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How to make the home office work for your business

Though it's been a number of years, I did operate my business from out of my home for a time.  Would I do it at right now?  No.  That said, running your business from your home can work if you keep a few things in mind.
1)  Dedicate a room with a door to your business that's off limits to non business activities.  Equip it with the supplies and equipment you need to perform your job. I've seen bedrooms turned into offices and garages built out into wonderful work spaces.  I also know of stand alone structures built in back yards for a number of professionals.
2)  Keep set hours.  This one was always tough for me when I did office from home because I wanted to get ahead on the next days agenda and would work a few more unscheduled hours late at night.  I have clients who office from their home but they have a set quitting time and with rare exceptions will be willing to work after a certain time of day.  It works for them but takes restraint.
3)  Try and set meetings outside your home office.  You need the ability to get out and refresh yourself in different surroundings. Take a meeting in a coffee shop or restaurant once in awhile.  Plus, there are times when the family you live with will leave the house a mess in the morning and clients need to use your restroom.  A clean house is another variable to deal with when meeting customers.
4)  Spend the extra money and put in a business line.  It's confusing to potential clients to have a 3 year old answer your phone.  Yes, it happened to me.  Though cute, clients want professional service for their dollar.
If you're contemplating running a home based business, give me a call.  There are hard earned lessons I may share to make your situation work better.
I am a CPA in San Antonio and provide bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and more.  We offer a free initial visit and look forward to serving your business needs.

Richard J. Garcia | 08/13/2011