Forget working in your pajamas…and other tips for starting a home-based business.
(NC) Working from home isn't necessarily an economic necessity, but rather it's a choice the entrepreneur makes in an effort to create their ideal business lifestyle.
A home-based business can offer many advantages such as balancing family and work responsibilities, cutting (or eliminating) commutes, and reducing expenses for office space, business meetings, meals and wardrobe.
“While the idea of getting out of the office environment and away from the rat race can be appealing, a home-based business is not for everyone,” says David Wilton, the director of small business at Scotiabank. “Before making this decision, it's important to consider if your lifestyle and workstyle are conducive to working out of your home.”
Wilton offers his advice for Canadians thinking about starting a home-based business:
Do you enjoy working alone? It canbe quite an adjustment, particularly for entrepreneurs who are used to an office environment and miss the daily social interaction with co-workers. However, home-based business owners have many opportunities to get out and meet new people. You may want to join a professional association, or turn a local coffee shop into a second office.
Determine your business lifestyle. Take an honest look at your work routines to determine where and when you do your best work. Some people need a proper office space to work efficiently and elect to set up a home work suite. Others are quite comfortable working from their kitchen table or the neighbourhood coffee shop.
Pay attention to your technology preferences, too. Are you more likely to use your mobile device to handle a majority of your tasks? Or, do you prefer to conduct important business from your desk? Honouring the way you prefer to work is another business lifestyle perk.
Find your optimal work schedule. Assess when you work your best. It may not be during the usual 9 to 5 workday. You might be a night owl, preferring to crank out the important work while your family sleeps. Or, you may discover that you work best during two-hour stretches of uninterrupted focus time peppered throughout the day. Pay attention to biorhythms too, so you can design your day to capitalize on periods of peak energy.
Separate business and personal expenses. While it can be easier to combine day-to-day business expenses with personal expenses, this will complicate your tax filing process and give your accountant a headache. A good way to stay organized is to consider using a credit card designed for small business and open a separate business bank account.
Keeping in close contact with your network of experts, like a financial advisor, and being active in professional organizations will help you to better organize your finances and cultivate a professional attitude in your home sweet home.
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