Setting Up a Home Office On a BudgetMay 31 2016, 1 Comment
You may have decided to take the plunge and set up your own business. Starting out can be a pricey affair so you need to cut costs wherever you can. For the majority of businesses in their earlier life, they will look to work from home before they grow enough to rent out an office.
Currently, according to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), the amount of people working from home has reached its highest ever level since records began. Now, nearly 1 in 7 people work from home, which accounts for 13.9% of the working population.
As you can see from the figures, working from home can be a worthwhile move, which is why so many people choose to do it. So to give you a better insight into how you can get set up from home in the most cost effective way, we’ve listed some tips for you!
So Why Take This Path?
Working from you own home, simply put, is highly convenient, it saves you time and most importantly, it saves you money. With no commuting costs, you can cut back and utilise the latest technology in order to operate efficiently. Your workload and income typically won’t warrant an office, especially at the start, so this is a wise step to make as you can quickly (and cheaply) set up a fully functional working environment.
Take Stock of What You Own
Once you’ve got your work space sorted, you should take stock of what you have before rushing out to invest in workstations or stationary. You will obviously want a clean and uncluttered space to work in but you don’t need to go out and get all of the best new furniture ranges to achieve that. You’re most likely the only person that will see it so you can make do with what you have as long as it does the job!
If after you’ve reviewed what you have, you feel like you do need to make some purchases, buy it on budget. A decent desk and a chair is a must but look for deals wherever possible. Buy basic and look for discount shops to fill up on your office supplies. Charity shops are great for finding furniture, Ebay and Gumtree are other possible options and there are even groups on social media where you can get bargains on unwanted furniture. It is important to remember you don’t need everything from day one, get the essentials but remember, you can wait for the sales to get the bulk orders.
Once you’re fully functional, you can analyse your situation to remove unneeded expenses. You can remove things such as your home landline and instead, use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calling. Making calls through platforms such as Skype, allows you to make free calls to other users and lower cost calls to landlines. There are even apps you can use that are completely free and as it’s all over the internet, you don't have to be bound to your home to make calls!
Alternatively, assess your stock (if applicable), you may not need so many products if they aren’t shifting at the beginning so review what you need and cut losses by liquidating the excess stock so you have money to reinvest. You could also look to barter for deals and get inventive by using recycled products such as print cartridges so you’re getting the most out of your money. Whatever way you do it, its all about being subjective and creative. Simple things like obtaining free software or using multifunctional devices (all-in-one printer, scanner and copier) will save you a lot of money in the long run!
Remember to Claim
When you become self-employed, you’re entitled to claim back your home office purchases and financial costs as business expenses. The HMRC has a handy guide that defines all of the areas you could potentially claim back. It’s at this point that it’s useful to keep all receipts as well as accurate books to ensure that you have proof of your purchases so when it does come down to claiming, it’s all there for you.