Is a home based business right for you
The world of work is changing: more people are working part time and more people are working remotely. Work life balance is important to us and we’re making it happen. Working from home offers lots of great advantages – it can save time and money, and provide much greater flexibility. Owning your own home-based business is a great way to enjoy these benefits.
Better money, more flexible hours and being your own boss are cited as the key reasons people like to work from home in a home based business. Home based businesses come in many shapes and sizes. They range from Internet opportunities through to trades, such as plumbers, electricians, caterers, gardeners and builders, to professions such as accountants, lawyers, consultants and counselors.
Buying a home based business
Before you jump into your own home-based business, consider these key questions:
- What type of business best suits you and do you have the discipline needed?
- How much backup capital will you need, including some set aside for a rainy day?
- What additional knowledge or skills might you need (remembering that you could up-skill or outsource)?
Running your business from home
Setting up a business from home is often seen as a safe or convenient way to venture into the business world, there are still risks and it will help to have a plan and even a back-up plan. Just like any other business, you will need to manage clients, suppliers and workflow to ensure you have continuity of work and cash to meet your financial commitments.
Get the right support
It is essential to have the support of your family and friends if you plan to work from home. They will need to understand that you must have quiet, undisturbed time to concentrate on work. You will also need their support to help you maintain a home environment that is professional and welcoming to business clients.
Your home office and workspace
Try to avoid using communal spaces, like the dining room table, to conduct your business. Set up a dedicated home office or workspace within your home. This will keep it professional, help minimise distractions and allow you to close the door when the workday is over. It also helps you to maintain the discipline of getting up and going to work, while still allowing you the freedoms that come with working from home.
Do you need a business phone or PO box?
A post office box could help with your business needs and image as some customers can be put off by a residential address and may consider it unprofessional. You might need a separate phone line or mobile phone for your business, as children answering or your family's voicemail may make customers think they have dialled the wrong number.
If your business is service based, such as hairdressing, where people will need to visit you at home, you'll need to consider how you feel about sharing your home with the public, and how you can maintain your family's privacy.
Chances are, if you are running a business from home, you are working by yourself. While this provides freedom, it can also be isolating. Build business support networks and schedule business and non-business activities. This will help keep you informed, motivated and connected.
Your tax and compliance obligations
You will need to complete a tax return for your home business. If you are self-employed, any income you earn is your personal income. If you set-up a company then you will need to furnish an annual return and may need to register for GST too, a chartered accountant can help with this. There will potentially be vehicle and business expenses you can claim, and business taxes to pay, so make sure you get the right advice.
Check out all our home based businesses for sale.
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