When you’re setting up a business, keeping the costs down is a priority. One of the easiest ways to do it is to work from home instead of renting an office space. A lot of people think that means they aren’t paying any of those office costs at all, but if you think about it, you are. If you were out at the office all day you wouldn’t be paying the normal running costs of your home. It’s still going to be a lot cheaper than hiring an office space but a home office is costing you money that you might not able to afford in the early stages of a new business.
If you’re worried about the costs of working from home, here are some simple ways to reduce them:
Furnishing The Office
Before we get into the actual day to day costs of running the home office, you need to think about the costs involved with setting it up. You’re going to need some furniture in your new office and if you’re not careful, it can get pretty expensive. You’re going to need all of the basics like a desk, an office chair and some storage. Some of that stuff you’re going to need to spend more money on and some of it you can make good savings on. For example, you can’t just get a cheap chair because you won’t get enough support and you’ll end up with a bad back. So, you can’t go cheap with the chair. But when it comes to buying a desk, there’s no need to spend loads of money on a fancy office desk. A simple table will probably do for your purposes. You can also save money on all of the furniture if you look for some second-hand stuff. It might be a little worn but as long as it’s sturdy, it doesn’t really matter at the moment. When your business starts making a bit more money, you can upgrade some of the furniture.
People always underestimate how much they’re going to spend on stationery in their home office and a lot of it is completely unnecessary. It’s so easy for businesses to go paperless these days and it saves you quite a bit of money. If you’re printing and copying things all of the time, you don’t need to pay for paper and printer ink, which can get pretty expensive if you’re using a lot. There are still a few things that you’ll need to do on paper which is fine but think about it before you do. Most of the time, you can just use email and cloud storage services instead of having everything on paper. Often, cloud based storage is better than paper anyway because it makes it easier to share documents and collaborate on things.
Cut Your Energy Bills
When you’re in the house all day, your energy bills are going to be a lot higher than usual. In the summer, it’s not too bad because you don’t need the heating on all day, but unless you want to be freezing cold all day, you’ll need to use it in the winter. However, there are a couple of ways that you can reduce the cost. If you’ve got single pane windows in the house, it’s worth considering replacing them with double glazed ones. They’ll hold the heat a lot better which means that you can heat the house up and then switch the heating off rather than have it running all day. You should also do regular maintenance on the heating, like bleeding the radiators so it’s as efficient as possible and maybe think about upgrading your boiler so it’s more energy efficient.
You can save loads of money on your electricity bills if you make some simple changes like swapping your light bulbs out for LED ones. They cost a bit of money to buy but they last for years and they only cost a fraction of the price to run. In general, you should just be a bit more vigilant about your energy usage so you’re only paying for what you actually need.
If you’re working from home, you’re going to need a good internet connection. But so many people end up paying more than they need to because they don’t shop around. You can easily save money by comparing broadband deals and switching to a cheaper provider. Don’t just do this once either, you should check it at least once a year because companies are always coming out with new deals and offers.
You can also make big savings on your internet connection by combining it with other services. There are a lot of companies that offer package deals with TV, internet, and phones all in one. Most of the time, it’s way cheaper to bundle them all together than it is to pay for them all separately. You can also get discounts easily if you threaten to leave and take your business elsewhere.
Get Your Taxes Right
When you’re filing your taxes, you can claim business expenses on there so you’re not taxed on them, but a lot of people don’t realise just how much they can actually claim. First off, anything that you buy to set up the office, like all of the furniture etc. can be claimed as a business expense. Then any equipment that you buy, like computers and printers can be claimed as well. Those costs soon add up and you’ve got thousands that you can claim tax free.
After you’ve claimed the set-up costs, you can look at the actual running costs. You are allowed to claim for the entire internet bill and a portion of your gas and electric bills (proportionate to the amount of time that you spend working). You can also claim for your phone bill as long as you’re using that phone to make business calls on. Reducing your tax bill by a significant amount will really help to reduce the costs of running a home office.
It’s a lot cheaper to run a home office than it is to rent an office, but it’s still quite expensive so you should always look for ways to cut costs.
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*This is a collaborative post