Tips for Home Businesses

By: Lindsey Noss, Staff Accountant

Are you considering starting your own business, and you want to run that business straight from your home? There are a number of things to consider to make sure this is the best option for you.

With the rise of E-commerce and various opportunities to work remotely, more people than ever are starting businesses right out of their homes. Photographers, web developers, real estate agents, and those with online stores are finding success while working from home. There will always be a place for brick and mortar businesses, but with the advancements

in technology, there are more opportunities to work online now than ever before.

There are many benefits of working from home, such as cost savings, but there are a number of things to keep in mind, too.

Set Your Goals

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who launch a business without asking themselves these key questions:

•Is this going to be a hobby to make some side money or am I looking to make a career out of this?

•Do people need this service or product?

•Is this market already saturated or am I offering something unique?

When you are passionate about an idea, it may be difficult to be objective. However, it is important to consider what is at stake. This is your time and your money. Are you willing to risk both of those on an idea that hasn't been fully thought through? You need to think about whether or not this is a sustainable business idea or one that could really set you back.

It’s also important to consider whether running the business out of your home will actually save money, if that’s what you’re trying to do. If you are looking to sell products online, where will you store the products? If you are making the products, where will you make them? Also, what if your business grows, will you be able to have other employees work in

your home? Looking forward may help you make some of your initial decisions.

What Will You Be Missing?

Especially for the people who are leaving an existing job with a company to start a business, there are a lot of things that you will be missing. Your taxes used to come out of your paycheck. You may have had a company-sponsored retirement plan. You had health insurance options that were partially funded by the company.

This is not to say that working for yourself won't be a good idea, but rather just to keep these things in mind as you are making the transition.

Get Your Finances in Order

Instead of waiting until you’re drowning in financial problems, seek out an expert’s advice at the very beginning. Few people outside of the accounting world understand all of the implications of a home business. You must consider the tax implications, liability issues, and a whole host of other considerations if you work out of your home. Don't forget to include things all businesses need like bookkeeping support and a clear understanding of their financial situation.

Partner with someone who can get your business running smoothly and who you can rely on when you have issues and questions.

Get Mentally Prepared

And of course, you have to mentally prepare yourself. Operating a business out of your home means it can be hard to separate work from your personal life; and it’s easy to find yourself working at the dinner table at 7 p.m. while everyone else is eating. Creating a dedicated workspace can provide the mental separation you need to be productive while maintaining an area where you can still unwind.

If you are considering starting a business and need some advice, please feel free to reach out to us. We can help with the business planning, the accounting, and the taxes.

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