Starting a Home Business: What You Need to Know

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

A home-based business allows you to create your own hours and not have to commute each day to an office. However, working from home is...

Starting your small business from the comfort of your own home can be a great way to create a relaxed working environment for yourself.

A home-based business allows you to create your own hours and not have to commute each day to an uncomfortable office space. However, working from home is not for everyone.

Often people dive into home-based ventures head first simply because they want to work by their own rules, and don't take the time to consider their personal work style. Some individuals thrive in situations where deadlines and boundaries are set for them and they don't have to rely on self-motivation to get work done.

Here are a few things to consider when starting your business from home.

Related: Look for small business loans to help you start your home business

Operating from Home

Not all businesses are fit to be run from a home. Depending on the type of industry you are tapping into, your business will need to fit the requirements of a home-based business. Some home businesses operate solely online, while others need space and equipment in order to produce a product for sale.

  • Location: The location of your home based business may be important for your success. If you home is far from a central city or distributor, then it may be difficult to get your product to the customer. Being too far from you manufacturer may also result in high shipping costs for your materials, which could hurt the amount of profit your product makes.
  • Neighbors: Always consider your neighbors when starting up a home business. If you are going to expect high client traffic, you neighbors might not appreciate large amounts of cars or trucks on their street. If you have loud machinery operating from your home this may also be a reason for your neighbors to complain.
  • Laws: Many neighborhoods include zoning laws that restrict what types of businesses can be run out of residential areas. Be sure that your business is in compliance with these laws and restrictions.
  • Space: Depending on what type of business you are running, you will also need to have a sufficient amount of space in your house to keep things organized. If you are going to be meeting with clients, you might need a consulting room to receive them in addition to your working office. If you will be creating a product on site you will need space for a studio or shop. Make sure your house has enough room available to keep things running efficiently.

Related: The 7 Must-Haves for Starting a Business from Home

Your Personality

Even if you have taken into account all of the physical necessities of starting a home-based business, it's still important that you assess your own character before investing. If you are going to run your business on your own time and be your own boss, be sure that you are the type of person who will remain dedicated to your business's success. If you have all of the qualities of an entrepreneur and are self-motivated, then working from home can be a very rewarding experience.

  • Work Style: Some people who work from home suffer an increase in feelings of isolation and lack of contact with colleagues. If you enjoy being surrounded by people then working on your own might not be the best option. Self-discipline is also a very important trait of people who work from home. If you can't manage you time wisely and are easily distracted by the luxuries of being at home, you will not likely get much work done. You are your own boss when you run a home-based business, and must stay motivated without someone else keeping you on track.
  • Family and Friends: Keeping work life and personal life separate when working from home can be very difficult, especially if you employ family or friends as coworkers or rely on them for funding. You have to make sure you can dedicate time to both, but be sure not to get too distracted by personal issues while working. When family or friends start to fall behind in their productivity, you need to be comfortable with having an honest business relationship with them and be able to set guidelines and restrictions.

Related: Starting a Business from Home: The Ultimate Checklist

These are all important things to keep in mind when considering starting up a home-based business. If you are passionate about a business venture, home-based or not, it's important that you understand the ins and outs of your operation and plan accordingly.

 

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