More and more people are taking the plunge and deciding to run a business from home. Pressures of the daily commute, threat of redundancy and increasing stress in the workplace are just some of the reasons that are making people want to take the leap of faith into self-employment with a home base.
Kiss goodbye to traffic jams
One of the great things about working from home is that your journey to work is blissfully short. This means that you don’t have to be on the road at an unbearably early hour to get to your workplace at a reasonable time, neither do you need to pay fortunes in train fairs, fuel or parking. Add to all this, the fact that if you’re starting a new business, choosing to work from home means that you don’t need to invest in premises, and you start to see why this is such an attractive option.
Beware though…it’s not all rosy
Working from home however, has its own pressures. Many people find once they start to run their home-based business they work even more hours than they did before because they don’t clearly define a boundary between their work and their home life. While this is, to some extent understandable, it can become a problem if not addressed. Because you suddenly have “access all hours” to your workplace, the temptation is to work pretty much all the time. In the early stages of your business it would be naïve to think you’ll get away without investing a good number of hours, but creating boundaries is really important for you, your health and particularly your family.
Making sure you stay in touch
If you are used to a social life that centres around your work colleagues and your workplace, working from home can come as a bit of a shock to the system. Once you make the leap to work from home, it’s important to make the effort to stay in touch with your network of friends, colleagues and contacts and not to become isolated.
Deducting your expenses
One of the great things about working from home is that you’ll normally be able to claim tax relief on the proportion of your domestic bills that relate to the part of your home you use for business. Add to this, the fact that VAT registered home businesses can claim back VAT on many of their business purchases and you’ll see that this way of working has sound financial benefits too. You may also be able to claim an allowance for using part of your home for business purposes. That said, you do need to decide carefully if dedicating part of your home exclusively for business use is a good idea before doing so, because it could mean that you become liable to a capital gain on the sale of your home. There are ways around this though, like doubling up the purpose of the space you use as a playroom for your kids or a guest bedroom.
Don’t try to go it alone
One of the temptations when you start a new business is to do everything on your own in order to save money. Again, this is understandable but the bad news is that more often than not it winds up as false economy find here. Making sure you have the right support on hand will not only save you time, it’ll help make sure you build your business on strong foundations as well. Tasks like your bookkeeping for your small business is the sort of thing that could well ‘tip you over the edge’ after a long day. Burning the midnight oil keeping your books in order rarely makes sense and outsourcing it to the likes of Virtual Business Source will not only cost you less than you imagine, but will allow you to pass it over in the knowledge that it’s being managed by an expert.
If you’re thinking of running a small business from home, why not get in touch so we can help you make sure it’s a success right from day 1?