Home businesses have long been popular. They’ve been around since the days of artisan bakers and crafters, and now with the advent of the internet, there’s been an explosion in the level of choice that a home businessperson faces. From trading online to working as a marketer, there are plenty of routes that you can go down.
However, there are downsides too, such as loneliness and a lack of space. Looking after the administrative side of things can also be a problem, and there are many different things to remember when it comes to compliance. This article will explore these problems, and suggest some ways that a new or established home businessperson can expand their offer and do as well as they can in this sphere.
Many people who choose to run a business from home do so because they like their own company, or because they want to opt out of the traditional workplace structures in some way. While that’s all well and good, there can certainly be times when it becomes lonely: spending all day, every day in front of a screen or working on a project with nobody to share it with can soon become difficult.
Some home-based entrepreneurs choose to deal with this by going to a co-working or similar space, where they can find likeminded people who are in the same boat. Others decide that they want to continue working from home but that they will make more of an effort to get out.
While the dream of working from home might be to have a huge garden and a summerhouse specifically for work, that’s not the case for most people. For many, working from the kitchen table or at a tiny desk is a more accurate version of the case! If your business can be operated entirely from a laptop computer, this might not be so bad – but for people who need more space to make things, cook things, craft things or something else, this can be difficult. It’s wise to consider this before you set up your business, and to do some practice first.
However, you may have to look into hiring a studio if you’re in a position where your business has outgrown its surroundings, or even reconfiguring the rooms in your house. If you have a spare bedroom with only occasional guests, for example, clearing out the bed and choosing to use it as a workspace could be a good investment in your business’s future.
The admin burden
People who run home-based businesses don’t have the luxury that most standard employees have of letting the payroll team or the finance department manage their tax affairs or similar. Instead, those who work independently have to either outsource their tax affairs, accounts and compliance – or do it all themselves. The good news is that there are lots of options open to you here.
You can, for example, choose to use an umbrella company, which in effect manages all of the tax and administration issues for you, for a small fee: this may seem confusing at first, so you should ask the umbrella experts if you’re not certain of how to proceed. Alternatively, you can register as a sole trader and use the self-assessment portal on the HMRC website to inform the government of what you’ve earned and to ensure that you’re paying all of the correct tax. While hiring a fleet of chartered accountants might not be the most efficient way to meet your requirements, it’s still worth considering hiring just one accountant on a part-time basis in order to ensure that you’re covering all the bases.
Working from home and running your own business can be one of the most liberating experiences of your life, especially if you’re someone who isn’t at home in a regular nine-to-five office environment. However, there are lots of potential drawbacks to doing so – ranging from all the administration that you’ll have to do, to dealing with operating what could become a very successful business in a tiny space. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and as an entrepreneur looking to find a solution, you’re sure to be able to take your home-working experience to the next level in one way or another.