to work from home.

If you do a lot of work with your hands, you’ll need the proper equipment you’re going to use. If you manufacture products in house for instance, your resources are going to be tools, machinery, and the electrical power to meet inventory requirements.

If you’re working from a computer, you’ll need great Wi-Fi with ample data, plenty of storage, and a way to do regular backups for yourself.

A work phone, a way to access video conferencing, and good service if you’re using a mobile phone are also important to be able to access. You don't want to be half way through an important client call and have the call drop.

Will you need access to courier services or a post office to collect and send products? How easy will this be to arrange?

Distractions

As harsh as it may sound to paint people as a distraction, will the people you live with allow you the peace to work like you need to?

Sometimes, self-employed people with kids struggle to get things done from home. Young children require being taken care of, and that’s fine, but it may impede on one’s work if a parent feels they need to attend to their children when they want attention. You may need to look into childcare options for holidays when your kids aren’t in school.

Of course children aren’t the only distractions at home — anyone who lives with you including a pet could be a distraction if they don’t allow you the peace and quiet you need!

Are you the kind of person who gets easily distracted? Will you wander downstairs to have a cup of tea and find yourself there still 3 hours later? 

The most important thing is recognising these distractions and knowing how to balance your home life with your work. This is a key reason some people prefer an office. They can get away to another place and focus solely on work there.

Using your home for your business may not work due to the people you live with and your own responsibilities, as well as your own strengths, and weaknesses.

Over to you now. Do you run your business from home? What have your obstacles been? How did you get your house or space ready? Let me know your experience in the comments below. 

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Thursday, 16 August 2018
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