By Jenn Montgomery
Owning your own business is the dream. There are a large variety of options when it comes to starting your own business, but one of the most common options that people use is creating a home business. Whether this is an online business that you run from your office or an actual physical location within your home, this business is your baby. You set your own hours and decorate it to fit your personality and business. You use this space for your inventory and your equipment.
There’s nothing as demoralizing as having something go wrong with your home business, especially when it isn’t your fault. If you don’t take the proper measures, you may end up with some problems that could damage your business past the point of recovery. Take some time to evaluate your business by the following points to make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect your investments.
Separate Your Home and Business Affairs
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with their home business is mixing home and business things. We’ve all heard that you need to keep your personal affairs and business affairs separate hundreds of times, but those lines can get blurred when you work from home. Make sure that you keep your finances separate by using separate bank accounts, credit cards, checks, and online accounts. Every time you mix these things you make life much more complicated than it needs to be.
It may be useful to set aside space specifically for your business. Even if you are running an online business, physically separating things can be very helpful. If you mix your business and personal office, you may mix up work supplies with personal supplies, misplace important documents, or feel over-cluttered. Having a separate location to work in can also help you focus on work when you are working on your business and disengage when you aren’t. Don’t make the mistake of getting so invested that you forget to take time for your family and friends.
Secure Your Home
Having your business at home leaves it vulnerable to criminals who break in. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood, your business can be very attractive to people who would otherwise pass your home by. You can increase your home security by installing security cameras outside your home and inside your business area. Many companies have cameras that are unobtrusive, so you can protect yourself without advertising that you are worried about burglars.
You should also make sure that you don’t leave any inventory or valuable supplies lying around. When you are working on a project, it may be tempting to spread things out, but you need to make sure that you tidy things up and store them in a secure location each time you stop working. Not securing your projects leaves them vulnerable to being damaged or misplaced.
Get Business Insurance
Just as you have car insurance, health insurance, and home insurance, you need home business insurance. Home insurance won’t cover everything that you need it to, even though your business is based in your home. In fact, most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover anything for your business and trying to make a business claim on your home insurance could cause your provider to cancel your coverage. Having insurance for your business will help you recoup any losses from damage to your business property, theft, or any other loss that you incur.
Because your home business has different risks than a traditional business and it may operate a little differently, you should find insurance that is specifically meant for home-based businesses. There are several different options that you can look into, depending on the size of your business and your needs.
You have invested so much in getting your business off the ground that it is important that you take the proper precautions to keep it safe. Make sure you do your research so that you are aware of the risks you face and what you can do to mitigate them.
Jenn Montgomery is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger based in San Diego. She writes on a variety of topics and enjoys learning new things. Follow Jenn on Twitter at @JennMontgomery5.