By Caitlyn Buchanan, 29th May 2017
There are many benefits to running a business from your home such as lower costs, no commuting and flexible working hours. If you want to start reaping the rewards, there are some important steps you should take to ensure your home-based start-up runs as effectively as an office-based equivalent. Many entrepreneurs today are faced with the challenge of meeting the needs of customers in various locations. This article we will explore some helpful tools to cut cost and overcome the challenges you may face when working from home or in a remote location to your customers.
Check your current insurance policy, you may want to take out additional coverage for business activities conducted within your household. Most insurance companies will combine any additional cover into one domestic and business policy. If your clients physically enter your property, you may be advised to take out public liability insurance, as an inexpensive addition to your insurance policy. Public liability insurance provides coverage in case a member of the public incurs bodily Injury/death/diseases, damages, expenses and/or damage to property following an accident in connection with your business.
Be aware of business rates that you may need to may on top of your council tax. Normally business rate apply when you have converted your property into a workshop, have employees working alongside you, or have clients visiting your house daily.
2. Hire an Accountant
Some people consider an accountant an unnecessary expenditure but a good account can give you helpful money saving advice to outweigh the cost. You may be able write-off household costs as business expenditure and reclaim some of your property bills including heating and electricity.
An account will keep you up to date with company annual returns, payroll and other business costs that could have late fees or other adverse consequences to your business.
3. Set a Schedule
Working from the comforts of your home requires motivation, setting a schedule will help you to stay on task. A benefit of working from home is having time in the morning to take the kids to school, go for a run, or eat breakfast but don’t let time get away from you. Set a time to start work, schedule meetings, take a lunch break, and at the end of the day, stop working. If you manage your time during the day you will find it easier to shut down in the evenings and focus on your personal/ family life.
If your customers are in different time zone, you may want to adapt your working hours to better serve them. Make your working hours clear on your website, in your email signature or set an out of office email message when you are done for the day. Don’t fall into a habit of being available 24/7. It is important to unplug and taking time for yourself when the work day is done, this will allow your mind to reset and come back to work refreshed the next day.
4. Dress for Success and Define your Space
Even if you are not meeting with clients face to face you may find that dressing for work puts you in the right frame of mind to get things done. If you can, set up a home office to help avoid distractions such as television shows, laundry and cleaning. Set up space where you can work without being interrupted. Ensure you have a strong wifi connection, phone line or other essentials in place so you can get to work straight away. Working from home isn’t for everyone, you may find that renting a desk in a nearby office pushes you to be more pro-active.
5. Set up a Virtual Office
If you are working in a remote location to your clients, virtual office services can save money and help you stay connected. We offer a full range of virtual office services that will help build customer trust including:
• Business address with mail forwarding
• Local phone number with call answering, call transfer and call divert options
• Message forwarding service by text or e-mail
• Fax number with fax to e-mail forwarding service
Find more information on Virtual Office Services here.
If have any questions about the topics covered in this article, or you are interested in starting a home-based business please Contact Us today.