There are many benefits to owning a home-based business, but you may find yourself questioning whether or not you can or should work from home in a rental. The truth is that you’ll likely be able to operate a home-based business out of a rental, so long as your business is not one that will disrupt the neighbours or the neighbourhood. It’s reasonable to run a small accounting business from home, but perhaps not reasonable to run a shipping company with constant visitors or large trucks coming and going.
- Regulations and Restrictions
Before starting up, ensure that you’ve looked into all rules and regulations set forth by by-laws which may affect your choice to work from your home. These may include submitting to a home visit and complying with health and safety laws, especially if you freelance in a field such as medical transcription. In some areas, you may also have to register as a business to work from home.
- Landlords Permission
Once you’ve checked all these details out, speak in detail to your landlord regarding your home-based business and address any concerns that they may have about your business. Will you have clients visiting the home for business meetings? Will you need faster Internet speeds or an additional phone lines? It doesn’t hurt to have your landlord’s permission to run a home-based business in writing.
- Your Space
Believe it or not, many people who work from home find it necessary to designate one particular area as their work-zone. Create a clean, uncluttered space away from noise and distractions in which you’ll be able to concentrate and focus. One of the main challenges of a home-based business is that of focus and self-motivation. If you create a specific workspace where you will do most of your daily duties, you create a routine of responsibility.
Be prepared to be available as often as possible. Each missed call may be a missed opportunity for you to create a new client. Between social media, email and telephone calls, you should use a smartphone to be constantly connected to your clients and their needs. It can be tempting to take advantage of newfound freedoms by cutting hours and taking afternoons off, but it is best for all new businesses to keep consistent hours of availability.
As you become your own boss, you will realize that you are your only advocate as well. You will need to ensure that you’re on the ball when it comes to non-payment and fraud, and that you know how to properly file taxes when it’s time. Remember that regular renters insurance may not cover all of your needs as a home-based business. Talk to your insurance agency to make sure that your home office is protected against damage or theft.
Allison writes with RentersInsurance.com, where you can find more information about purchasing insurance to cover you and your home-based business.