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Home-based businesses are more common than you think, to the tune of 38 million of them in the U.S. alone. The success rate is high as well, with 70 percent of home businesses thriving after only three years in business compared to their regular counterparts. Most can be started for little upfront, making it a new adventure worth jumping into. If you’re thinking about becoming a home-based entrepreneur, here’s how to set up your space for maximum success:
Consider Your Space
When you’re first starting out, the office and/or spare bedroom might be plenty of room to run your business efficiently, but as you take on more clients/customers and expand you may find that you need a little more room. You might even need more space from the get-go depending on the type of home-based business you’re starting. For example, a graphic designer, bookkeeper, or home organizer can work comfortably from a small office space, whereas an at-home daycare, massage therapist, hair stylist, or caterer will need lots of room to work, not to mention there are laws and regulations that require a certain amount of space, specific equipment, etc.
You may need to do some house shopping to accommodate your business venture, which Redfin explains involves several important steps including pre-approval, finding a reputable real estate agent, and finding a home that meets both your personal and business needs. If you don’t need a lot of space, or you’re low on it, think about revamping an existing space, whether that’s a refreshed closet or a living room office.
Make It Legal
Before you put up the ‘Open for Business’ sign, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve taken all the necessary legal steps to ensure your business stays in business. Check out your local zoning laws, as you may find that the neighborhood or area of town you live in only allows residential activities. Look into your HOA, deed, and lease restrictions as well, as it may not allow home-based businesses. In both instances, you can still find a way around it, but it just may require a zoning waiver or a written letter of permission.
When talking about legalities, taxes need to be discussed as well. The type of business you run (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation) and number of employees all impact which forms you’ll need to fill out, so work with a tax professional to ensure you have everything in order. Since you’re running a home-based business, you’ll quickly become familiar with Form 8829, which is where you note your home space deduction based on the square footage of your home used specifically for business purposes.
Get the Office Necessities
In order to operate a home-based business, you need an office/work space filled with the basic necessities. This includes pens, paper clips, permanent markers, sticky notes, folders, and notepads to name a few, in addition to the bigger items such as a desk, office chair, computer, printer, filing cabinet, and wireless router.
Depending on the business you start, you’ll also need supplies specific to that particular business. Determining what you need is as easy as an Internet search. Just type in “What supplies do I need to start XYZ business?” and you’ll be met with plenty of information and resources to help you get started.
Storage will be of importance here as well, especially if you thrive off of true organization as opposed to organized chaos. Better Homes & Gardens notes you can go for the more original methods with storage boxes, baskets, and shelving, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Repurpose some wooden crates, hang a wall organizer, or put up hanging baskets. Your storage choices are a great way to add some color and personalization too.
Running a business from the comfort of home sounds wonderful, and it is! It takes a lot of preparation and hard work, too. Before you get ahead of yourself, add a workspace to your home so that you have one big piece of the home-based business puzzle in place.
Guest Blog post by: Tina M