When you are your own boss, working from home may seem like an appealing prospect, but before you decide to start a home-based business, there are a few things to consider. Launching a business in your home could be ideal, depending on the space you require and the nature of your work. You should make sure that this arrangement suits both your personal and professional needs.
You may be drawn to the advantages of working from your home. It can be less expensive than renting or buying commercial space, there may be possible tax deductions you can claim, (for example, a portion of property taxes, utilities, repairs and maintenance, home insurance and a portion of your mortgage interest or rent) and you may have more flexibility with your hours.
Ask yourself a few questions to determine whether having a home-based business is right for you:
- Will working on your own suit your personality? Some people prefer to be in the company of colleagues.
- Do you have the self-discipline to motivate yourself, even when business is quiet?
- Might you have difficulty setting boundaries between your personal life and your business role? Will you face interruptions from family and friends?
- Is there enough room for the resources you need, like special equipment or employees?
- If your business is successful, will there be room to expand? How will you address this when the time comes?
When you decide you are ready to launch your home-based business, consider the following suggestions:
- Review provincial and federal health, safety and taxation regulations related to your business.
- Check municipal by-laws and determine whether your area is zoned for operating a business, particularly if you plan to deal with the public or have non-family-members working out of your home.
- Designate a specific area of your residence as your workspace (as removed as possible from the ebb and flow of your household activities).
- Try not to let chores or other distractions take you away from your work and interrupt your productivity.
- Avoid letting the less formal setting interfere with your professionalism.
- Be available to your clients by keeping a consistent schedule and getting back to them in a timely fashion.
- Be aware that some home-based business opportunities may be fraudulent.