Setting Up a Home Office

As you set up your home-based business, pay attention to family and space considerations and think beyond your initial needs. It is vital to have a separate space for your office in the house. While there are some obstacles inherent in running a business out of your home, proper planning can save you a lot of time and conflict with your family.

  • Try to select a room that is away from the high traffic areas of your home to increase productivity.

  • Your room should be of adequate size. A spare bedroom or a room in your basement should be adequate when you first start out. As you grow your business, you may need more space. It is much easier to start off with a larger office than to have to move to a bigger one later.

  • Make sure the room you select has enough outlets for all of your equipment and that you have at least one phone jack.

  • Once you have selected your space, it is time to begin filling it with equipment. Consider what you need. Visit your local furniture and electronics stores to see if there are any new solutions that will help you maximize space.

  • Establish household rules. If you have a busy family, it can be difficult to juggle your work schedule and your family time. It is important to set down specific times when you will be "at work." During this time, you should ensure that work can be done uninterrupted. By taking the time to establish the rules now, you can be assured of a productive home office.

  • Dedicate your office equipment to work purposes only. It should be understand that your computer and your equipment are for your job and that they should not be used for any other purpose. If your equipment is insured, you may be restricted in how it is used, so it is important to lay down these rules ahead of time. In addition, if you plan on deducting 100 percent of your office equipment as business expenses on your taxes, none of this equipment should be used by family members.

  • If you plan to warehouse inventory in your home, you will need to clear out a space where it will be safe. If you have business property insurance, you may have to store your inventory in a specific location, where it is least likely to be harmed. This inventory should be off-limits to the rest of your household.