Running a small business from home: 3 top tips to help get you started

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If you think you need a corporate office with a boardroom to start your business, you might want to think again. Some of the biggest companies in the world started from home, such as Apple and Google. Whether you have starry-eyed ambitions to follow in the path of Apple, or you simply like the flexibility and convenience, a home-based business can offer a great opportunity to get your small business idea off the ground. Before you go and join the nearly one million Australians running a business from home, check out these 3 top tips to help get you started.

1. Create a designated workspace
Having a designated work area can help to differentiate between your work and home life. Working from home can be the best of both worlds or the worst. If you don’t differentiate where home life ends and work life begins you may lose that feeling of the home being your sanctuary. Having a physical space, e.g. study, spare room, or desk, that is dedicated purely to work will help you mentally differentiate between work life and home life. Conversely, make an effort not to use this space when you’re not working.

The time you spend working is also just as important as your workspace when creating a healthy work-life balance. While it can be tough to set “work hours” when you’re running a business from home, setting a work schedule will help with your productivity, as well as managing your stress levels. Even though “work” may be in the same building as “home”, you shouldn’t always feel like you’re at work or should be doing work.

2. Understand what type of insurance you may need
The type of home-based business you aim to set up will determine the type of insurance you need. For example, will you be making and selling products from home or purely using your home office space? There may be local government requirements, council and health regulations for certain business operations, such as the use of home kitchens – so be sure to familiarise yourself with the relevant regulations in your area. Either way, your current home and contents insurance may not cover your new business operations, so you may need business insurance cover to help. AAMI Business@Home Insurance has options for:

Public Liability Insurance, which can cover the cost of compensation if your business is responsible for personal injury or property damage. For example, if a customer or supplier is injured at your home
Theft, which can provide cover for the loss of your business contents and stock stored at home
Back in Business (business interruption insurance), which can cover business revenue if your property is damaged and your business is interrupted as a result.

3. Think about your business’ impact
Like all businesses, you need to understand the impact your business might have on the surrounding area. You should think about:

Will your business lead to an increased car or foot traffic in the neighbourhood?
Will you be operating noisy machinery?
Will you have a large energy consumption?
What are you going to do with an excess amount of garbage waste?
All of these things may impact on your own home environment and that of your neighbourhood. There may also be government requirements and regulations for certain business operations and their impacts.  

Source: AAMI
31 August 2018
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