Is a Home-Based Business Right For You?

Is a Home-Based Business Right For You?

If you’re looking for ways to keep start-up costs to a minimum, you’ll probably consider locating your office at home.

You’ll save on rent, commuting costs and even your wardrobe (where else can you nail down a deal while you’re still in your pajamas)?

In short, working at home offers comfort, privacy and flexibility. But it isn’t right for everyone.

10 Factors That Will Determine If a Home-Based Business is Right for You

Here are 10 important points to consider to find out whether a home-based small business is right for you or not!

1. Check Zoning Regulations

While there’s usually no problem unless you’ll be visited by large numbers of customers or you plan to display heavy equipment in your front yard, you need to make sure you’re on solid legal footing before you open.

Keep in mind also that even a small sign may require a zoning permit.

2. Business is Business

Don’t mix business and personal financial records.

Maintain income and expense registers and a checking account separate from the ones you and/or your spouse have for your personal life.

3. Review Insurance

Especially if you plan to purchase business equipment such as a computer, you may need a rider on your homeowner’s policy to adequately protect against damage or loss.

And, if customers or other business contacts will be coming to your home, be sure you have sufficient liability insurance.

4. Designate a Space

The Internal Revenue Service has been coming down hard on home-office deductions. At the very least, make sure you set aside a room, or clearly defined part of a room, to be used exclusively for your business.

And, since privacy is important while you work, try to find a way to close off the area when you’re using it.

5. Establish Regular Hours

At-home workers are not only much more tempted to play hookey, but friends and family are more likely to interrupt you just because you’re there.

Set up hours when you’re not to be disturbed except in an emergency (and post them on your office door).

6. Stick to Them

Emphatically fend off personal calls and friendly invitations during your working hours.

Do realize, however, that it won’t be easy at first to convince friends and family that you’re serious about your business.

7. Ask for Cooperation

It’s virtually impossible to work at home if you don’t have the full support of family members, particularly your spouse.

It is crucial that everyone concerned view your efforts as a real, functioning business — not just a hobby or a place you go to relax once the dishes are done.

8. Work Only in Your Office

Beds are for sleeping; lounge chairs are for watching TV; and offices are for working.

Establishing a firm boundary in which work is done helps keep work and personal lives separate so you can “escape” to other parts of your house to relax.

9. Invest in the Right Equipment

Time spent retyping what could have been corrected in seconds on a computer or running to the print shop to have copies made cuts down on the time you have to spend on business.

Generally, you’re much farther ahead if you get what you need up front, even if you have to space out major purchases until enough money comes in.

10. Change Your Scenery

At-home workers often experience feelings of isolation. Make it a point to meet your business friends and customers outside your office once in a while; join professional associations and attend meetings regularly.

Wanted to tell how you set up your own small business, do in the comments!

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