So, COVID has forced a lot of us to think about our priorities. Staying at home for such a long time makes us think really hard about what we want to do with out lives.
So maybe you had a dream of having your own business for a while and you're now getting serious. Or may be you were ready to do it all along but didn't know where to begin.
This is where we come in.
Here's a Guide that will lay down everything you need to know to start a business from home.
If you’re looking for a road map to making your dream a reality, this guide will walk you through a basic process, considerations and business tips for setting up a business from your home.
You’ll also get answers to common questions about the nuts and bolts of operating a home-based business — as well as guidance on where to find answers to any questions specific to your own situation, like tracking down state or local regulations and requirements.
When you finish, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to make a to-do list for setting up and running your own home-based enterprise.
If you’d like to run a business without leaving home, you’re in good company. In fact, over 50% of U.S. businesses are based in a home, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Before starting a business, it’s important to look at the big picture and ask a few key questions to determine if a home-based business would be a good fit for you.
First, consider the many advantages — as well as the disadvantages — of owning and operating a home-based business.
On the plus side, starting a business based out of your house allows you to:
Minimize the cost of overhead.
“The number one thing that will kill any business is overhead,” Wolfe says, noting that high overhead costs often pile stress onto new business owners. It can be costly to rent commercial office space and set up a phone system, internet, and other services in the space. In contrast, with a home-based business, you make use of space for which you were already paying rent or a mortgage, and you can piggyback off some services that are already in your household budget, such as home internet, he says.
Enjoy plenty of flexibility.
One big pro of running a home-based business is that your home office is just a few steps away. So if you’re a night owl whose prime work hours are from 10 to midnight, you can take advantage of that without having to drive to a commercial office and let yourself in after everyone else is gone for the day. Working from home, without set office space size and costs, also gives you the flexibility to scale up or down as needed. For example, if you grow quickly and need to contract or hire more help, you don’t have to worry about whether more workers will fit in the office space you lease. On the other hand, if business slows and you need to streamline temporarily, you’re not stuck with more space than you need.
Squeeze more work into your day.
Another plus is that you cut commuting time out of your workday, allowing you to trade minutes or hours of stress and traffic jams for focused, productive work time.“A lot of folks spend a lot of time on the roads commuting,” says Josh Braaten, CEO and cofounder of Brandish Insights, a home-based brand analytics business in St. Paul, Minnesota. “The best commute is from your bed to your desk.”
Take advantage of tax breaks.
Home-based business owners also have the ability to benefit from a tax break available only to them — the home office deduction. The tax break really helps, says Christina Disbrow, who runs her advocacy, grant writing, and fundraising company, All Write, All Write, All Write, from her home.
On the minus side, working from home can pose challenges, too — for example, having limited space in the home, difficulty separating work from family life, and issues with neighbors. So think about whether your business idea, work style, and family life are a good match for a home-based business. Some businesses and homes are a perfect fit, while others might pose too many challenges.
Here are two questions to ask, keeping in mind that there are workarounds for less-than-ideal situations:
The Guide further discusses: