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How do I run a business from home?

  • Blog
  • 21 March 2017

Running a business from home is becoming a more desirable option than the traditional office set up. The relative freedom, lack of overhead, and ever-increasing financial support that comes with home-based businesses means starting your own business is easier that ever.

But how do you run a business from home? What do you need to keep in mind?

How do I run a business from home?

Can I run my business from home?

Some businesses will invariably be easier to run from home than others; if you are planning to run an accounting firm from home, you are going to need much less workspace than if you were running a homemade crafts or catering business, for example.

You might want to work from home for a better work/life balance, or to provide childcare while you work. You need to ascertain if your business will be effective while doing this.

The decision to run your business from home should be made not only on how much you want to work from home. But, in conjunction with your own planning that shows working from home as the right choice both for your personal circumstances, and your business.

Make sure your house can meet your business needs

With that in mind, there will be some things you need to do to make sure you are able to work from home. Now that your house is your office, a wholly dedicated workspace is vital for success – some room or part of the house that will be used only for work for a set period each day.

Splitting your home in this way has the dual purpose of keeping you focused during your workday, while still allowing you to switch off your business mind-set once the day is over. This way, you still have a part of your house to “come home to” helping to avoid mental burnout.

Preparing your home

Aside from creating a dedicated workspace in your home you might need to make changes to your property in order to accommodate your business.

The biggest thing to be aware of if this is the case is whether or not you need to apply for planning permission. Many home-based businesses won’t need this, but it’s important to keep in mind. Especially if your business relies on the delivery of stock or equipment, or you are producing something which will require additional workspace to be constructed.

You need to be aware of things like increased traffic to your home and the parking issues this could create, such as if clients come to you for meetings. You also need to consider any significant amount of noise or other environmental disruption you might create.

You will also need to consider changing the type of insurance you have. To protect your business assets, you will need business insurance – home insurance won’t cover these assets in the event of an incident.

Think if your business will cause people to be on your premises often. If so, public liability insurance is important to keep you covered. To alleviate the cost of this you are able to mark business costs and a portion of your utility bills for tax relief. The government offer some useful information on what you can claim here.

Plan for growth

This is something you would forecast in your business plan. Charting your possibility for growth early on, coupled with analysing the income of your business, will allow you to have a good idea of how much your business will grow.

Having this plan in mind will give you an idea of exactly how long running your business from home will be possible. Maybe in two years you will need far more space than you currently have, or your workload will increase to the point where you need a centralised workspace with additional employees. As your business grows, you will be able to realise when, and if, it is time to upscale your office space.

How can FSB help with my new business?

Setting up a business is a challenging venture, and setting up a business that you will run from home brings with us further unique challenges.

FSB Business Creation provides people looking to establish their own business access to a range of services designed to help and support new start-ups. These services include access to:

  • Help with company formation
  • A dedicated help and advice line
  • Insurance services
  • Payment services
  • Networking support

To find out more about how you could benefit from FSB Business Creation get in touch with a member of the team or visit our FSB Business Creation page.

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