Thinking of Running Your Small Business from Home? Consider These Important Steps for Success
by Kris Louis
Despite the many setbacks from the COVID-19 crisis, home-based small businesses are growing. Nationwide, it is estimated that there are 38 million home-based businesses—proof that small businesses play a big role in both local and national economies.
No matter your industry or size, home-based businesses often share a common challenge: creating the right space to get work done. Are you starting a small business or moving your current business into your home? Not sure how to get started? Take a moment to read these tips for setting up your home-based business office.
Depending on your location, your city, county and even the Homeowner’s Association may have zoning regulations that can impact how you operate your home-based business. Generally speaking, most communities are content as long as your business doesn’t disturb your neighbors or cause difficulty with parking. But it’s still important to understand the specifics.
If the zoning laws in your current home aren’t agreeable for running a business, you may need to consider buying. Discover suggests looking at things like whether you’ll be able to install signage for your business and how affordable the property is. Be sure to consider a separate entrance if you’ll be meeting clients—good for therapists, accountants, yoga and fitness instructors. Tour homes that will give your business some space and privacy from your home life, so you can limit daily distractions and focus on a healthy work-life balance.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs need plenty of space to work. While a writing desk looks sharp and stylish, you’re probably not going to have enough space for your computer, paperwork and other equipment. And if you need to store inventory or have a place to meet with clients, you’ll want to have the space to scale. When it comes to creating the most productive workspace, you may want to look into renovating your attic, garage or spare bedroom.
If you haven’t already, consider forming a limited liability company so you apply for loans and credits that can help you finance these important upgrades. An LLC grants you access to tax breaks and means you have to file less paperwork at the end of the year, and you might even be able to use business funds to purchase property. The regulations and formation process can be a little daunting for some, but there are companies out there that can process the paperwork for you.
Just as with any business, you’ll need to figure out a design and organization that helps you focus and work productively. It’s easy to rush out at the end of a long day (and most days are long for small business owners) without first tidying up. Consider designing your home office with an organizational system tailored for you. Furniture that doubles as storage is a great way to start. And keep all your office supplies in your office so you don’t have to go hunting them down in other areas of the home.
You will want a layout that isn’t too cozy, but also makes you feel at home. Plenty of natural light and green plants will keep your mind and the air clear. A neutral color palette is calming and very inviting for clients and customers. And if your small space has big storage needs — look up! Vertical shelving can help you keep inventory close by without feeling crowded.
When it comes to creating a productive workspace, your best bet is to call on an expert Professional Organizer from Seattle Organizers to organize your space!
Before running your business from home, consider your area’s zoning regulations and your workspace needs. If you’re ready to elevate your home-based business into a new and vibrant space, talk with an experienced realtor.