Starting a Business from Home? 5 Tips to Make It Work
So you’ve decided to start your own business. It’s a little scary, but you’re excited too—finally independent, and on your own! You want to be frugal and watch costs closely. One of the things you’ve decided to do is run your business from home. This can be a very good idea, but it can take a little planning and focus. Here are 5 ideas that will make running your business from home go more smoothly.
1. Set up a separate space for work – It may be a desk in the corner of the living room, or a proper office with walls and a door. However humble your beginnings, the idea is to have a dedicated space for all your office work that sets it apart from the rest of your home. This is important for a psychological reason—it gives you and your family boundaries between home and work life. And it also makes sense for an entirely pragmatic reason; you can write-off the cost of your office space as a business expense come tax time.
2. Have a schedule and stick to it – To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be organized, disciplined and self-motivated. Having a daily schedule will keep you on track. Set your hours, and do take breaks, but stick to the timetable you’ve set. Run errands and non-business activities outside of your office hours, just as you would if you were employed full-time elsewhere. Keeping to a schedule works both to keep you working when you need to, and to stop when it’s time to do other things.
3. Have all your business paperwork in order – Do all that’s necessary to ensure you’re working legally. Have the proper tax registrations, and secure your business and occupational licenses and permits. Check with your local zoning commission to make sure you’re allowed to run your particular business from your home.
4. Pay your taxes each quarter – Do your tax homework. Now that you’re starting your own business, you’ll need to pay a different set of taxes. Consult with a tax attorney if you don’t feel you have all the necessary information.
5. Stay connected with your business and social networks – As a business owner, it’s even more vital to stay in the loop with business contacts as well as your social network (you’re always on the lookout for potential customers!) Don’t let working from home isolate you. Schedule regular meetings with clients and business partners outside home, and actively engage in trade organizations and networking groups.
Working from home is a smart, low-cost way to start your business.
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