by Greg Evans on 11/07/12 at 9:48 am
The rising cost of living these days has started a lot of people thinking about running a business from their home. There is the added convenience of cutting out the daily commute, and now that most things can be done online there seems every reason to give the idea serious consideration. But is a home-based business in fact a smart move?
To answer this question, you will need to evaluate your business needs and the way that they will be able to integrate with the residential context. The fact is that some businesses are not going to work well from home and others won’t work at all. It should be obvious that any business which has an industrial slant will be impracticable. If your business is likely to attract large numbers of clients coming and going then this will likely also not sit well with the neighbours.
Importance of a workspace
Assuming that your business can be relocated to a residential setting, then, let’s consider what you will need to maximize your productivity. First off, you will need to find a suitable workspace that allows you to work comfortably and without distraction. You should set aside an area which is quiet and has adequate lighting.
Having the right resources
You will also need to equip yourself with the right resources. If your business is office-based then a computer with a reliable internet connection is absolutely essential. Does your business require you to copy documents? A scanner might be another valuable addition to the home office.
Do you need a desk or storage cabinets in order to run the business? You will need to find sufficient space for all of these items so some office planning will need to be done before launching into your new venture. There is nothing worse than finding that your workspace is too cramped and ending up with an office in chaos.
Establish set working hours
Once you have your workspace organized and ready for business, you will need to give some thought to work hours. The times at which it is optimal to get down to work may be regulated by your home’s domestic rhythms. Remember, your family will also expect to use the house so this is an important consideration.
Mornings are likely to be more productive, but factoring in such things as gardening services may form a part of your work schedule. There is also the tendency to do work without regard to proper timekeeping. This approach may result in inefficiency and undue fatigue. You should therefore establish set working hours and should also plan for hours off.
If your business grows, or if you require an assistant, you will need to find a workable arrangement that allows for this addition. So while a home business might be a great idea, you will need to devote time to planning and developing a system that will work for you and your business. By getting the formula right, there is no reason why you can’t run a dynamic and efficient business from home.
Greg Evan’s is the manager of the academic department of GetSmarter, a and online education company. GetSmarter works together with University of Cape Town to present short courses in small business management, project management, internet marketing, financial management and more. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @getting_smarter View more articles by Greg Evans.