Sunday Dec 04, 2022

Technology and Equipment for Home-Based Businesses –


In partnership with NETGEAR

By Rieva Lesonsky

Back in the 1990s, when innovative new technologies enabled the growth of entrepreneurship, many small business owners wanted to hide the fact they were home-based, fearing their clients would not consider them professional operations. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.

According to the new Annual Self-Employment Report from FreshBooks, 40% of currently “traditionally-employed” Americans plan to leave their jobs behind and make the leap into self-employment in the next two years. They’ll be joining a record-setting number of new small business owners. There was a record number of startups in the third quarter of 2020—about 1.4 million businesses began just in those three months.

And you can bet most of those businesses will be home-based. The Small Business Administration (SBA) says in 2019 there were nearly 32 million businesses in the United States, and about half of them are home-based. Since those stats, although the latest we have, don’t include the record number of businesses started during the pandemic, the actual number of home-based businesses is likely higher. Especially since about 69% of all new businesses start in the home.

Launching a home-based business

If you’re one of those new home-based business owners or you’re planning to start a home business soon, there are some issues you need to consider.

Make sure it’s legal to start a business in your home

Home-based businesses are regulated by local (and sometimes outdated or bizarre) zoning laws, so check with your municipality to make sure it’s legal to operate a business out of your home. If you live in a planned community, you also need to look at your CC&R regulations (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) since they may prohibit or limit the type of business you can operate.

If you’re a new business owner, make sure you apply for an Employee Identification Number, even if you don’t intend to hire staff at the moment.

Update your insurance

Chances are your homeowner’s policy will not adequately cover your business. Ask your insurance agent about getting a new policy. Many insurance companies today sell home-based business insurance that offers coverage for the specific issues of operating at home, as well as general liability coverage and a business owner’s policy.

Make sure you have a dedicated workspace

You can try to work at your kitchen or dining room table, but that’s not a good long-term solution. Ideally, you’ll want to carve out a separate space since that will give you the most privacy and the most tax benefits. And whatever furniture you use should be ergonomic. (Again, that eliminates sitting at the kitchen table.)

In the past, home-based startup business owners were warned about handling distractions and time management issues. However, given that many of us have spent the better part of the nearly last two years working at home, most of you have likely figured out how to handle those issues.

Get the right equipment for your home-based business

Technology is the primary reason we can run businesses from our homes just as effectively as from an office. When it comes to equipment for a home-based business, you’ll want to start with the basics. A dedicated computer is a must. You should not share the “family computer” or allow your family to use your work computer. …….


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