Running a home business is something that many people long to do. For working parents, in particular, it can be life-changing as it provides freedom and flexibility that may not otherwise be available. Here are 5 things you should do when starting a home business.
Make sure your broadband speeds are adequate
If you have an existing broadband connection, make sure that it is fast and reliable enough to cope with the volume of work that you will be doing. If it isn’t a decent speed, it could impact your productivity.
Ensure you have adequate heating and lighting
This is particularly important if you have staff working from your home as you must comply with health and safety regulations in terms of facilities. Make sure that your heating is set to a reasonable temperature and have your boiler serviced annually.
If you have oil heating, make sure your oil supplier is contracted to top up your tank at regular intervals to ensure you don’t run out. It is also essential that your home office space is adequately lit. If this is not the case, you must provide additional lighting to comply with regulations.
Form good relationships with suppliers
Forming good relationships with suppliers can make a world of a difference to any home business. If you find that your suppliers are performing well and are reliable, stick with them. Whilst you might be able to save a few pounds here and there switching, loyalty can pay in the longer term.
Most suppliers will price match if they think they will lose a valuable customer, so it’s worth asking for a reduction in unit costs if the need arises.
Ensure supplies are regularly stocked
Make sure that your day to day supplies are replenished when needed. If you use branded stationery, for example, there may be a few weeks lead-in time for production and delivery. Make sure you keep an eye on things and order in advance. Similarly, with any product stocks you may need, don’t put yourself in a situation where you could run out and lose valuable sales.
Stick to a schedule
Whilst it has many benefits, working from home also comes with some pitfalls. It is very easy to get caught up with personal matters during work time. You might be tempted, for example, to stick a washing on whilst having a tea break, or catch up on some vacuuming when you lose focus.
This can affect productivity, so try not to fall into that trap. Before you know it, habits will form, and instead of working, you will be catching up on the latest episode of your favorite soap opera! Create a formalized work schedule and stick to it.
If, for example, working every day 9 until 3 is what you need to do to meet deadlines, then be strict about it. It will benefit you and your business in the long run. You can catch up on errands and chores once your working day has finished.