13 Tips for Running Your Business at Home
Running a small business from home can sound like a dream, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not organized. Running a business from your home is similar to running a business from an office; the only difference is you’ll get to save on the cost of renting an office, and your employees will remotely work. Here are 13 tips for running your home business.
Give Yourself a Positive Environment
A good work environment is key to helping you stay focused on your daily tasks while giving you somewhere comfortable to sit, stand, or pace around while you’re on the phone. Get office furniture that’s ergonomic and comfortable so you can sit or stand for long periods without worrying about your posture.
Having a designated place helps you to focus only on business when at home. Working from home might be enticing, but having a home office can help you feel much more driven to get things done.
Your environment should be clean and free of distractions, like televisions, so you won’t feel tempted to watch something while you work. Also, make sure your entire office, from your desk to your storage, is organized. There’s no reason to leave documents lying around just because you can; instead, make sure everything is in its proper place by the time you stop working for the day.
Keep Costs Low
Saving money is one of the most major advantages of running a business from home. Renting an office costs thousands of dollars a month, but that doesn’t mean you should spend all of the money you save on other business expenses just because you can. Successful businesses know how to cut costs and where to put their money. You should reinvest the money you save by not having an office in your business.
Build a Remote Team
Your business can’t scale if you don’t start building your team as soon as possible. Building a great team from home can be difficult because all of your interviews will be done remotely, but it allows you to understand how remote workers will help your business thrive.
Hiring remote workers is just like hiring workers for your office, so make sure you let candidates know what the job requirements are and be prepared to promote yourself to top talent.
Don’t Forget About Taxes
Whether you’re running a business in an office or at home, the same tax laws apply. The good news about having an office at home, though, is you get to take the home office deduction, allowing you to write off:
- Rent or mortgage
The IRS has a few rules for those wishing to take these deductions. For example, you can only write off these items if you use part of your home strictly for business activities. That means if you use your living room for work, you can’t write it off because you use it for non-work-related activities. You can deduct part of your utilities and internet if you have a dedicated space.
The home office deduction amount you can write off is based on the square footage of the space you use for your office.
Have a Backup Plan
Not all entrepreneurs are successful at running their businesses from home. Many people enjoy having office spaces because it allows them to easily collaborate with others and monitor their employees. While running your business at home might seem like a great way to improve your work/life balance and cut costs, it can also be difficult being away from your employees and not having a dedicated office space away from the distractions of your home life. It is also best to find ways to build rapport with your customers so potential customers have testimonials to read.
Take Time Away
When you’re working from home, you might get tunnel vision and end up working longer hours because you can’t break away from the computer screen. Instead of working all day and night just because you’re already at the office. Consider taking time away or setting office hours for yourself and your clients.
By setting strict working hours with yourself, you’ll feel more relaxed and productive at work and while you’re hanging out with your family. As a business owner, there will be nights you have to work late. However, don’t let it become an every night routine. Instead, find the right work/life balance and try not to let one get in the way of the other.
Get a Separate Phone
Don’t use your cellphone for everything. Instead, get a business phone you leave in your office or turn it on and off when it’s time to start or end work. Having a business phone will help you keep your personal life separate from your business life, allowing you to relax on nights and weekends.
Check Your Insurance
Businesses need some level of protection no matter what industry they’re in. Since you’re running your business from home and not an office, check your insurance policies to determine if you need additional coverage.
Work with a CPA
Running a business at home might make you feel like you can and should do everything yourself. Having a highly skilled professional by your side can assist you in managing the finances properly. CPAs can definitely help you manage your business finances and pay your taxes.
Get the Right Tools
Running a business from home means you might not have space for all of the technology you would at an office. Make sure you have a quality desktop you can use every day without problems. You should also upgrade your internet if you haven’t already so you don’t experience any delays on your website because other members of your family are watching Netflix.
Keep your business stuff separate from your personal stuff. It may be tempting to bring a work folder into the kitchen when you’re making coffee in the morning. But you should keep your work files and folders in your office so they won’t get lost. By staying organized, you won’t have to worry about losing important paperwork. Not to mention, an organized office can help you get more work done.