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Will Your Electrical Business Survive If You Work from Home?

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 21 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Electrical Business Family Workshop

There may come a time, when it is no longer viable to rent a workshop or high street shop for your electrical repair business. The only option left is to work from your home. Is this possible and how will it change your day to day working arrangements?

The family

It’s all very well deciding to run a business from home but will it fit around the family’s routine? Do you work evenings and will the noise affect a younger child's sleep? Will your partner be happy to have you under their feet all day? If the only other option is to be unemployed most of us would opt to run a business from home however much it affects the family, but these things need to be discussed. Hold a family meeting for everyone who lives in the house and explain how your being home does not mean you are at the beck and call of the family. Explain that there will be set hours when you are working just as there was when you left home to go to work each day. On the plus side you will be able to work around family events and special occasions in order to share the time with your family.

Space

Where will you site your workshop? Running an electrical business means that there is some danger to young children. Little fingers can get almost anywhere so you must make sure that gates and doors separate the working area from the home. Do you have a garage that can be converted for your work space? This is an ideal place to work but where will your car be left and does leaving it parked in the street affect your vehicle insurance? A spare bedroom sounds good but it will encroach on family life and is not always suitable. If all else fails there is a growing market for sheds and workshops that can be purchased in flat pack form that once erected in the garden and insulated can form a very good home workshop or office. Keeping your workshop separate to the home environment means you will be able to leave work at a set time and forget about it until the next day.

Customers

Does your business rely on customers bringing equipment to your workshop for repair? This may not be practical once you work from home. In some aspects it is not as professional as having a shop front or business premises. Also, parking may become a problem and your neighbours will be none too happy if business customers use the only available parking spaces in your street. You may find that you need to instigate a collection and delivery service rather than have a steady stream of visitors to your home. Perhaps even a repair service in the home which means you need to factor in workshop time and home visit time. Many people expect this service at weekends and evenings due to their own work commitments, can you cope with this? Will your family be happy when you work at odd hours?

Permission

You must gain permission from the company that holds the mortgage on your business or the people you rent your home from before you setup working from home. Insurance cover needs to be arranged and this will be separate to your home cover. If a set part of your home becomes a work space it may attract business rates charges as well. Quite often there is not a problem when we work from home unless we are in a noisy and dirty profession then we really ought to ask ourselves if we should bring our work to our home? Does your business involve taking deliveries? Will this mean that large lorries will be in your street off loading? Is this going to cause a problem with neighbours who expect, and should have, a peaceful living environment?

Staff

If you need staff to help run your business where will they work? It isn’t always practical to have strangers working in your home and is something that should be considered when planning to close down your working premises. Perhaps you intend to downsize the business in which case will your partner be expected to help out with office duties, do they wish to do this. Customers never appreciate that you may be eating dinner or have visitors; they will ring at any time night or day. How will you cope with this? An answer phone may not be the answer especially if you offer an emergency call out system. Can your family cope with your business interrupting their lives?

Working from home takes a lot of planning. Take time to get this right and include your family every step of the way.

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