5 Things Your Home Business Should Not Be Without
Many people get tunnel vision when it comes to their home businesses and they focus all their energy on their bottom line. They sit down at their computers or wherever they create their products or services and they forget about everything else. You can’t blame them. Profits are one of the most important things in business, but there are five other things a home business owner should never forget.
Every business needs a brand, even if it’s a home-based entity run by one person only. Brand is what gets a business to the forefront of its niche, and it’s also how customers, both current and future, identify the business. Branding has become a marketing obsession in the 21st century, and with good reason. Most people research and shop online. It’s easy to get lost in your competition if you don’t have an identifiable brand to set you apart. For example, when it comes to athletic wear, do you think of Nike or Adidas? Nike, most likely, because you can identify the athletic wear company by a swoosh.
2. Dedicated Space
Every business needs a dedicated space, too. If your home-based business is woodworking, you already have dedicated space in your shop, but what about those who work on computers all day. Do you kick back on the couch with your laptop and work with the television on? Having a dedicated space for your business is important for two reasons: One, productivity and two, taxes. More on taxes below. People who fail to have dedicated office space for their home-based business have a tendency to work less efficiently because they are often distracted and don’t feel as if they’re actually going to work.
Your home-based business also needs business insurance coverage. No matter what you do at home, you have business equipment. Whether its machinery in the garage, cooking equipment in the kitchen, or your computer, printer, and scanner, everything should have proper insurance coverage to prevent your business from taking a loss. If you aren’t sure of the business insurance you need, talk with a representative from a local insurance agency. Discuss in detail what you do. He or she will be able to recommend the best policy to make certain your business is protected no matter what happens.
Some home-based businesses also require proper licensing and bonding. This is one area in which you should never skimp. If you are required to carry a business license and/or bond and you fail to do so, you might find yourself in hot water with your local and state authorities. To find out if your business is one that should be licensed, contact your city, county, and state government licensing agencies and explain what you do. They will tell you if you are required to license and bond your business. They will also make you aware of any special insurance requirements to keep you running within all legal requirements.
5. Tax Deductions
Finally, your home business is entitled to tax deductions just as a major corporation is, maybe not as many deductions, but you should still take advantage of what you can. This is where the dedicated office space comes in, among other deductible expenses. You can claim a tax deduction for your home office space if it is, indeed, a home office space. You can also claim deductions for your expenses, equipment, mileage, and other things related to your business. Don’t sell yourself short at tax time and owe Uncle Sam more than is necessary. Claim any and all deduction to which you are entitled.
These are just five things no home-based business should be without. Starting a business takes grit and self-confidence. Don’t sell your business short. It’s a business, even if it is out of your home.
Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash