With millions of Americans still out of work and the jobs report improving but far from healthy, many individuals have either done so or considered going into business for themselves.
In the event you are considering starting a small business at home, is now the time to pull the trigger on it?
Home-based businesses do present both challenges and opportunities, so list both when considering if you’re in position to call your home and business one in the same.
The first and most important factor in opening a home-based business is making sure you have the proper financial capital in place.
If you were laid off at a regular job and have been collecting unemployment, is opening your own business going to prove a financial gain or loss? Keep in mind that you will need finances to get the business up and running, perhaps a small business loan, before the first customer ever appears, so think long and hard about how your finances will be impacted with such a move.
Do Your Homework Before You Put a Shingle Out at Home
Secondly, make sure you do the research and know all the licensing and insurance needs required for a home-based business.
Along with any city and state ordinances, insurance is important in the event customers will be coming to your home.
If someone is injured on your property while conducting business with you, they could turn around and sue you. Be sure your insurance policy takes this into account, as a homeowners’ policy does not automatically cover you when having visitors to your home as part of business dealings. Speak to your agent and inform them of your new business venture so it can be accounted for on your policy.
Another important item for consideration is your taxes.
There will be some expenses you can deduct when operating a home-based business, but speak to your tax professional so you know ahead of time what is and isn’t accepted. Record keeping will also be important, so take the time needed to compile all receipts of purchases for equipment such as office furniture, a computer, printer, fax machine and so on.
While it would be nice to have some employees along to help you shoulder the load, the reality is your expenses are likely going to be very tight at first.
Hiring an employee or employees means salaries and other responsibilities. Invest in the fact that it may mean a few more hours out of your day, but doing the work yourself will save you some money over time.
Lastly, in the event you have family at home, be sure they know the dos and don’ts regarding your new business venture.
Your business time at home is just that, work time.
While you may feel like you’re neglecting your significant other or children, make it clear that you need to be working when you say your business is open.
Working from home can open a whole new door of possibilities, many of which can work to your benefit.
Dave Thomas writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.