SoHo: small office / home office
NoHo: no to small office / home office

Home businesses are becoming more and more popular. No one seems to have exact figures on how many small businesses are operated from home. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that approximately one in five small business operators worked at home in 2006 but some earlier research indicated that there were well over 1 million people working from home – three times that rate!

All sorts of businesses are now operating out of home and people are realizing that, as long as they can create an income, there is more freedom, more time to be spent with family and friends, less costs and no more commuting. People working on mobiles and laptops in cafes are an everyday occurrence which is highly appealing to those still tied to the confinements of a traditional job and inflexible hours. But is it as ideal working like this as it appears at first glance?

There are many considerations to be taken into account to make working from home a viable option.

1. Set up your space for success

A corner of the dining room table and a dining room chair will not do. You need a proper desk and the most expensive office chair that you can afford. You are going to be sitting on it all day most days! Proper lighting is also a must and if need be, get a good desk lamp to complement the overhead lighting.

2. Equipment

Depending on what type of business you are in will depend on the equipment you will need.

At the very least, you should be investing in a good PC or laptop with an ADSL2+ or broadband connection. Laptops are probably preferable if you need to visit clients and they will definitely give you more flexibility if you wish to work from a café from time to time. However, even if you’re using a laptop you may like to invest in a larger screen for use when you are in the home office.

A combined printer/fax/scanner would also be recommended.

Your telephone requirements should also be considered here and if you are going to be making a lot of national and international calls, you may want to consider a VOIP (voice over internet provider) or Skype account to reduce those phone bills. You may also need to renegotiate your existing mobile plan.

Software including database, accounting, word processing etc also need to be considered depending on your business requirements.

3. Website

Every business, whether large or small, should have a website and that site needs to be as professional as a corporate site to be considered as a viable option for people searching the internet for products or services these days. Web sites do not need to be expensive but some kind of optimisation is a must so that potential customers can find you easily. There are many other things home business owners can do to assist their website to be found online and some of these include linking a blog to your website; article and video marketing; and listing your business on social networking sites as well as free listing sites to name a few.

4. Professional Advice

Business structure, registration, permits, insurance, accounting and contracts should all be considered early in the setting up stages of your home business and professional advice should be sought. If you don’t know how to manage your bookkeeping and accounting requirements, a contract bookkeeper should be considered so that you can easily work out how well your business is going at all times.

5. Isolation and Productivity

Dr Timothy Sharp, Author and Psychologist from The Happiness Institute says that not everyone thrives in a home environment. Many have trouble with productivity and isolation and he suggests making daily to do lists and tackling the unpleasant tasks first. He also suggests connecting online with other home business owners through social websites, virtual meetings and professional organisations and networks.

As well as productivity being a problem for some, others find it difficult to drag themselves away from the ‘office’ and the emails and end up working all day and all evening. Set hours of work need to be adhered to (as much as possible) if your new flexible home business isn’t going to be more grueling than the 60 hour + week you left behind in the corporate world.

For advice on how to run a successful home based business visit http://www.awakenyourfocus.com today.

Author's Bio: 

Judith Shuttleworth is the founder of Awaken Your Focus, a global, personal development, on-line marketing business designed to mentor and train others to have their own successful home based business. This is a high profit business with the potential for unlimited income. If you want to change your circumstances and create the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of, visit http://www.awakenyourfocus.com