One of the biggest expenses in running a business is the cost of renting a facility. Commercial buildings are often priced at a higher rate compared to residential properties. Not to mention the cost of utilities that are needed to run the business.
This brought forth one smart solution to this problem: running a business from home. In doing so, you will significantly reduce the amount of outgoing money because you wouldn’t have to pay for the monthly rent.
However, it’s important to note that there are also some challenges and risks involved in running a business from home. If you plan on using your home for your business, we wrote this article to help you prepare for what’s to come.
Common Home Business Startup Challenges
While the convenience of not having to travel far and pay for the fare and rental facility is surely tempting, using your home for business purposes is not always advantageous. That is unless you know how to overcome the following challenges.
The first and arguably the most obvious challenge of running a business from home is the lack of privacy. When you turn your house into a business center, clients and employees will be on your property most of the time. This might bring a certain level of uneasiness to you and your family, considering that you’re letting strangers into your living spaces.
One solution to this is to set boundaries and let your clients and employees know the various parts of your home that aren’t part of business operations. This is also important if you wish to maintain a work-life balance.
Now more than ever, the risk of contracting a disease from other people is more prevalent. As it was recently discovered that Covid-19 is airborne, it’s become more dangerous to interact with clients and employees. That’s why you need to make it a point to keep your place clean and disinfected. Hiring professional services for deep cleaning the office is important to ensure the safety of not just your clients or employees but your family as well.
Pedestrian and Vehicle Traffic
Whether your business is about providing services or selling products, there’s a high probability that there will be a considerable amount of pedestrian and vehicle traffic near your home. It’s important that you’re educated about your local government’s zoning and traffic regulations to ensure that you’re not breaking any laws. Furthermore, you need to ensure that your clients and employees follow the safety guidelines regarding COVID-19. Having enough parking spaces for vehicles is also important.
All commercial buildings follow strict safety measures to ensure that they are prepared for all sorts of emergencies. Even though you are running your business on a residential property, it’s still considered a business office, which means it should also have all the safety precautions of a commercial building. Make sure that your home has fire extinguishers, escape routes, and emergency-preparedness kits, depending on the number of employees you have.
If you think cybercriminals are only interested in huge companies since that’s where most of the money is, think again. Small businesses, especially those run from homes, are easy targets for cybercriminals. The first reason is small businesses do not often have a tight cybersecurity system to protect them from threats. Secondly, there are numerous small businesses all over the country, which means cybercriminals don’t run out of targets. You need to ensure that you don’t fall victim to this criminal act.
While there are many federal and state laws that protect businesses from cyber threats, employing a reliable security system will also keep your sensitive business data safe. Purchasing a cyber liability insurance plan should also be part of your budget.
Even if you run your business from home, you are not exempted from lawsuits. Personal injuries are quite common in small businesses, especially if you don’t make an effort to keep the workplace safe. Customers or employees slipping or falling in your property will result in an expensive lawsuit, and you need to be prepared for it.
That’s why you need to prioritize the safety of all the people involved in your business. Making sure that stairs, shelves, tables, and chairs are sturdy and fixed will help prevent accidents. Purchasing general and professional liability insurance plans will also help you prepare for lawsuits.
We know how hard this pandemic has been for you, and one solution you might have thought of is to run or start your business from home. While that is a brilliant idea, knowing about the challenges of this setup and learning how to face them is vital to your success.