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You have decided to avoid bosses, office politics and commuting in favor of launching a home-based business. Be sure to set yourself up for success. Here are five strategies that can help.

Be Disciplined

The temptation to become distracted by other household priorities can be a strong one, so make some strict rules for yourself. Set a schedule to which you adhere just as you would if you were at a conventional office. Both you and your clients need to know when you can be reached.

Create a Work-Friendly Office Space

Your home office will be the hub of all of your work-related activity whether you have visiting customers or not. That’s why it’s important that you make it a comfortable, quiet and organized area conducive to productivity. Invest in a stand-up desk or a chair that supports your back; regulate excessive temperature variations with fans, space heaters or air conditioning units. Be sure you have a door that closes in order to keep out family and pet noises that could distract you or annoy your clients. Make sure lighting is adequate and that you have all of the hardware, software and storage you need.

Instead of scrambling at the last minute to recreate 365 days of profits and losses, make financial organization a must. Be sure to save and file all of your expense receipts since you can deduct these expenses when filing your taxes.

Purchase Business Insurance

Don’t fall into the trap that catches many home-based business owners short by thinking that you don’t need to purchase additional coverage beyond your standard homeowners policy. The vast majority of homeowners packages are not adequate and will not protect you against work-related injuries, nor will they cover work property loss, liability or errors and omissions you may make.

To solve this problem, speak to your insurance agent about purchasing business insurance for your home office that could fill in the gaps. This strategy is particularly useful for small businesses just starting out. Alternatively, you can look into buying a comprehensive package called a Business Owner Policy (BOP) that combines several types of liability and property risk coverage into one package.

Get the Word Out

No matter what type of work you do, it can’t be performed in a bubble. Portion out a segment of your schedule to focus on marketing yourself. These days, that means much more than taking out a classified ad or distributing fliers. You now have the power of social media and the Internet at your fingertips. If necessary, hire someone to help you construct a dynamic, eye-catching website that showcases what you have to offer. Finally, don’t forget to print out some good old-fashioned business cards to distribute at local networking events.

Running a successful business out of your home has many advantages when it comes to maximizing your independence and flexibility, but it can have its downsides as well. Guard against distraction and inefficiency by following these simple tips. Doing so will help you enjoy the perks of self-employment while minimizing the possible pitfalls.

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