Tips for Starting a Home-Based Business

Business Development Specialist - Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD
Setting up a home business is an exciting step. But for many small business owners, it can also make the juggling act between work and family a bit more challenging. Here’s how to start out on the right foot.
Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also plenty of hard work – especially if you’re raising a family at the same time. And it can be even trickier if you’re running your business from home.
However, plenty of men and women still manage to be successful parents and incredible entrepreneurs by finding the right balance between their work and family responsibilities.
So whether you’re a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker, here are five things you need to know so you can turn your passion into a successful home business – while keeping your stress levels to a minimum.
1. Plan ahead
Making the leap to running your own business takes a lot of careful planning upfront. You’ll need to consider the right business structure (i.e. should you operate as a sole trader or as a company?) and also think through how you’ll manage financially while you get up and running – particularly if starting your business means leaving your current job.
Remember, your financial adviser can help you review your options and crunch the numbers before you get started. They’ll also be on hand down the track if you need assistance – for example, to help you manage your business cash flow and balance it against your household budget.
Once you’re ready to go, you’ll need to make your business official by getting it listed on the Australian Business Register. It’s simple and free to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) online – you just need to provide a few details like your Tax File Number. You can register your business name at the same time you apply for your ABN.
2. Understand your tax obligations
If you’re expecting your business to have a gross income of $75,000 or more a year, you’ll need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). You’ll also then need to lodge a Business Activity Statement (BAS) at the end of each financial quarter which reports the GST that is owed or payable to the Australian Taxation Office. The BAS return is also used to pay any Pay As You Go (PAYG) taxable amounts. You can lodge and pay your BAS online through the Australian Tax Office website.
Remember, your tax obligations depend on the nature and activities of your business. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak to your financial adviser or accountant to make sure you’re getting it right – and to find out which tax credits or deductions you may be entitled to.
3. Get protected
When you’re running a business out of your home office, it may not be fully protected by your home and contents insurance. It’s therefore worth getting cover specifically tailored to small businesses – to keep your tools and equipment, your income and your clients safe.
At a minimum, you might look at getting public liability insurance to cover anyone who visits your workplace and asset insurance to protect your valuable equipment or furniture.
Income protection insurance is another great option, just in case you get sick or injured and can’t work for an extended period. Your financial adviser can talk you through your options so you can choose the right level of cover for your needs.
4. Create your workspace
It’s important to set up your business somewhere separate from where your other household activities take place. This will help you create a mental barrier between your professional life and your personal life. It will also help your kids get used to the fact that when you’re in that space, you’re in work mode.
If you are planning to have clients regularly visiting the premises, it might be best to provide a separate entrance to your workspace. But if that’s not possible, at least make sure their access point is quiet and has a professional feel. This means keeping clutter to a minimum, especially non-work-related items.
5. Balance work and family
Just as you separate your home space from your work space, you’ll also need to realistically divide your time between your family and your business. A good tactic is to set yourself regular working hours as much as you can, and make sure your clients and your family are aware of them. But most importantly, you need to keep clear boundaries around your work life.
Once you leave your home office, shut the door and put your work aside for the day – and that includes not answering emails or phone calls.
And don’t forget to protect your ‘me’ time, even if it’s just a few moments each day or an hour each week to spend purely on yourself. You’ve earned it.
Have a great day!

Chris Beks

Business Development Specialist - Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD

I love business and the ability to change people’s lives through them!

At Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD, we get up every morning to positively impact young families in business by making their businesses REALLY work so that we all make an even bigger impact together. The rewards that bring allow our team ('the fantastic five') to make small but powerful contributions to impact our local community, our country and the lives of those less fortunate around the world.

You see, something quite remarkable happens when we work together, for example, the gift of water is made when we prepare a tax return, the gift of a goat is provided when we help a new business start-up, the gift of shelter is forwarded when we organise a home loan. When we work together, we actually change the world!

I am a business development specialist with nearly 40 years’ experience, a CPA, an authorised representative of Avana Financial Solutions Ltd (Authorised Representative no. 231937) and a credit representative of Outsource Financial Pty Ltd (Authorised Representative no 396061). I have recently co-authored an International Best-Selling Book 'Legacy - The Sustainable Development Goals in Action' and in 2020 published my first book - 'Chasing the Dream! - How to Grow a Business in these Amazing Times', host a daily blog/vlog on our small business Facebook community group page 'Chasing the Dream, and with our Team run a monthly event for small business owners called 'The Chasers Meet-Up', where a guest speaker presents a topic and tips and strategies are openly shared.

In 2015, our business won the Change GPS International Member Firm of the Year and in that same year, I was a founding member of the Global Accounting Movement - Accountants for Good. We were recognised in 2016 by Steve Pipe in his international publication - The World's Most Inspiring Accountants and Featured in "The LinkedIn PlayBook" by world-renowned social media strategist and consultant, Adam Houlahan. In 2017, we were in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award for search4accountants, B1G1 Business for Good Top 100 Giving Businesses in the World and a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards. In 2018, we were an Australian Accounting Awards Finalist in "Community Engagement Program of the Year", a Semi-Finalist in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award', a Nominee in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'Regional Development Victoria Business Achiever Award', and featured in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award by search4accountants.

Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD