Want to run a business from home Read this

Want to run a business from home Read this

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 Advantages

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 Disadvantages

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.

What can 3D printing do for your business?

What can 3D printing do for your business?

Chances are, you've heard plenty of chatter about 3D printing over the last 12 months or so. Depending on who you ask, it is either the future of manufacturing, a nerdy pastime for gadget geeks and gamers or a passing fad that will be gone the way of the mini-disc by this time next year. Despite what the cynics might say, the technology and business headlines in early 2014 all indicate that 3D printing is very much here to stay, with numerous large, multinational companies and major organisations firmly getting behind the technology.

Dell has just signed a deal to sell MakerBot 3D printing products through its online store, NASA is convinced 3D printers will play a huge part in getting astronauts to Mars and Credit Suisse's Jonathan Shaffer has estimated that the global worth of the 3D print industry in 2016 will reach $800 million.

The big question for you in all of this is: how might this impact my business?

If you do not work in a company that sells a tangible product of any kind, then the likely answer is ‘not at all.' If, however, you work in any industry that relies upon manufacturing then the almost certain answer is ‘very heavily and very soon.'

3D printing is particularly useful in the prototyping stage of product development. From the earliest moments of designing an object to the production of the final prototype, 3D printing can make the process more cost effective, quicker and, most importantly, more effective. Small details can be changed on the original CAD, and then printed without compromising the prototype's structure.

So, if you work with prototypes, then 3D printing will be essential to your future. Then there is the question of 3D printing for small parts. While mass producing machinery or products through 3D printing is not cost effective enough for widespread implementation, the printing of individual components for machinery is being adopted more and more across the globe. For example, an RAF jet that recently took off from a UK airstrip included 3D printed parts. Future plans are to house 3D print devices at bases across the world, meaning airplanes can be repaired and maintained using parts printed on-site, massively speeding up the repair process.

The same principle could be used on a much smaller scale for engineers, plumbers or maintenance workers. Rather than having to check they have all the spare parts for a job before arriving at a job-site, they could 3D print them after examining the broken device, once again saving time and cost.

For these and more reasons, 3D printing is a technology to which it is well worth paying attention.

What can Machiavelli tell you about business?

What can Machiavelli tell you about business?

The Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli's 1513 treatise on history and political theory, was a landmark volume that provokes controversy, debate and fierce argument to this day. Characterised by the famous quote, ‘The end justifies the means', it called upon political leaders to not only be intelligent and diplomatic but also to be calculating and cunning, so long as the final results were to the betterment of society in general.

Though chiefly written about politics, The Prince is a must read for anybody looking to get ahead in modern business. Within its pages, you'll find a wealth of deep thought and wise advice on long term economic, financial and business strategy that will help you stay ahead of the competition.

As the princess cannot help being hated by someone, they ought to endeavour with the utmost diligence to avoid the hatred of powerful people.

Nobody succeeds in business without making a couple of enemies along the way. Yet, similarly, nobody succeeds in business without making even more friends. In particular, powerful friends are essential to securing your own power – it doesn't matter if you are the manager in a franchise of a fast food restaurant or the CEO of a multinational corporation. If you want to get and stay in an advanced position, ensure you make strong connections with the top echelon in your industry.

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

While we all like to feel that we are the smartest person in the room, if you deliberately fill your business with people you know to be inferior to yourself, it will show in your results. Do not be afraid of people with more experience, more intelligence or more capabilities than you. Welcome the input of those whose input is worth having and reject those who are not up to scratch.

"Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."

There's not a business person alive who can afford to stand still. Pay attention to changes, not just in your industry, but also in society at large. No matter how disconnected they might seem, everything is an influence on your company.

What does a new year mean for your business?

What does a new year mean for your business?

The way you start the year has a huge impact on how much success it offers to your business. Obviously, we all want to do better this year than we did last, regardless of what kind of company you run. So, how do you make sure that will happen? Here are our six key tips to kicking off the next twelve months the right way.


In particular, small business owners often overlook this key step to success, assuming that managing the day-to-day operation of the company is more crucial than the overall business plan. This is a great way to work your fingers to the bone but run out of steam three months into the year. Instead, set clear goals for the year and keep them at the front of your mind as the days tick by.


Don't just let those annual goals sit on a file on your computer. Keep them close and check on your progress every week. Set real deadlines for completion of each goal and be sure you hit the target on time.


Even successful companies need to develop and change as time goes by. The start of a new year is a great time to think about the things you can do to allow this development to take place as smoothly as possible. One great place to start is your company's website. Take a look at it and ask yourself how well it is selling your business to your target market.


Does your business use social media? If not, it might be that you think it doesn't apply to your industry or the market into which you are hoping to tap. In 99% of cases, this would be a wrong assumption. The vast, vast majority of companies could improve their standing with intelligent social media. If you are already operating a social media arm, how is it helping your company? Perhaps you should consider changing your approach if you aren't seeing the dividends being paid.


Take a look at all the equipment you use on a day to day basis. How up to date is it? Could you gain from upgrading to more modern hardware and software? Use this time to look into what improvements can be made.