Running your business from home: top tips

Nov 20, 2021 | Business Centre

Running a business from home can prove to be a savvy decision for many reasons. It significantly cuts down costs, you can control your schedule and work around personal commitments, and there’s no annoying commute! But there are cons to consider, such as the blurring of work and homelife, and it can limit your scope for expansion too.

If you’re about to join the 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, and are thinking about running your business from home, we’ve put together some pointers to help you get started.

From networking to business storage advice, here are our top tips on running your business from home.

Create an optimum work environment

They might be called ‘kitchen table start-ups’, but whether your kitchen table really is the best place to run your business will be down to your personal situation.

You may only need a desk and laptop, but if you have children coming and going after school, or you’re distracted by pull of domestic chores, it might not be the most productive place to work. You might be better off converting the spare room or shed into an office.

Taking care to limit the impact on your neighbours will also ensure your business gets off to a good start. If you’re going to have customers or clients visiting, do you have the space to accommodate them, or will there be problems with parking and noise? If you’re holding a lot of stock and receiving deliveries, it might make good sense to hire a business storage unit to manage this aspect of your business. At McCarthy’s, we can even receive deliveries if you’re not there.

Check your insurance policy

Your home insurance is unlikely to provide adequate cover for running a business from home. Phone your insurer to find out what you’re covered for and to disclose your new situation, as failure to do so could invalidate your insurance.

You’ll need to take out business insurance to cover your stock and equipment, for example, as well as additional cover such as public liability insurance if customers will be coming to your home.

Work out your costs

Although running your business from home is certainly cheaper than renting out office or warehouse space, you’ll still have to factor certain costs in your business plan.

These can include business rates and insurance costs. It’s also worth letting your mortgage provider know that you’re running a business from home, as depending on the business, you may need their permission.

Check that your home technology is up to the job. Do you need to install a phone line? Is your broadband fast enough?  You may need to upgrade it to make it suitable for business work.

When filing your tax returns or year-end accounts, there are costs you can claim back. These include a proportion of your mortgage or rent, council tax, heating and electricity, telephone and broadband, and also any repairs to your property.

Make use of storage to expand and diversify

When you’re just starting out, running your business from home allows you to get going without making a large financial or time commitment on a lease or property.

However, if your business is going well, being at home can limit you. You might want to expand your stock, take on some employees or store new equipment that you don’t have room for at home.

Renting a storage unit can allow you to explore these options without making an expensive commitment. We have business storage in Leeds, Harrogate and Wakefield, and offer complete flexibility, with no lengthy lease agreements, so you can size up or down according to your needs.

Network and socialise

Working from home can be a lonely business. So, make sure you take time out of your day to go for a walk or have lunch with a friend to help you feel more connected with the outside world.

Remember you run your own schedule, so treat yourself to the odd afternoon or day off.

Join local entrepreneur groups on social media to find out about networking events and trade shows. and pick up the phone to speak to clients instead of relying on email.

Whether you’re looking for business storage in Harrogate, Leeds or Wakefield, we have various options to suit your needs. We’d love to help you realise your home business’s potential.

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