If you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and have a great idea for a small business, you may be worried about the cost of renting the space you need to run a successful company. But what if you could efficiently redesign the house or apartment you already live in and turn a corner of it into an office? We put together these tips on how to get set up and ready to launch your home-based business:
Decide on a Business Structure
If you’re renting an apartment and are planning on working from there, you need to be aware of what type of businesses can legally operate from your building’s premises. Check with your landlord to ensure you’ll be able to work from home before starting on your entrepreneurial journey, in case you need to add the cost of renting office space to your start-up costs and monthly expenses.
Once you’ve established that you can legally work from home, choose a business structure based on what you’re offering, what kind of liability is associated with your activity, and who your clientele or target market is. For many people, the LLC model is the ideal choice. You get the tax advantages and asset protection that aren’t afforded to sole proprietors. You’ll feel more at ease knowing that your personal assets are protected in the unlikely event your business is ever involved in a lawsuit. On the other hand, your situation may be better suited for an S corp, which offers tax savings to the self-employed and gives business owners the option to deduct losses on their taxes. You can learn more about how to start an LLC in Texas and setting up an S corp in Texas by utilizing online resources.
Establish a Home Workspace
Even if all you need to do business is a laptop, make sure to clearly delineate your working space from your personal space in order to prevent burnout. You may be loving what you do as an entrepreneur, but it takes hard work and long hours to become successful, and you’ll want your home to function as a quiet and tranquil retreat at the end of a long day.
Make use of houseplants on shelving units or on a credenza to provide a natural partition between your work and your personal life. Adding natural elements to your decor will not only beautify the space: plants are also known for their health benefits, such as purifying the air and reducing stress and anxiety. And if you’re concerned about noise pollution (whether you need a quiet place to work, or you’re worried about the noise from your equipment potentially bothering your neighbors), seek approval from your landlord before adding insulation to the walls and windows.
Organize Your Office
Start by decluttering the room where you plan to put your desk to get a better idea of how much space you’ll have to conduct business. Besides making a room feel small and crowded, visual clutter can distract you from your work and even leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. So try to get rid of as many superfluous items as you can when designing your workspace. Investing in vertical shelves or tall bookcases will help you save valuable space in your apartment. Again, make sure to check with your landlord what you’re allowed to do in your rental before installing permanent shelving units on the walls.
When your space is limited, you’ll have to come up with a good office organization system to avoid mixing personal and professional files and documents. Find an attractive filing cabinet that will complement your decor to put all that paperwork out of view. And try to keep your office equipment out of view as well while you’re “off duty”: this will help you better separate work and personal time, and will make it easier for you to relax.
There’s never been a better time to start a home-based business. Even if your space is limited, you can find clever solutions to set up shop in your apartment while still being able to enjoy your downtime at home. All you have to do is elect a business structure, carve out the right workspace, and implement an organizational system. You can be up and running in no time!
Join the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to connect with and learn from other local entrepreneurs.Image via Pixabay