Running a business from home

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Last updated on November 28, 2016

Take time to research, think and plan before making a decision to run your business from home.

Regularly reviewing your business situation will help you know whether a home-based business is working for you or whether you should consider locating your business elsewhere.

There are advantages to running a business from home. You can:

  • cut overheads
  • avoid travelling to and from work
  • enjoy a pleasant working environment
  • conserve capital
  • gain flexibility
  • start part-time while bringing up small children
  • learn the ropes with a low level of risk
  • work outside normal business hours.

Potential challenges include that:

  • you can feel isolated without colleagues and peer support
  • you can’t go home to get away from work
  • your business can interrupt your personal life
  • your personal life can interrupt your business
  • lack of space can be a problem as your business grows.

Running a business from home doesn’t suit everyone.  To help you assess your capacity to cope with the demands of a home-based business, consider the following:

  • Why do you want to run a business from home?
  • What would the impact be on your family and personal life?
  • How determined are you to succeed, especially when family and friends don’t seem to share your commitment?
  • How effective are you at organising yourself, your work, and your domestic life?
  • How do you cope when the going gets tough or when you are criticised?
  • How well can you maintain concentration against a background of domestic life?
  • How disciplined are you in attitude and work ethic?
  • How resilient are you to physical illness and emotional stress, mindful that there is no paid sick leave or relief staff?

A home-based operation doesn’t suit every type of business. Your local council, industry experts and professional advisers can help you work out whether your home and your business are a good match.

If you decide to go ahead with a home-based business, you’ll need adequate insurance cover, keeping in mind that household insurance generally doesn’t cover business activities.

Consult with an insurance broker about your specific needs, which may include any or all of the following:

  • personal accident and sickness cover
  • life assurance
  • workers compensation cover
  • loss of profits insurance
  • public liability insurance
  • cover for property, assets and equipment against fire and burglary
  • personal liability insurance.


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