In the digital age, almost anyone has the ability to set up their own business. Admittedly, the entrepreneurs with their heads screwed on are far more likely to make a success of it, but it opens up the opportunity to others who may have previously been financially unable.
To run a home business you may need as little as a computer. Depending on the type of company you run, you could be set up within days. However, it is advisable to ensure there are things in place first. Here are some tips to help your business succeed when it is up and running.
Remember that your home insurance might not adequately protect you when running a home business. For example, while home cover might protect your structure from flood damage, it may not cover your business losses when your place of work is suddenly out of order.
So, getting business insurance is the first essential step to protect you in your new home business venture. Depending on what you opt for, you should protect all equipment used as part of your business stock and also cover for loss of income. It is not worth running the risk where your livelihood is concerned, after all.
Set up a website
A great way to get your business trading from the offset, is to build an online presence, which starts with a website. If your business is based at your home, you will automatically lose the advantages a shop may give you, such as a sign and any shop-front advertising. So you must make up for this with a good website, advertised well online and ready to go as soon as you launch your business.
Use online accounting software
With running a business comes the responsibility of organising your accounts, invoices and payroll. This is no different than if you were set up in an office or a shop. HMRC will want to see a tax return and your staff – if you have any – will want to be paid.
There is online software available to help you deal with your accounting needs. This includes keeping receipts, setting up invoices and setting up pay. A quick search online will bring up a software package suited to your needs.
Use networking where possible
When you are based at home, it is easy to lose touch with the business world. It requires an extra effort to stay in touch and this will be vital to the successful running of your business. Having a presence online by using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will only go so far; it is well worth considering going to networking events, where you can meet like-minded business people and try to secure new customers.
Keep home life separate
Being at home naturally puts people into relaxation mode. However, this is bad news if you are trying to run a business. Either set yourself strict working hours and stick to them, or run your company from a different room or section of your home. This way you will know when you should be in business mode and will be away from family distractions.