As a budding entrepreneur, working from home might feel like a dream come true. You won’t have to worry about long commutes, and you can even save on daycare expenses, right? But it may not be so simple. Take a look at this list of considerations all work-from-home entrepreneurs need to think about before taking the plunge.
When you are home, you can be distracted by events that would normally not happen in an office setting. For example, if your dog barks at the mailman, the laundry goes off every hour, or if your neighbor calls to ask you to watch her child after school, your attention is being pulled away from your work. This can lead to a lot of wasted time over the course of a workday.
To work at home effectively, you need to set boundaries. Set up a home office for yourself and set firm, but not rigid, work hours. One boon of working at home is flexibility, but you need to be careful that your time is not too flexible. If you make that mistake, you may find yourself falling behind and working into the night.
One particular distraction has to do with the youngest members of your household. If you currently have childcare for your little ones, don’t be so quick to end your arrangement. Small children require a lot of your attention, and if you plan to work from home, you need it focused on work during your set hours. You can try to get everything done while they are in school, but you may need an extra two or three hours in the afternoon after they get home.
If you want to take your kids out of daycare, consider hiring a nanny to care for them at home while you work. Another option is to work a shift opposite of your partner’s. Make sure they are able to handle all childcare while you are working.
You Will Need Your Own Equipment
When you work in an office, you normally get to use your employer’s computer, printer, paper, copy machine, and other office equipment and supplies. This is not the case when you work from home. Be sure to build room in your budget for things like printer ink, postage, and file folders. Save on office supplies by finding online deals and discounts on everything from 4inkjets promo codes to in-store coupons for pens and staplers.
The bad news about being self-employed, is you are now responsible for an additional self-employment tax. The good news is, you can take deductions for your business as allowed by the law. Count on hiring an accountant to walk you through the process of determining which deductions you can legally take, and be prepared to pay taxes quarterly. Having an organized system is the key to keeping your at-home business on track.
Becoming a work-at-home entrepreneur can be rewarding in many ways. Just be sure you plan ahead and understand what will and will not change about your situation. With foresight and a can-do attitude, you should be able to clear the hurdles that go along with starting a new business out of your home.