Whether you’re an Etsy shop owner or a CPA seeing clients out of your home office, there are a variety of things that vary from owning a brick and mortar business. I recently spoke with Kelly Ward, CPA and co-owner of Robinson & Ward, P.C., on The Small Biz Brunch podcast, and she provided the following tips for entrepreneurs looking to build a business out of their home.
Don’t wait to invest in a trusted adviser
Instead of waiting until you’re drowning in financial problems, Ward recommends seeking out an expert’s advice at the very beginning. For example, it’s a lot easier to prepare for certain tax implications before launching your business, rather than paying a huge tax bill come April. A CPA can help prepare entrepreneurs depending on their situation so there aren’t any surprises – because let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than getting surprise in the mail from the IRS.
There are a lot of people who launch a business without asking themselves key questions. Some of these questions include: “Do people need this product or service?” “How is this different from anything else in the market?” “Is this a hobby or something I can really make a career out of?”
It’s hard to be realistic when you’re passionate about something, but think about the hard-earned money that’s being invested in this business. You have to consider whether or not it will be sustainable, or you risk losing it all.
It’s also important to consider whether running the business out of your home will actually save money, if that’s what you’re trying to do. An example of this would be if a lot of tools are needed to create products, or if you want employees to work out of your home – the little things (like electricity and water costs) can really add up. A CPA can help you figure out the best location for your business and if you’ll actually save money.
And of course, you have to mentally prepare yourself. Having a business out of your home means it can be hard to separate work from your personal life, and it’s easy to find yourself working at the dinner table at 7 p.m. while everyone else is eating. Creating a dedicated workspace can provide the mental separation you need to be productive while maintaining an area where you can still unwind.
To listen to the rest of my conversation with Ward, visit cpapowered.org.