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There’s no place like home for a business
1:30pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
In partnership with the Solent Business Growth Network (SBGN), the Daily Echo has been featuring weekly articles featuring tips on how to get your business going from experts in Hampshire. This week SBGN trusted partner and Lymington-based accountant Peter Simpson discusses the benefits of working from home.
Working from home can be great when you’re just getting your business started, or even if you’ve been operating for years.
The potential savings in business cost and tax breaks, alongside the greater opportunities for flexibility and work life balance can be very attractive. But working from home is not for everyone and there are always things that need to be considered before you do this.
The first and hardest issue is making sure you keep focused and productive and managing distractions throughout the day. The best thing to do is work out a routine that fits your individual needs and helps you make the most of your time. The opposite issue is making sure that you can forget about work at the end of the day. Some people find it useful to dress for work in the morning and get changed later to help them keep the parts separate. Whatever your routine though, make sure you take regular breaks and completely switch off when you’ve finished. Secondly, think about your family, others you live with and your neighbours. The last thing you want to do is let your business upset those around you, so think about how to minimise the disruption of working from home. If you have a separate room to work from then try and stay contained, if you use a general living space then make sure you pack away everything when you’re not working. Try to meet with customers at their place of work or a neutral location so you don’t impact on the house too much. Networking is also a great way to get out of the house and meet with like-minded people to make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut.
Finally there are some practical issues that you need to consider. Does your house insurance cover you for home working? Do you have the right security procedures around paper and computer files to comply with the data protection act? You should also take tax advice on what household expenses you can claim because you’re working from home.
With modern technology, though, it has never been easier to set up a business from home and this has opened up self-employment to a whole new group of people.
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