For many mothers, the idea of working from home represents the best of both worlds. You can still bring in an income to help with household expenses, yet you’re also available whenever your children need you. If you’re interested in setting up your own home business, the following steps can help you get there.
Create an Office Space
One of the most important things you’ll need for your home business is an office space. Ideally, your office will be a private room in the house where you can close the door if you need privacy. This will also help you create boundaries so you’re not tempted to do work during family time or take care of household chores when you should be working. If you don’t have an extra room in the house, consider putting up room dividers around a corner to create some privacy for your office.
No matter where you set up your office space, you’ll need basic furniture such as a desk, filing cabinet, and bookshelf. Depending on what type of home business you plan on running, you might also need to invest in other office products, such as a printer, printer paper, notepads, pens, pencils, a stapler, and paper clips.
Check for Necessary Licenses
While your home business likely doesn’t face the same laws and regulations as a large corporation, you do need to see whether your business requires any special licenses to operate. Some businesses, such as a home-based childcare center, require special occupational licenses. If you have to file tax forms to report your business income, chances are good you’ll also need a state business license.
Finally, some counties, cities, and even homeowner and condominium associations have restrictions on using residential property for an income-producing activity. Make sure you check for any such restrictions before you start your home-based business.
Create Your Work Hours
One of the advantages of setting up a home business is that you can decide what your work hours are. Often, this means you won’t have the same hours as a traditional workday. If you’re a morning person, you might find it better to wake up before everyone else to get some work done. On the other hand, if you’re a night owl, you might get your best work done when the rest of the house is asleep.
Set Up Professional Voicemail
Since you might not always be at your desk to answer the phone, it’s a good idea to set up a voicemail account to catch any missed calls. If you don’t want to pay for a separate business phone line, you can create a professional voicemail message on your personal phone. Whether you decide to use a separate line or your personal line, phone providers like T-Mobile make it easy to get started with voicemail instructions that are quick and easy.
Consider Business Liability Insurance
Accidents and mistakes can happen, and sometimes the best way to protect yourself and your business is with business liability insurance. If you’re providing professional services to others, professional liability insurance can protect you from liability due to negligence, malpractice, omissions, and errors. If you’re selling a product, product liability insurance can protect you if someone is injured while using your product. Additionally, general liability insurance can protect your business from claims involving property damage and injury.
Get Help From Others
Even though you work from home, you might find yourself in situations where you need outside help with your children. Whether you have an important deadline or numerous calls you need to return, don’t feel ashamed to get help from others on very busy days. Letting your children spend the day with grandparents, a babysitter, or at daycare will give you the uninterrupted time you need. If you know other working moms, you can even work together to arrange playdates when one of you needs the extra time to work.
While starting your own home business can be a big change in your life, it can also be very rewarding for your family. Keep these steps in mind if you decide you’re ready to set up your home-based business.