You work from home completing projects and meeting clients. Perhaps the idea to work from home sprang from conversation around your dining room table or over drinks in the living room. However, you cannot successfully operate a home business from the kitchen table or living room sofa. You need office space to spread out papers any time inspiration hits or leave half-finished projects while you make dinner. An office space gives you an isolated spot to work without fear someone will remove your favorite pen or spill juice on your latest masterpiece.
Why Every Home Business Needs A Home Office
Even if your home business involves cooking in the kitchen or woodworking in the garage, you need a home office. Handle financial paperwork, e-mail clients, and return phone calls from a designated space supplied with the items you need. Meet with clients in a well-organized office space or find inspiration and research job opportunities between creative projects. Every home business benefits from a home office.
Where To Locate Your Home Office
Ideally, a room designated specifically for a home office creates the best environment to work, but modify any space to fit your needs. Any successful work from home career requires a minimum of a comfortable chair and basic supplies to complete your projects. As the owner of your business, you decide how much or how little you wish to spend creating a home office.
Be sure your space offers privacy and a door if possible. You need to be able to concentrate or meet with clients in a quiet, peaceful environment. Sharing space with your children’s toys or in a bedroom causes unnecessary distractions. If your office must share living space, enlist your family’s help to keep the area cleaned up and clarify which space must be off-limits to everyone but you. When you are ready to work, you do not want to search for missing supplies or spend valuable work time clearing your desk.
What You Need
Before organizing your office, write an exhaustive list of supplies you will need to successfully perform your job. Include items such as a filing cabinets, computer, printer, paper, telephone, fax, stapler, notebooks, pens, hole punch, and calculator. After you make the necessities list, determine how much space you will need in order to accommodate these supplies. You are now prepared to make space in your home for a fully stocked office area.
Choose a comfortable chair. This one well-used piece of furniture affects your physical body more than any other piece of furniture and requires careful consideration and a budget splurge. Try out multiple styles and types of office chairs, and choose one that fits your body shape, supports your spine, and encourages proper posture.
Create a desk with adequate legroom and surface space. Depending on your business, your desk needs may vary. A crate with plywood works for some home businesses while other businesses require a more sophisticated work surface. Include drawers along the side or storage containers on top to keep your supplies neat and organized.
Light your room with natural light if possible. For dark office spaces, sunlight lamps provide a replica of natural lighting. Ensure your office lighting meets your work needs and provides a cheerful ambiance for your morale and productivity.
Install phone and internet access by hiring an electrician to wire your office safely and professionally. If necessary, arrange for separate office phone or fax numbers. Order a domain name and create an e-mail account for your new business. Purchase necessary software for your business. Remember to install an answering machine to screen calls during non-office hours or when you need to turn the phone off in order to concentrate or meet with clients.
Surround yourself with supplies you use regularly. You want your home office to assist you in completing work. Supplies you use the most need to be easily accessible within arms reach. Lesser-used items may be stored on shelves or in a cabinet. Find inexpensive shelving options and storage units at thrift stores or consignment stores. Periodically assess your office and discard unused materials and clutter.
Maintain detailed expense records for your business. Tax deductions exist for office supplies, specialty supplies, electricity, and internet use for your work. Label each receipt with date of service and amount spent. Record vehicle mileage for work related errands. Take time to file these receipts in your home office for easy access during tax preparation season.
Now that you have equipped your home office with necessary supplies, you can comfortably start working from home. Meet with clients in the privacy of your home office or close the door during off duty hours. You create the office that meets your needs and assists you in successfully working from home.
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