It's easier than ever for people to start their own business from home. There are all sorts of great pieces of software that can handle your accounts for you and fulfillment companies that handle manufacture and shipping for you so there’s no need for a big businesses premises anymore. This is a massive bonus because it cuts down on your overhead in the early stages of a business. It’s much easier to survive long enough to start making a profit if you don’t have to pay monthly rent on a building and pay staff to fill it. But you will still need an office space of some kind if you’re serious about starting a business from home. You’re never going to stay motivated if you’re sitting on the sofa in front of the TV trying to work. That’s why you need to convert one of your rooms into a home office. A lot of people get a bit of a shock when they start setting up their home office because it’s a lot more expensive than they first realized. If you go in thinking that running a business from home isn’t going to cost you anything at all and you haven’t set money aside for the office, you’re not going to be able to afford everything you need.
If you’re planning on starting your own business from home and you’re setting up your own home office, here’s how much it could cost you.
Finding The Right Space
Hopefully, you’ll have a spare room somewhere in the house that is ideal for a home office. Then you just need to decorate it and get all of the relevant furniture etc. But what if you don’t really have a suitable space? You might only have rooms that are too small or the wrong shape. In some cases, you might have to make do with a space that doesn’t really suit your needs or make some changes to the room. Perhaps knocking a wall through to make one small room into 2 or changing the layout of a room. Maybe you need to convert the garage or attic to make space for an office. Once you start looking at major work like that on the house, the cost of setting up this home office is really going to shoot up. It’s best to try to work with the space that you already have but if that isn’t an option, prepare to start spending money.
Having the right desk and workstation is essential because you need to be comfortable if you’re going to work effectively. You can pick up a cheap flat pack desk for about $30 but the quality isn’t likely to be great. You’re not going to be able to test the workstation before you buy it either so it might not suit you very well. You’re far better off looking at a ready built desk but then you can easily spend upwards of $100 on it. Sitting down all day is a big health risk and new research suggests that standing desks are the way to go. They’re better for your back and standing all day helps to burn calories and keep your body active, reducing the chances of all sorts of different diseases. However, a standing desk is usually a lot more expensive than a normal one so you’ve got to factor that into your decision as well.
If you are going to go for a sitting desk, getting the right chair is essential. If you’re going to be sitting at the desk all day, a cheap chair is going to do a lot of damage to your back. You can pick up a cheap swivel chair for $20 but it won’t offer that much support and it’s not likely to last that long. You really need to be getting a proper ergonomic office chair that has adjustable supports so you can tailor it to you and make sure that you’re not doing yourself any damage. They start at around $70 but they can get a lot more expensive. A proper dining chair with a solid upright back makes a good alternative and offers good support but, again, the price for those is going to be quite high.
Obviously, you need a decent computer for your office, you can’t just use the family laptop. It’s going to cost you at least $500 if you want a decent computer and then you need to consider all of the other costs on top of that. You’ll have to pay for software for the computer which, depending on what you buy, could cost you a lot of money. If, for example, you’re subscribing to accounting software on top of all of the normal office programs, you could end up paying over $1000 a year. Then you’ll also need to pick up a printer and some ink cartridges for printing any documents. You’ll probably want a good one with a photocopier in as well so that’s going to cost you. By the time you’ve bought all of the technology you need in the office, you’re probably looking at another $2000.
The last thing you need in the office is some good storage. You’ll have all sorts of important paperwork that needs organizing properly so it’s best to get yourself a filing cabinet. That’s going to cost you about $50. You’ll also need some general storage for your stationary etc. A small set of drawers will do and you can probably pick up a cheap plastic one for about $10.
This is one that people sometimes forget if they’ve previously been working at a job with good benefits. When you leave your job and start your own business, you’ll lose all of those benefits and have to start paying for insurance on your own. The average cost of individual health insurance is $8000 a year which is a big expense to overlook.
Once you add up all of those costs, you could easily spend close to $10,000 by the time you’ve sorted the space out, filled it with furniture and bought health insurance. So, if you’re starting your own business from home, be prepared to foot the bill.