October 24, 2018 | By Peyton Sawyer
Running a small business from home can have several advantages. Being your own boss and working from home can save money on commuting, purchasing work attire, and even eating out. Along with the money-saving aspect, you can also benefit from setting your own hours, avoiding bad weather, and even listening to tunes that help to promote a stress-free environment. However, while there are many joys to working from home, there are some challenges as well.
These challenges can be avoided with some planning and discipline. Take a look at the essential tools required to run a small business from your home with ease.
Create a Separate Business Account
Running any business will require you to spend a certain amount of money. It is smart to separate your personal expenses from your business expenses. It will allow you to easily purchase items needed to run your business and have a clean and clear record of what was spent. You can do this by opening a business checking account, a business line or credit, or a business credit card.
Utilize Expense Reports and Expense Tracking Apps
There are several expense tracking methods that can be used to assist in the operation of your home business. Microsoft Office provides access to Excel. Create a spreadsheet to help track your monthly expenses. Using this tool will help you to review your monthly expenses, as well as determine where to cut costs or increase spending.
You may also find the option of expense tracking apps very useful. While there are many apps to choose from, some are more efficient than others, and some may provide free service, while others have a monthly fee. Simply do your research before deciding what app will work best for your small business.
Use Social Media Tools to Engage or Manage
Social media tools are used in all areas of business, whether you are working from home, in a brick and mortar location, or in every industry you can think off. Social media has many benefits, most of them free, so taking advantage of the benefits they offer is a no-brainer.
Working from home with no human contact can be quite lonely. Using social media tools to connect to the community is a great way to fight loneliness. There are forums that were created for at home professionals like you: involve yourself. It is a great way to bounce ideas off others working in your industry or to find out about business opportunities or events in your area. It may even be a way to strike up a friendship that could lead to a companion for trade shows or conferences.
By using social media, you also have the option of managing your business profile for free. Encourage a more in-depth look at the products you carry and the service you provide by advertising and interacting with customers on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more. It is a great way to keep customers interested.
Create a User-Friendly Business Website
The success of any business is determined by many factors, but one key ingredient to creating a profitable business today is investing in a business website. It can be used to promote your business, whether you sell products or provide a service. It allows potential or existing customers to have a reference point.
While there are many ways to create a free website on your own, it's not recommended. The more professional and secure your website appears, the more confident consumers will feel, but hiring a programmer to set up your website can be costly. It's a good idea to take a look at your working capital before starting the process. You may want to set a budget for yourself so that you don’t overspend. If you need assistance in gathering the funds to get your website up and running, take a look at the benefits of small business funding. It may be just want you need to grow your business.
Take Advantage of Every Possible Tax Write Off
Working from home has a few more tax benefits then you may be aware of. Yes, you can write off your business expenses, but you can also claim a portion of your home expenses for tax credit. Since you are working from a home location, a portion of your rent/mortgage, water, gas, electric, and phone/internet service can be used as a tax write off.