You might be wondering, can I run a business from home? You’ve heard about others doing it, but what does it entail? How do you get started, and how do you ensure your business succeeds and gives you that boost in earnings you desire.
Firstly, yes! You can run a business from home, and more than 15 million people do so each year. In this post, we talk about some of the basics of running a business and how you can get started today!
Pros And Cons Of Running A Business From Home
Pros of running a business from home:
Some of the pros of running a business from home are:
- You can work on your own schedule and avoid lengthy commutes.
- If you have children, you can be there for children at home if they need you.
- No more suits every day! You can wear pyjamas all day, and your clients would never know!
- You have the ability to create a friendly working environment that is comfortable and conducive to creativity and productivity where ever you like (in some cases).
- Uncapped earnings, you get out what you put in.
- You will save money on things like travel, lunch, work clothes, etc.
Cons of running a business from home:
Some of the pros of running a business from home are:
- Time management – many people find that they cannot manage their time well from home and become distracted by laundry, household chores, etc.
- There is nobody to bounce ideas off of, so you need to ensure that you are self-driven enough, or else close friends might hold you back if they don’t share the same work ethic as yourself.
- Many people feel isolated working from home alone all day long and do not thrive as well as they had hoped.
If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then keep reading!
How To Get Started
Depending on your choice of business, getting started may differ slightly, but generally, there are some steps to take:
- Decide what you want your business idea/model to be and do some research on it.
- Do some research to see if there is a market for the product or service you would like to provide, how competitive the industry is, and understand any licensing required for your business model to work legally.
- Get the necessary training and education for your chosen industry. (In most cases, you could find an affordable online course to kick start you)
- Figure out what you need to do to start up, legal requirements, etc. This may vary depending on the type of business you are starting or any regulations required by law. For example, if running a food-based service from home, there are food hygiene regulations you will need to follow.
- You will need to consider any additional expenses required for your business model, such as a laptop, stationery, etc., and budget for those.
- Get yourself set up on social media and ensure you have a working website if applicable. This is important because it’s the first impression of potential customers who will search online for products/services like yours.
- You will need to establish your business on paper – this is done through registering yourself as an official company (LTD) or remaining as a sole trader.
- You must keep records of all your income and expenditure, which can be helpful if HMRC/IRS questions any money coming into your account.
Designate A Workspace, And Keep It Organized
Staying organized is probably the most challenging aspect of running a business from home.
There are plenty of ways to stay organized, no matter how small or large your home office is.
You could set up a designated area in your house where you conduct business and only business. Set aside some time each week to clear out any papers or items that have found their way onto your work surface.
I find that clutter seriously affects my productivity, so I have a designated area for certain “office” items such as stationary, pens, etc., and try to keep it tidy at all times, so I have nothing distracting me from work I need to do.
How To Stay Productive And Motivated While Running A Business From Home
There is no right or wrong way to stay productive, but what works for me maybe a bit different from how others work.
I find that if I have a set routine of working a certain number of hours per day and sticking to it, it really helps my motivation levels and being more effective with the time I have available.
If your business is online, you could also find a community of like-minded business owners and join in on their online conversations; this is a great way to gain new insights from people with experience. Just don’t spend business hours doing it!
In addition, it could be a good idea to hire a virtual assistant to do some of the daily tasks that you just can’t seem to reduce on your to-do list. This could be a great way of freeing up your time and allowing yourself more freedom.
Budgeting is an essential aspect of running a business from home.
It’s essential to work out how much you need to sustain yourself and your family and set up some financial goals for the future to plan accordingly.
Working with an accountant is also really useful because they are experienced at handling finances on behalf of others, not just themselves, which means they will give you more of an insight into the financial side of running a business.
You should also think about your tax obligations and whether or not you need to register for self-assessment; if so, then get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible. You can do this online.
Some things will inevitably cross over between personal and business costs such as internet, electricity, etc. But try your best to keep tabs on them and how they are being used. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my finances which is helpful!
I hope this post has been helpful for you; if so, please share it with others who might find the information helpful. And don’t forget to check out some of our other posts on business ideas and blogging!
Other useful links from our knowledge centre:
What is business scope?
What is an MLM?
What is a Micro Business?
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