If you are running a company from your home, you are part of a growing trend. By working out of your house, you can save money on overhead costs, take advantage of the home office tax deduction, and incur fewer start-up risks.
However, running a home-based business requires careful planning and set-up. Consider these strategies to help your home-based business succeed.
1. Use a Designated Space for Your Home Office
Working from home can make it difficult to separate your work life from your personal life. With family members sharing your space, it is easy to be tempted by that sink of dirty dishes or that pile of unfolded laundry.
To increase focus and output, many entrepreneurs find it advantageous to designate a room or space to use as an office. By carving out a private spot for work-related tasks, there are fewer interruptions and distractions. You enjoy the privacy and peace you need to optimize your productivity.
A company cannot be managed from a kitchen table. A fully fitted home office is essential for a profitable company. Try turning a spare bedroom into an office space if you have one. If you don’t have enough room in your home for an office, consider putting up a partition.
If your home is not well-equipped to provide separate office space, you may want to consider making modifications to your house. If you pay for home improvements, the cost may qualify as a business expense that can be deducted from your taxes.
2. Have a Designated Number for Your Home-based Business
Not only should you separate your office from the rest of the house, but you should also consider having a separate phone number for work calls.
It is difficult to avoid being pulled back into work when you receive business calls on your personal line. By having only one number for both work and personal calls, you have no way of avoiding business calls without turning off your phone.
Thankfully, setting up a business phone number to handle all your incoming work calls is simple, fast, and cost-effective. By having a separate business line, you can direct your business calls to an answering service or voicemail after business hours while still maintaining access to incoming personal calls.
This system of separate numbers allows you to answer the phone without worrying that you may suddenly be pulled back into a work situation.
3. Establish a Work Schedule
To successfully balance your work and family lives, it’s wise to establish regular office hours. By having a predictable schedule, your family will know what to expect, and you will have an easier time staying focused and productive.
4. Invest in the Necessary Home Office Equipment
Since your home is doubling as your office, it is wise to invest in high-quality office equipment to keep your business up and running. While every business needs a high-quality computer, some business owners prefer using a desktop and monitor while others prefer a laptop for its built-in portability.
You should also consider purchasing a printer that can double as a scanner and a fax machine. If your work includes online meetings and conference calls, a webcam, microphone, and headphones can also be very helpful.
5. Use a Fast and Reliable Internet Service
In addition to buying the right office equipment, you should also invest in reliable internet service to ensure your business stays connected. If you are using traditional internet service, contact your provider to make sure you have enough capacity to keep things running smoothly.
If fiber-optic internet is an option in your area, this type of setup is worth the extra expense. A fiber-optic system can:
- Maintain speeds that are 100 times faster than traditional internet service
- Provide enough bandwidth to ensure equally fast upload and download speeds
- Ensure that the service isn’t disrupted due to weather or electrical issues
6. File for LLC Status
Most home-based businesses should consider filing as an LLC business structure. Having LLC status can save you money on your taxes because business profits can be categorized as personal income. It also reduces your personal risk by shielding your assets from company liability.
Finally, filing for LLC status is simple and doesn’t require much paperwork or an expensive attorney. Rather, most entrepreneurs simply file the paperwork themselves or hire an online formation service to assist.
Running your business from the comfort of your own home comes with many advantages, but it also requires planning and preparation.
Successful entrepreneurs invest in the proper equipment and internet service, carve out a private space for doing business, get a separate business phone number, establish a reasonable schedule, and file for LLC status. By taking these strategic steps, you can help your home-based business grow and succeed.
7. Target other markets
You must publicize your new company in order to prosper. Marketing and advertisements do not have to be costly, but they must be a part of the overall marketing plan. Start selling to college students if you deliver to teenagers.
If you market to your working mothers, the brand may be adaptable to stay-at-home mothers with a few tweaks. Another tactic is to market wholesale a retail-oriented good or service. It doesn’t actually follow that if you create it, they will come.
A weekly email is another excellent way to keep your name next to new and future customers. You can use online models and automatic distribution systems to send out your newsletter via e-mail due to the Internet.
8. Be Professional with your work
Just because you run a home-based business doesn’t mean to be a casual one. You have to maintain professionalism. Be professional with your work, with your clients, and your employees.
One of the advantages of working remotely is that you can work in your pajamas, but your clients shouldn’t be able to tell you you have just got out of bed. When answering the phone or dealing with clients, keep regular working hours and a polite attitude.
Bottom Line: Growing a home-based business to success
Many companies fail when their owners lose faith after a frustrating trial run. To make your company prosper, you’ll need courage and determination—do all you can to make it the achievement you believe it can be.
Make an effort to spend more time with your friends and family. You will reduce the depression by stepping away from your job for a bit.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.