The idea of working at home appeals to many people, but before you decide to start a home-based business, there are a few things to consider. Launching a business in your home could be ideal, depending on the space you require and the nature of your work. You should make sure that this arrangement suits both your personal and professional needs.
You may be drawn to the advantages of working from your home. After all, it is cheaper than renting more space. You may also be able to claim tax deductions when you use your home as a place of work (for example, a portion of property taxes, utilities, repairs and maintenance, home insurance and a portion of your mortgage interest or rent). You could avoid a commute and perhaps be able to set flexible working hours.
However, running a home-based business is not for everyone. Ask yourself a few questions to determine whether having a home-based business is right for you:
- Will working on your own suit your personality? Some people prefer to be in the company of colleagues.
- Do you have the self-discipline to motivate yourself, even when business is quiet?
- Will you encounter difficulties in setting boundaries between your personal life and your business role? Will you face interruptions from family and friends?
- Are there any legal or health restrictions that pertain to working out of your apartment or house?
- Is there enough room for any special equipment or extra help?
- Will there be room to expand if need be? How will you address this when the time comes?
When you decide you are ready to launch your home-based business, these suggestions might make the process easier:
- Review provincial and federal health, safety and taxation regulations.
- Check municipal by-laws and determine whether your area is zoned for operating a business, particularly if you plan to deal with the public or have non-family-members working out of your home.
- Designate a specific area of your residence as your workspace (as removed as possible from the ebb and flow of your household activities).
- Try not to let chores or other distractions take you away from your work and interrupt your productivity.
- Avoid letting the less formal setting interfere with your professionalism.
- Be available to your clients by keeping a consistent schedule and getting back to them in a timely fashion.
- Be aware that some home-based business opportunities may be fraudulent.
- Work-at-home opportunities
Beware of home business opportunities that seem too good to be true!
- Setting up your home office
When you work from home, it's important to have a space that is comfortable and functional. Take the time to ensure your home office meets your needs.
- Ottawa Home-based Business Guide
Find out more about starting or growing a home-based business.
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