A decision to work in your home is likely to impact both your personal life and your business. Even if you carefully separate the business areas of your home from the residential portions, the existence of the home office can create conflicts that you wouldn't face in an office located away from your home. Friends and family might not fully understand the implications of a home office and may need some time to adjust to the fact that you require uninterrupted work time, even though you are at home.
Factors to Consider for a Home Business
- Is a home business right for you? Is the type of business you're considering suited to a home office? How will you deal with customers, clients, and suppliers? Will friends and family expect you to provide services at reduced rates or for free? Can you work productively at home, considering all the distractions? These are questions you need to consider in the very early phases of planning your business.
- Setting up your home office: When you set up your home office, there's more to consider than just the space you will furnish and occupy. Can you safely perform the activities required by your business in a residential setting?
- Legal restrictions on home offices must also be considered. Zoning laws are intended, in part, to preserve the residential character of neighborhoods. Will your neighbors believe that your business is somehow reducing the quality of the area? Are you going to have numerous employees or clients coming and going?
- Leaving home: What circumstances might tell you that it's time to move out of the home, or to restructure your business if you don't want to move?