Small Business IDEAS to Run from Home
Having a dedicated work space in the home makes it easier to calculate business write-offs.
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Approximately 52 percent of small business owners choose to operate from home, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. The benefits include low startup and maintenance costs, and the convenience of no commute to the office. The more efficiently you run your small business from home the more value you can receive out of the arrangement.
Replace Business Machines With Online Services
A traditional office has a number of physical business machines needed to operate the company. That includes fax machines, copy machines and printers. But when you run an at-home business you may not have the space required for a traditional setup. Trade in business tools, supplies and machines for online services whenever possible. For instance, an online faxing service eliminates the need for the machine and printing paper that you must store in your office. If you run a business that requires you to print posters and marketing materials for clients, hire an online printing service instead of producing these materials in your office.
One issue that you may experience when running a small business from home is distraction. That includes distraction from family members who live with you, friends who call and disrupt you, and television. You must make it clear to others that you are on duty, so one idea to help you run a small business from home efficiently is to create or purchase an official sign that states that you are open for business. Post the sign on your office door just as you would at a store. Place another sign on your work door that notifies others when you are on an important phone call in your home office. If you work in an open room that gets traffic from your family, purchase a divider panel. This panel separates the room so that you can clearly establish a working area. Establish a separate business and personal phone line as well. Shut off your personal phone line during work hours so that you can operate your business more efficiently.
Create Functional Work Area
If you employ others at a small home business, it is even more crucial to prioritize functionality when organizing your work space. Think of each working area as a unit or cog in the wheel that helps keep your office operations rolling efficiently. First, provide each worker with his own functional desk unit that contains a desktop shelf, cabinets for storage, and ample desktop space (See Resources). This way you can reduce the number of storage units and shelves needed in your home office. Establish work tables if necessary where workers can come to complete special projects or have quick meetings. Line up your desks and tables containing business machines along the walls in an assembly line format. For instance, if workers frequently have to print then present reports to a specific employee in your office for review, place the printer table on the same wall as that person's desk.