Being a home-based entrepreneur is a twofold dream come true, seeing as how A) you don’t have anyone above you and B) don’t even have to leave your home (or your pajamas) to make a living. Nevertheless, not everything is as simple or as ideal as it sounds. After all, with so many telecommuters and home-based entrepreneurs out there, why isn’t everyone living the dream? Well, there are several unwritten rules that these people might be unaware of and here are five of them.
1. Utilities are tax-deductible
The first thing you need to understand is that as a home-based business, you’re still a business and, as such, you are eligible for certain deductions. Since you’re paying self-employment tax and you work from home, a part of your household may be legally interpreted as office space. Therefore, your utilities, or at least a percentage of them that matches the space being used for these purposes, might be eligible for a deduction. On the other hand, if you have a dual-purpose room that is part-time home office, you need to understand that this doesn’t qualify.
2. Make a schedule
The fact that they’re working from home often distracts people and makes them underperform for most of the day, due to the fact that they don’t really have the feeling they’re in an office, or a workplace, for that matter. It’s extremely easy to oversleep, even during the busiest of days and to forget to include the time of the day you’re available for potential partners. As a result of the latter, you might get disturbed by a Skype call at 3 in the morning, merely because your clients/partners are in a different time-zone and have no idea when it’s reasonable to contact you.
3. Create a proper office
While it’s true that you can work in your underpants on a living room couch, in reality, not much would get done this way. Therefore, you need to find a way to create a proper office in your home. What you need is to pick the right room for the job, furnish it properly and get all the necessary equipment. In a lot of cases, a computer, a desk and a printer would suffice, but what if your line of work requires some specialized equipment, like audio equipment for podcasting? Well, in that particular situation, you might want to consider looking for available online loans that can provide you with enough capital to get started.
4. Let everyone know you’re actually working
One of the greatest problems you’ll have as a remote worker or telecommuter is explaining to friends and family that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you’re free or available. Tell your roommate that it’s not ok for them to bring in half-a-dozen people home during your work hours and tell your family that during this time, you simply can’t deal with chores or any responsibilities they intended to throw your way. Sure, working from home has its privileges and you can allow yourself to make a break at any time, but this needs to be your choice and yours alone.
5. Go out
Ambitious people, workaholics and perfectionists tend to overexert themselves regardless of what they do. As an entrepreneur behind a home-based business or a telecommuter, you’ll seldom be in physical contact with co-workers, partners and customers, which is why you need to understand just how important it is to keep your personal life alive. Failure to do so may, on occasion, even lead to depression. Start going to the gym, go out or set several nights every week for socializing with your friends and family.
As you can see, running a home-based business is far from easy since you can’t rely on a corporate structure to keep you in check. Instead, you have to learn how to exercise self-discipline and being harsh towards yourself never comes easy. Nevertheless, those who do manage to pull this off get to enjoy freedom and potential for expansion like no one else.