Setting up a fully remote business at home is a great way of enjoying ownership of your work life and income, but it doesn’t come without its trials and tribulations that need careful consideration before you take the plunge.
Simple things such as having the space to run a home based business needs thought as well as the intricacies of the business itself. Here is a list of the most essential things needed to get your home business up and running.
What Will Your Remote Business Be?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of businesses that can be set up remotely and some will require more effort than others. You need to carry out extensive research before you set up the business to ensure there is a demand for what you’ll be offering, and you know who your competition is.
Another consideration is how much time your business is going to take up. If you have another job or children, will you be able to balance running a business from home as well?
There are many businesses that can operate on your terms such as cosmetic sales or babysitting whereas, if you set up a more traditional 9-5 business such as being a virtual PA, you won’t have as much flexibility.
Creating Space and Structure for Your Remote Business
One hurdle that many people have to overcome when setting up a remote business is creating a dedicated space to work from if required. The best scenario for this is to have a separate home office that you can divide work from home life.
Even if you can operate from the sofa with your laptop, it’s a good idea to have somewhere separate to keep a work-life balance. Even if you don’t have the luxury of an office, one consistent space in an area of the house may help to keep that balance. If possible, working from a light and minimalistic space will help concentration while working.
As well as where your workspace is and how it looks, it needs to be appropriately equipped to maintain your health and make your life easier. From a health perspective, it’s important that you have a chair that has lumbar support and is comfortable and any laptops or monitors sit at eye level so that you don’t injure your neck.
Office supplies and appropriate computer software are the next essentials on the list which will allow you to run your business efficiently and professionally. Having software such as Microsoft Office and Excel will allow you to keep on track of any orders and invoices that you need to create and send to clients or customers.
Alongside this, ensuring you have office supplies such as printers, printer ink cartridges from specialist suppliers such as TonerGiant and paper means you’ll be able to do everything from home, which is great if you have children or are working in the evenings when supply shops may be closed.
If your remote business has more than one employee, then you’ll need to consider technology that allows you to communicate remotely. Remote working is more common due to the coronavirus pandemic and video conference calling software such as Zoom and Teams is becoming increasingly popular.
Having a shared space to save important documents such as OneDrive or Cloud is also a good idea to ensure your employees have protected access to files as and when they need it. Software that can help manage projects and track time may also help in a remote environment.
Managing Your Books and Notifying the Right People
The luxury of being employed means that you don’t really have to sort out your taxes or any other employment paperwork – they do the majority for you. When you are running your own business, managing your money and paperwork is an important and necessary part of setting up and running a business remotely.
Firstly, in the UK you need to inform HMRC and register your business to ensure you are paying the correct taxes on your earnings (or the IRS in the US). Someone else who will need to know about your home business if your mortgage provider if you own your home and your home insurance company as there are often conditions in the terms around having a business registered and run from your address.
If you have another job then it is also a good idea that you let your boss know so that they are aware of anything you are doing outside of work hours that could affect you while you’re at your usual employment.