What all New Entrepreneurs Should Know about Working from Home

Like me, a lot of small business entrepreneurs work from home. It’s not always as easy as people think! Here are a few things to think about from guest blogger Brooke Chaplan.

Working From Home Sounds Great, Right?

Technology has made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to start their own work-at-home business, often as one of many independent contractors who work through a broker. This can be a great opportunity to make money and have the flexibility to stay at home and watch your family grow. If you are thinking about switching to a work-at-home environment, consider these must-know facts before jumping into the world of making money in your pajamas. image of Small Business Ideas graphic

Take it Seriously
Yes, you can work in your own comfortable bedroom, living room, or home office and enjoy all the comforts of your humble abode, but that doesn’t mean you should slack off. Working at home requires serious discipline in order to turn a profit. That means staying off of addicting social media (unless, of course, that’s part of your job) and avoiding the many distractions home life has to offer long enough to pay the bills. Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it religiously. Many online brokers offer incentive for being extra productive, and if you’re a freelancer, your incentive is making your own hours and turning the profit your own way.

Say Goodbye to Benefits
One of the biggest reality checks of working from home is that if you’re self-employed, you won’t be getting the benefits most commuters and office employees get. That means no business-sponsored health insurance, life insurance, or anything related. Make sure you budget responsibly to leave enough money for your own health bills or insurance. It might be a good idea to consult with an insurance agency before getting started to see what options are available for self-employed individuals.

Paying Your Own Taxes
If you live and work in the United States, you’ll most likely be filing your taxes as a private business and logging your income on a 1099-Misc sheet. This will calculate how much money you owe the government, since your clients and contractees do not account for taxes when they pay you for services rendered, nor do they pay the government on your behalf, like employers normally do. Again, make sure you leave enough money around tax time to compensate for this expense.

You are Your Own Accountant
On a related note, you have to keep track of your own expenses as a business as well. Just like your family budget, but a lot more pricey, this can be a challenge for a lot of new entrepreneurs. If your work involves selling products as you travel, you’ll probably be purchasing Shipping Cases, cargo cases, and packing material. If you need to buy and sell investments or stock, this might take up a lot of your business budget as well. Make sure you are prepared to make room for added expenses as well and can account for everything you purchase.

Working at home is a liberating and powerful way to make money. Just be responsible. After all, you are your own boss now.