Home-based Business

By David Malherbe   –   Published in Drakenstein Gazette – Friday 31 May 2013

About 200 years ago during the Industrial Revolution factories sprang up everywhere.  People’s home based businesses could no longer compete with the large factories, so there was a migration of people that used to work from home to now find employment at factories in bigger town and cities.

At present we have a reverse of this 200 year trend.  Now we have an Information Revolution driven by technology, enabling many people to work from home again.  That is why home based businesses are the order of the day.

The cheapest and easiest way for a business start-up, is to start from home.  But there are certain aspects of home based businesses, if not managed well, that can be a recipe for disaster for the family.

First of all the business owner needs to manage him-/ herself well.  You need to build structure into your life and business, for example a work routine, setting goals, taking care not to be continually busy with work, etc. You need to set aside time for family and to get away from home.  The flip side of the coin is that because you do not have to be at work on time, you may be tempted to take the “sleep late and leave early approach”.

Then you also need to manage the business in a professional way.  You need to set clear boundaries between business and family, which is extremely important when you allow customers to visit you at home. The fact that a business is home based is no excuse for lousy recordkeeping.  It is still a business and just as accountable for taxes and also need to comply with all relevant legislation.  Connecting to a larger enterprise can also be an advantage for the credibility of your business.

Finally it is important to create a specific space at your home for the business.  It may be a garage or dining room, depending on the kind of business.   This part of the house can then be adapted and furnished to accommodate the business.  This is very important because it will help to create a necessary separation between home and business.

If managed well, a business from home can offer the best of two worlds.

David Malherbe and Dewald Scholtz will discuss this topic in more detail Monday evening from 19:00 till 20:00 on Radio KC 107.7 FM in the program “You the Entrepreneur”

(David Malherbe is a business- and career consultant and lives in Wellington.  He can be contacted via his web page www.jedidiah.org.za or at T/F 021-873 0262.)

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