Turning Your Home Office into a Small Business Operation
Running a small business from your home hits two of the most wonderful aspects of being independent. You’re freed of commuting and you can work whenever you see fit—as long as you meet your deadlines and milestones.
Turning your home office into a small business operation gives you the ability to master your own destiny. It also positions you to take advantage of many economical solutions, from cheap website hosting to working in your bathrobe—if that’s what you like.
Here’s how to get started…
Make Sure You’re Legal
Before you charge off and invest in the gear you’ll need to turn your home office into a small business, make sure your neighborhood’s zoning laws will allow you to do so. You’ll need to access your town’s ordinances governing home occupations. If you rent or lease your residence, you’ll want to make sure your business stays on the owner’s good side too. You’ll also need to look at the codes, covenants and restrictions governing your homeowner’s association—if your neighborhood has one. In all likelihood, if yours is a quiet operation, nobody will care. But if you’re thinking of opening a body shop in your backyard… well, that’s another story.
Choosing Your Workspace
In a lot of cases, the choice will make itself readily apparent. The main thing you need is enough room to accomplish your tasks efficiently. Many a writing business has been started in the closet of a studio apartment. If your work requires a more spacious environment, you may wind up giving up a second bedroom. If you have a family, choose a room that will minimize your impact on the rest of the household. If you’ll be seeing clients, having a separate entrance is ideal. Failing that, choose a room as close to the front door as possible.
Outfitting Your Workspace
Rather than going out and spending a boatload of money on a workspace, remember you’re a startup. Look for ways to get the equipment you’ll need at the most reasonable prices possible. Craigslist and eBay are great sources for reasonably priced used equipment and furnishings. Meanwhile, cheap website hosting and a templated design will save you money on your web presence.
If yours is a desk job, the two places you don’t want to skimp are on the desk itself and on your chair. Your desk should allow you to work comfortably at your computer with good posture and your chair should be both adjustable and supportive over long periods of time.
Mind Your Time
The best part of operating a home-based business is you can work at home. The worst part of operating a home-based business is that you work at home. While the convenience factor is undeniable, the job is always there and there is always something to do. You have to set boundaries. Keep to a regular schedule as much as possible. Popping into the office to take care of a couple of things can turn into an all-nighter very easily if you allow it to happen.
In other words, work your business, don’t let your business work you.
Are You Ready?
Turning your home office into a small business operation can be rewarding both financially and personally. Managed well, you’ll have more time to enjoy with your family and your costs will be minimal. It might take some time to establish the perfect workspace in your home; plus the time it takes to nail down a schedule that works for you personally and professionally. But don’t worry. These things are best learned through experience and experimentation.
So, ask yourself: Are you ready to establish a strong digital presence for your new venture?