Are you about to start a small business? Then there is a good chance you have already considered running it from your home. Before you do, there are a few things to think about. This guide will run down the pros and cons of working out of your house and give you a few key tips to doing so effectively.
- The one that most appeals to those who punch a clock in an office every day is that you get to spend the day at home. This is, in many ways, the ultimate freedom for the self-employed person. Your hours can be every bit as flexible as you would like them to be.
- Cost is another important factor when it comes to running a business at home. No rent to pay, no commuting costs and, if you are a parent, you can save money on childcare costs. Plus there's a number of tax benefits for those launching a home based business.
- Thanks to the lower start-up costs, you can launch the company as a part time business and allow it to develop from there.
- The first advantage could also be read as a disadvantage: spending all your time at home could lead to cabin fever pretty quickly. Running your business at home might also disturb your lifestyle and family privacy.
- There's also your neighbours to consider. Running a company results in all kinds of comings and goings at your address that could lead to disturbances in your neighbourhood.
- Being at home can sometimes make it difficult to get into the business-like frame of mind, making the establishment of daily timetables and disciplined working tough. There's a lot more distractions at home than there are in the office.
Tips on getting it right
- The first thing to do is to assess the risks in your home. The Health and Safety act applies to a home business just as much as an office-space.
- Will there be employees in your home every day? If so, you are legally required to take out employer's liability insurance.
- Will you be taking meetings with clients, customers or business visitors not employed by the company at your address? Then public liability insurance will be essential.
- Insurance will also be required for any business stock that you keep at home, plus a business interruption policy is worth picking up too.