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Operating a business from home

There are a number of number of things to keep in mind when starting a business and operating it from home.

PAY ATTENTION TO RESTRICTIONS

If you’re running a small business out of your home, you may need tax registrations, business and occupational licenses, and permits from state and local governments in order to operate legally. Check to see that your homeowner’s association is fine with the business idea. It might have restrictions.

STAY PROFESSIONAL

Working at home can prevent you from developing workplace relationships and doing face-to-face networking for new clients. Push yourself to get out of the house regularly for lunch or meet with prospective clients or colleagues for coffee. And go to industry conferences. At the very least, make it a point from time to time to make a phone call instead of zapping off an email or text.

IMPROVE YOUR TECH SKILLS

When you work for yourself, there’s no tech support person to call when things go haywire. Consider taking a computer class at a community college or, if you’re a Mac user, at an Apple store in your neighborhood. If you need to give presentations, you should become conversant with web-based meeting programs.

AVOID DISTRACTIONS

Without a boss breathing down your neck, it’s easy to take a phone call or two from family and friends. But when you’re constantly in “interrupt mode,” it hurts your business focus. Be careful about getting pulled too often into distracting chores like laundry or childcare. Remind family members and babysitters of your work hours and explain you’ll be answering only urgent requests.

HAVE A PLAN FOR THE DAY

Without conscious decisions about how to spend your time, your day can slip away without much to show for it and that hurts your business too.

 

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