These days, more entrepreneurs choose to start and run their businesses from home. According to statistics, home-based brands account for 50% of all businesses in the United States. Also, up to 69% of startups are home-based.
One of the main reasons why many startups prefer to work from home is because it’s cost-effective. You don’t have to worry about office rental or utility bills. But just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.
There are many ways to protect your home-based business. Here are four ways to do so
1. Invest in a Reliable Security System
If you’re you’re running a home-based business, your home office is your place of work. This is where you store all your important files, documents, and other valuables. This area can also be a common space where you talk with your clients and work with your staff.
Since your home is now a place of your residence and business, it pays to invest in a reliable home security system. Failure to do so could result in a break-in, leading to the theft of your critical business documents or equipment. Thankfully, many local companies now offer affordable home security systems with alarms, access control, and wireless features that are easy to maintain.
A dependable security system can help you protect your home office against burglars and other threats. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your business is safe when you’re away from home. So, do your research, find a provider with great reviews, and invest in a quality security system for your home office.
2. Get Professional Email Addresses
A brand’s email address is one of the first things customers and clients notice. That’s why having a professional email address that represents your business well is essential. Simply creating a business email from a free email service can make your business seem unprofessional.
Instead, you should use a domain-based email address. This will give your business more credibility and authority and make it easier to remember. Doing so will also make your business look more professional, keep your personal and business email accounts separate, and avoid any potential confusion or mix-ups with your email communications.
For example, instead of using a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo, get a custom email address with your business name (e.g., [email protected]). You can sign up for a business email hosting service like G Suite or Microsoft 365. These services usually come with a monthly fee, but they’re worth it if you want to make your business look more professional.
3. Use a Separate Business Bank Account
Keep your personal and business finances separate when running a business from home. This will make it easier for you to track your business expenses and manage your finances effectively. This will also help you avoid personal liability if someone sues your business.
One of the best ways to keep your personal and business finances separate is using a different business bank account. This will allow you to deposit all your business earnings into one account and make all your business payments from this account. You can also get a business credit card to make it easier to keep track of your business expenses.
Keeping your personal and business finances separate will help you stay organized and avoid any potential legal problems down the road. This will help you avoid personal liability if your home-based business is sued. This is since any debts or legal issues will be associated with your business, not with you as an individual.
A separate bank avoids for your business also makes tracking your business expenses and managing your cash flow easier. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you’re making a profit from your business. You can use a business expense tracking spreadsheet or app to keep track of all your business-related expenses, including fuel costs, office supplies, and advertising costs, making it easier to make business decisions in the future.
4. Obey Zoning Laws
Zoning laws are put in place to protect residential areas from commercial businesses. These laws can vary from state to state, but they typically dictate where and how companies can operate in residential areas.
If you’re running a business from home, you must follow local zoning laws. Failure to do so could result in a fine or even the shutdown of your business.
Contact your local planning and zoning department to find out the zoning laws in your area. They will be able to tell you what types of businesses are allowed to operate in your neighborhood and what type of permits you need to obtain. This enables you to avoid any potential legal problems down the road.
For instance, some home-based businesses, such as daycare facilities, need a special permit to operate. Others, such as home-based bakeries, may need to follow specific guidelines, such as not selling baked goods to the general public or only selling them from your home. By following your local zoning laws, you can ensure that your business operates within the bounds of the law.
Running a business from home can be a great way to save on overhead costs. However, there are some crucial measures you need to keep in mind to protect your brand and home office. With the help of this list, you can make sure that you’re taking the necessary precautions to avoid any legal or financial problems down the road.