Around half of all small businesses in the United States are based out of someone’s home. That’s millions of people working from their own space and in their own time. If you’re thinking about doing the same, today’s tips can help get you set up for success.
Set Up Your Space
Before you start your business, you should know where exactly in your home you’ll set up your headquarters. Online magazine Home Business recommends having a spot with lots of natural light and then choosing the right office equipment, which may include a desk, refrigerator, and computer. Perhaps most importantly, make sure that you have the right internet connection and that your home/office is networked correctly. A quick note here: Confirm with your local codes department if you can run a home business and if there are special permits required to do so in your area.
You’ll need to keep track of a lot of documents when you’re getting your home-based business up and running. To stay on track and avoid any financial or legal issues, organization is key. Make sure you have PDF versions (digital copies) of all of your important files — including your business plan, business bank account information, and investor information — that you can access anywhere and that are always on hand no matter what happens to hard copies. You can use tools to keep your PDFs more manageable. For example, to help with searching a large file, split it up into smaller files with fewer pages so you can more easily locate the information you need.
Choose a Business Structure
All businesses have a structure, even if you don’t set it up legally. If you set out on your own, you’re automatically a sole proprietor. When your goal is to enjoy tax benefits and limited liability, form an LLC. If you don’t mind doing a bit of research, you can browse the different regulations for your state and use a formation service to get yours started.
Create Your Online Presence
SCORE explains that your online presence is how consumers will find you, and it’s also the vehicle by which they will place their trust. Your online presence consists of many different things, but it starts with a professional website. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to have a great site. There are plenty of drag-and-drop solutions that allow you to add your own text and visuals, such as an infographic.
Why Work from Home?
Working from home is not always easy. After all, you have to balance the time you work with the time you prioritize your family. But once you get into a routine, you may find that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Just a few things you can expect when you open a home-based business include:
No commute. According to Bankrate, people spend around an hour every day driving back and forth to work, and that doesn’t account for the days of heavy traffic. If you go to work five days each week, you get five hours back to focus on yourself.
Tax benefits. You may be entitled to certain tax deductions for using your home as an office; most people can write off a portion of their property taxes as well as their utilities. Consult with your local tax preparer, CPA, or bookkeeper for more information.
A healthier lifestyle. One of the greatest benefits of working from home is that you can eat healthier foods and exercise more. Eating at home will also help you save money, and you’ll have more time to plan out each meal. Further, since you’re not commuting back and forth, you won’t be tempted to swing by the McDonald’s drive-through at the close of your workday.
Working from home has many benefits, and if you don’t mind doing a little leg work, then you can enjoy a successful endeavor without the expenses of a brick-and-mortar office. But remember, none of it is possible without the right internet and network setup, so make this a priority before you take on your first customer.
Join the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce to receive members-only access to a variety of resources and events that will help your business be a success!