It’s a harsh fact, but over 50% of new businesses fail within the first five years. That’s why if you decide to become your own boss, the lower your overheads, the better. To help you out, here are some tips about setting up home businesses while keeping overheads super-low.
Home office or rented office?
Do you need a rented office?
Just because you work from home doesn’t make your business any less serious. In fact, it could be a smart move (at least in the early days).
Although you could work from your kitchen or the sofa, it’s easy to get distracted. That’s why we recommend setting up a dedicated working space where you can focus on business.
Keeping things simple
Some businesses can be run with just a laptop and phone. The paperless office has done away with the need for stationery, which means you don’t need much storage space.
Of course, if your business involves selling physical products, you’re going to need some storage space. That doesn’t mean costly offices, though; you can just as easily use your garage, spare room or shed if you have one.
How to communicate cheaply
Setting up a separate business landline will avoid the issue of work calls on your home phone, but that will also be costly.
Either use a dedicated mobile (there are plenty of good contract deals available to keep costs down) or internet services like Skype. There are always texts, tweets, WhatsApp and, of course, email to help keep your costs to a minimum.
Business bank accounts
Some people choose to set up a business account from day one. However, these usually attract charges. It may be an idea to run your freelance business through an ordinary current account to start with until your business begins to grow.
Did you know you can claim back a proportion of the expense of heating and lighting your home against tax? Another great way to keep your start-up overheads as low as possible.
Setting up a simple website
You do not need to invest thousands in a website at the start. Keep it small and simple and gradually grow your online presence through content marketing, search engine optimisation and social media (much cheaper than Google’s pay per click advertising).
As your business grows and thrives, then you can invest more in your website.
Home businesses and home insurers
One thing that’s often overlooked is telling your home and contents insurer that you’re running a business from your home. Regardless of the nature and size of your business, if you don’t tell them, they may reject any claims you make, even if it had nothing to do with your business.
The final word on home businesses
Running your business doesn’t have to cost the earth. Working from home, even if it’s just for the early days, will help you keep tight control on your costs, giving you the best possible chance of success.