There are many cases where individuals may look to run some portion or even all of their primary business out of their home, and there are some situations where this approach may be ideal for contractors and their businesses. Whether you're just starting out and building a customer base, looking to decrease overhead or any other reason, running your business from home may be an option - but there are also some important areas to check on first.
At Contractors School, we're proud to offer a huge range of services for contractors around Utah, including contracting business set-up, existing business management and more. Here are some of the main factors to be checking on if you're considering running your business out of your home, either temporarily or permanently, plus some important tips on how to approach this in robust, professional ways.
The first major step here: Simply ensuring that you are legally allowed to run your business from home in the first place. Depending on where you live and what type of contractor work you do, there may be specific zoning ordinances that prohibit businesses from operating out of residential areas - or there may be licenses or permits required to do so.
Check with your local government offices for information on these details before making any moves. If you're unsure whether your business fits into a specific category or need more information on the zoning laws in your area, there are also tons of resources online that can help you navigate this process.
Assuming you're cleared for operation and have taken care of any necessary legal steps, the next major question to consider is insurance coverage. If you're currently renting or leasing your home, you'll need to make sure that your business activities are covered under this policy. Even if you own your home, it's still important to review your insurance coverage and determine if any additional policies or riders may be necessary to protect both your personal and business assets.
For instance, if you'll have clients coming to your home for meetings or consultations, it may be beneficial to add liability coverage to your policy. This will protect you in case of any accidents or damages that occur on your property while conducting business.
One potential challenge when running a contracting business from home is the need for equipment and supply storage. Depending on the type of work you do, these items may take up a significant amount of space, which could be disruptive to your home life.
Before making any decisions to operate out of your home, consider if you have adequate space for storage and whether it will be manageable for both work and personal use. If not, you may need to look into alternative options such as renting storage units or finding a separate workspace.
As you're establishing your contracting business, you'll likely need to meet with clients and potential customers from time to time. This is another area where working from home may present challenges, as you may not have a dedicated meeting space or room for consultations.
If this is the case, you may want to consider setting up a designated area in your home for meetings or investing in virtual meeting software to conduct consultations remotely. Additionally, if you're able to find a nearby co-working space or conference room rental option, this may be a more professional setting for important business meetings.
Finally, one of the biggest considerations when running your contracting business from home is being able to separate your work life from your personal life. Working from home can blur the lines between work and home, making it difficult to switch off at the end of the day.
To combat this, make sure you have a designated workspace and set clear boundaries for your work hours. It's also helpful to create a daily routine that includes breaks and time for self-care outside of work. This will help maintain a healthy balance between your personal and professional life.
As you can see, running a contracting business from home can have many benefits, but it's important to carefully consider and plan for potential challenges. With the right approach and resources, you can successfully operate your business from home while maintaining a professional and efficient operation.