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Your Home Office

22 March 2012 No Comment

A decision to work in your home is likely to impact both your personal life and your business. Even if you carefully separate the business areas of your home from the residential portions, the existence of the home office can create conflicts that you wouldn’t face in an office located away from your home. Friends and family might not fully understand the implications of a home office and may need some time to adjust to the fact that you require uninterrupted work time, even though you are at home.

Factors to Consider for a Home Business

• Is a home business right for you? Is the type of business you’re considering suited to a home office? How will you deal with customers, clients, and suppliers? Will friends and family expect you to provide services at reduced rates or for free? Can you work productively at home, considering all the distractions? These are questions you need to consider in the very early phases of planning your business.

• Setting up your home office: When you set up your home office, there’s more to consider than just the space you will furnish and occupy. Can you safely perform the activities required by your business in a residential setting?

• Legal restrictions on home offices must also be considered. Zoning laws are intended, in part, to preserve the residential character of neighborhoods. Will your neighbors believe that your business is somehow reducing the quality of the area? Are you going to have numerous employees or clients coming and going?

Is a Home Business Right for You?

If you’re thinking of starting a home-based business, you have a special set of issues to consider, along with all the usual issues that must be faced by anyone who is starting a business.

Major Questions You Need to Answer:

• Is your business one which will thrive in the home-office setting?

• Will customers and suppliers want to deal with you, when you work out of the home?

• Will family, friends, and neighbors support your efforts and allow you to be productive?

• Will being your own boss be an advantage or a negative factor in your work?

• Can you look professional while working at home?

• Can you maintain a healthy lifestyle, despite the proximity of couch and refrigerator?

• What kind of work hours should you anticipate?

Setting Up the Home Office

The area of your home where you operate your business — your workplace — will have an impact on the success of your business venture. To make sure that this impact is positive, you will need to organize it so that it becomes an efficient tool of your business. Your workplace should encourage productivity when you deal with customers or clients, suppliers, family, friends and neighbors, and yourself!

Factors to Consider When Setting Up

Setting up such a work-conducive area requires wise choices of business and communication equipment and information sources, as well as accommodation to local zoning and other restrictions. And to avoid having your workplace unduly drain business profits that may not yet be there, this should all be done on a tight budget. Take a close look at:

• defining your work area
• equipping your home office
• home office safety

Legal Restrictions on Home Offices

Setting up a home office means that you work and live in the same space. You may think that your home is your castle, but the government will beg to differ with you!

Legal Rules That Impact Home Businesses

• Zoning rules are often used by local governments to bar or limit the types of businesses that can be operated in a residence.
• Federal and state government laws also regulates the types of businesses you can run from your home.

You need to consider the impact that these restrictions will have on your home business.

From: Business Owner’s Toolkit.

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