Apr 11 2016
Starting a Business From Home: What You Need To Know
Posted under For Freelancers
Starting A Business From Home: What You Need To Know
What do more than half of all U.S. businesses have in common? They’re home based, and that number is rapidly growing.
The hardest part of starting a business from home is actually knowing where to start, and how to start on the right foot. It can be tricky to navigate taking your business from an idea to actual conception, so here are a few things to keep top of mind when you’re starting out.
Don’t accidentally break the law
Check the legal requirements for home business operation in your state, town, or city. Zoning laws can prevent certain types of businesses from operating in a home setting. If you have employees, customers, or other business-related people to your home, there can be limitations or even laws preventing your business from operating legally.
Though you may not have a storefront, you’ll still need to obtain all necessary legal permits and licensing. For the whole legal rundown, check out this handy guide.
Implement professional business practices
Right from the beginning, make sure you keep track of your bookkeeping. It’s important to clearly separate personal expenses from business expenses, and make sure to know what your business expenses are.
The IRS audits home businesses more frequently than non-home businesses, and even more so if you take the home business tax deduction. Keeping on top of finances will make life much easier down the road, especially during tax season.
Also consider setting up a separate P.O. box for customers and billing companies, so they don’t reach your home address for an extra layer of personal security.
This is the time to start establishing your unique presence in your industry. First stop: a killer website. Register a domain name from web hosting services such as BlueHost, GoDaddy, and Siteground (to name a few) and get to designing a website that reflects your business and your style.
It’s a good practice to have a blog for SEO purposes, and a captivating homepage with a clear call to action. From here, assess both your competition and your audience and see where they’re present on social media. You want to be where your target market is already present.
Separate your work and personal life
Working from home isn’t always easy. You’re in a setting that you typically think of as being a relaxing and casual space, so it may be difficult to train your brain to focus when you could be watching TV, cooking a meal, taking a nap, reading a magazine… tempting isn’t it?
This is what you can do: create a space in your home that you’ll work from, and make it your workplace. This way, you can focus knowing you’re in your “home office”, even if it’s just a desk or a table in your house. Try setting time parameters for when you work so you can dedicate time to your business, and not let your personal life blend into your work day.
It might take some getting used to, working from home, but with a little hard work and elbow grease you’ll be a pro in no time. Final tip: try not to work in your pajamas.
If you’re set on starting a business from home but are looking for ideas, check out our post on Six Great Business Ideas To Inspire You.