For many people, running a business from their own home will always be the goal. The idea of a zero-hours commute and the simplicity and comfort of working from your own environment has eternal appeal, and there’s no doubt that home-based businesses make even more sense as a result of recent world events. For the most part, everything that entrepreneurs believe about running a business from home is true, and most find that the switch to home-based working suits them very well indeed. However, to fully optimize and get the most from a home-based business, all of the following should ideally be in place… 1) A dedicated working space While it’s theoretically possible to work from any available space in your home, most people running home-based businesses find that a dedicated workspace is far preferable. Setting up a home office, or dedicating part of a room as office-only use, allows for more effective separation of “home” and “work” time. 2) Larger electricity, gas, and water budget. When you spend every day at home rather than at an office or other workspace, your utility bills will inevitably rise – and often fairly significantly. As a guideline, increase your budget for all utilities by at least 50% when you first start running your business from home; you can then raise or lower this amount as you get a better idea of what your actual usage will be. 3) Separate finances. This point is related to the above; while you will be incurring additional costs on your household bills, these costs will actually be attributable to your business rather than your household. As a result, you’ll need to have completely separate finances so that you can configure your budget appropriately, separating out the percentages that need to be funded from your household income and which are business expenses. 4) An understanding of tax implications Another financial aspect to consider is tax matters for those running a business from home and, particularly, what you can and can’t claim in terms of deductions. This US News article has a useful overview of the available options, though it’s always worth speaking to an accountant to be completely sure of what applies to your business. Also you need to check contractor taxes details if you are working as an independent contractor. 5) A virtual address and mailbox Business owners often need to publicize their address as a standard requirement when running their business; addresses are found on letterheads, the company contact information on the website, contracts, and much more besides. The business address also has a practical purpose in terms of receiving mail and packages. Both publicizing an address and receiving mail there is fine if you’re working from a dedicated business premises, but can be far more problematic if your business address is also your home. In order to both protect the privacy of your home address and ensure your home does not become inundated with business mail, opt for a virtual address from the likes of PhysicalAddress and use this as the main contact and mailing point for your business. 6) Back up technology Most companies that are home-based are usually heavily reliant on technology, which is, of course, absolutely fine – when that technology is working as it should. However, a laptop breakdown or a glitching printer can quickly interrupt your workflow, and – unlike in a standard office environment – it’s not possible to simply borrow someone else’s tech in order to complete a task. As a result, ensuring you have good quality backups for all the tech that you rely on to run your business is imperative; then, if a problem does develop, you can just switch over, keep working as planned, and then troubleshoot the problem with your primary tech when you have the chance. In conclusion It’s reasonable to assume that home-based businesses are very much the future, so whether you’re considering moving your established business into your home or starting a brand-new endeavor, ensuring all of the above are in place should prove to be very beneficial indeed.