You’ve decided to take the plunge and start your own business. But where should you set up shop? If you have the space, running your business from your garage can be a great option. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be a flexible option as your business grows. Plus, there are some tax benefits to working from home.
According to the Small Business Administration, about half of all small businesses in the United States are home-based. So you’re in good company. Here are a few tips on making the most of running a home business from your garage.
1. Get organized
The first step is to get your garage organized. This means ensuring enough space to store inventory, supplies, and any equipment you might need. You’ll also want to create a dedicated workspace with a desk, chair, and good lighting. And don’t forget about shelving! Organizing your garage will help you stay focused and productive when working from home.
If you will work with a few employees, creating a clear delineation between the workspace and the living area is essential. This will help everyone stay focused on work and avoid distractions. Consider hanging a curtain or partition to separate the two areas. Although it might seem like a minor detail, these types of boundaries can make a big difference in productivity.
2. Invest in security
If you’re storing inventory or other valuable items in your garage, it’s crucial to invest in security. This could mean installing a security system or simply investing in a good lock for the door. These precautions will give you peace of mind and help protect your business assets. You can’t afford to take any risks regarding security, so make sure you take the necessary steps to safeguard your business.
You also want to secure your garage door to prevent break-ins. This is especially important if you live in an urban area. Investing in residential garage door openers with security features like rolling codes can help give you an extra layer of protection. You can also install motion-sensor lights outside your garage to deter burglars. Depending on your budget, you can take many security measures to protect your business.
3. Create a comfortable space
Just because you’re working from your garage doesn’t mean it can’t be a comfortable space. Take the time to make it somewhere you enjoy spending time. This might mean adding a few personal touches like photos or artwork. Or you could invest in some comfortable furniture to make the space more inviting.
If you have the budget, you could consider adding heating and cooling to your garage. This will make it more comfortable to work in and help you regulate the temperature of your workspace. Avoiding extreme temperatures will help you stay productive and focused on work. Creating a comfortable and inviting space will help you stay motivated and productive when working from home.
4. Make sure you have the right insurance
When running a business from home, it’s essential to ensure you have the right insurance coverage. This includes liability insurance in case someone is injured on your property. You may also consider product liability insurance if you sell physical goods. Different businesses have different insurance needs, so ensure you understand what coverage is right for your business.
You should also check with your homeowner’s insurance to see if your policy covers business-related activities. Some policies have exclusions or limitations on home businesses, so it’s essential to be aware of what is and isn’t covered. Make sure you talk to an insurance agent to find out what coverage is right for your business and to get the best rate.
5. Comply with zoning laws
Depending on where you live, there may be restrictions on running a business from your home. Before you start operating, ensure you understand your area’s zoning laws. You might need to apply for a permit or get a variance if you want to run a business from your garage.
Not complying with zoning laws can result in costly fines or even getting shut down. So it’s important to be familiar with your area’s laws and take the necessary steps to comply with them. Ask your local zoning office or planning commission for more information on the laws in your area.
Running a home business from your garage can be a great way to save money and increase flexibility. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind, like getting organized, investing in security, and making sure you have the right insurance coverage. Following these tips can help you set up your home business for success! With a little planning and preparation, you can make your garage the perfect place to run your business.