With many people uncertain about the security of their regular jobs, more are now embracing the idea of a home based business. For many it’s a way to increase security of income, for others, it’s a lifestyle choice with the opportunity to be closer to the family or not having to commute to and from work for hours each day.
Some people whose jobs are made redundant will be tempted to take the plunge into self-employment, but there are many other reasons for seeking the freedom obtained by working from home.
Do you have what it takes?
Before trading in the designer pinstripe for a new set of shorts and thongs, there are a few things to consider carefully. Working from home may not be the same thing as working at home, but either way it can be a lonely existence. It may not suit people who thrive on the social contact that comes from working in an office.
Self-motivation is also critical to success. If the temptation to rise late and knock off early is too strong, or if your attraction to the golf course is too powerful, the discipline of a regular job may serve you best. On the other hand, some people are more productive when they can choose their own hours. If the creative juices are flowing at two o’clock in the morning, it’s easier to make the most of them if you work at home.
Do your research
State and federal government websites contain a wealth of advice for would-be entrepreneurs, so do your homework. Many local councils sponsor business networks that can provide you with support and the opportunity to grow your business. It’s a sad fact that a lot of new businesses don’t survive for more than a few years, so it’s important to be realistic about your own capabilities and the prospects for your intended venture. Part of your due diligence should include developing a simple business plan, if you’d like a free template, please contact one of our Business Strategy team.
Before you get excited about all of the financial perks you might enjoy by using your home as your office, talk to your accountant and financial adviser. The area of capital gains tax and home-based businesses is fraught with challenges, so don’t assume that everything associated with your new enterprise is tax-deductible. You could be in for a nasty surprise if you decide to sell your home after making a living out of it.
Take one step at a time
More affordable technology provides opportunities to develop a business with relatively little financial risk, and working from home obviously helps to keep overheads down. It is also possible to start slowly, maybe turning a hobby into a business or commencing on a part-time basis. If things go well, you’ll be more confident in cutting your ties to an external income.
Like any major decision, think it through and don’t be afraid to seek advice from people you trust.