A home business is a superb way to increase your income and become your own boss. Home businesses have become increasingly popular as more and more people turn their talents and time into profits. Having your own home business can offer you great satisfaction as you develop it into a priceless investment.
You are able to enjoy the freedom that comes with making management decisions and your office is located in your home. However, starting it is not as easy as it sounds. There are disadvantages that come along with the increased income and freedom. It can mean working for long hours and because the business is at home, it can disrupt family activities.
Additionally, because you are your own boss, the success of the business will depend on your time management skills. Here are a few things to consider when starting a home business in Maine;
Research has shown that a successful business operator tends to be persistent and determined. They are creative thinkers and can fast decisions when need be. They are also flexible and are able to adapt to different business situations. A successful home business owner should be consumer-oriented, possess impeccable human relations skills and get along with all kinds of people.
One important trait you must possess as a home business owner is the commitment to make profits and ensure the success of the business. The business must be just that, a business and not a hobby. You have to devote extra effort and time to it, especially if you are just getting started.
Separating home and business
The first things to look at in regard to your home’s suitability, are privacy and space. Is there enough room in your home to carry out a business without interfering with other family activities? No matter the type of business you are getting into, you will need some space to set up an office. If you are selling products, you will need a store for your inventory.
You will also need a display area that customers do not have to walk through your living area to get to. You will need adequate parking spaces for them. Keeping your business as separate from the living area as possible is important because of the family’s privacy tax advantages.
The internal Revenue Service allows deduction of expenses related to maintaining a place of business. These deductions include utility costs, rent, furnishing and maintenance. However, they are only allowed for a place that is the principal place of business and used strictly for business intent. You will not be able to deduct them if you keep the business and living areas as one.
Arrange for a separate business phone line. This keeps your family and business telephone needs from conflicting. Business telephone rates are usually higher than the residential rates, but you are able to deduct your business telephone expenses when filing tax returns.
Legal and insurance needs
Many communities have comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances that restrict the size and type of businesses allowed in residential areas. These are meant to protect the neighbors and business operators from health and safety hazards, increased parking demands and traffic flow and any other disruptions that may come with some business activities. You should check with your clerk to find out about these types of regulations before starting a home business. Talk to the neighbors about signs and parking if your business will be bringing any kind of traffic into the neighborhood.
Also check with your insurance agent to see the insurance requirements for your business. Check with your county auditor or city clerk about inspection and licensing regulations that relate to your type of business. State laws in Maine call for some business operators like beauty and barber shops to be licensed.
Once all this is done and you are sure that there are no regulatory or legal issues that will restrict your ability to carry out your business at home, look at the compatibility of your home and family life and that of your business plan. Ask yourself questions like, “Will I manage to keep the business from getting in the way?” Can I begin my business and not make many changes in my home? Does my family approve of this business idea?” If you answer yes to all of these questions, then chances of a successful business are improved.
If you have decided to begin your home business, you have chosen to start a challenging adventure. It could be a risky one with a few bumps along the way. But careful management and sound planning will help you mitigate the risks and make the experience a pleasant and profitable one.