Keeping home and business separate when your business is run from home

The dynamics of running your business from home can be challenging, especially in terms of separating the two.

Running a business from home can help you keep your business costs down. Added to that, you may be able to qualify for a tax rebate if you work from home. Although there are quite a few perks to owning a home business, there are also challenges that when left unaddressed, can set you back productivity-wise and financially. The simple fact is, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, which is why it’s important to set yourself up for success by keeping your work life and home life separate when running a business from home.

1. Make sure your business is registered

Registering your business ensures that you create a separate entity from your personhood. By doing this, you also create legitimacy for your business, ensuring that other people can trust you. Business incorporation will also protect you as an individual should your business ever fail, meaning you won’t be personally liable for any debt or any possible lawsuits.

Registration is the first and most vital step you should take towards separating your personal and business life. It’s also very simple to register. You can do this on the CIPC website for just R125 to R475.

2. Keep personal and business finances separate

Mixing your personal and business finances is the quickest way to become confused about your profitability and can make filing your taxes a huge burden. Make things easier for yourself by signing up for a business account at your bank and paying yourself a salary. This will help you keep track of expenditure and overall assist with managing your finances more effectively.

3. You need a separate space to work and live your home life

Running a business from home often means the lines between personal space and workspace are easily blurred. To solve this problem, designate a specific space in your home for work. Working on your bed or on the couch just won’t cut it. Buy a desk and an office chair and create a space where you can be productive. If you have an extra room that happens to be empty, you can use that as an office space. Or perhaps you have an empty garage that has remained unused for the longest time — why not use that as an office space?

If your home isn’t that spacious, you can simply buy a small desk and put it in an empty space. Your bedroom or living room will work great for housing your little home office.

4. Designate a specific time to do your work

Now that you have a specific space to do your work, you need to create further boundaries by setting out specific times to do your work. Working whenever you feel like it is sure to result in burnout and can lead to a myriad of health problems, which can impact both your business and personal life negatively.

Set a work schedule and stick to it. If you decide you’re working from 9 to 5, then at 5 PM you need to have the discipline to shut down your laptop and focus on your home life.

5. Rest when necessary

As an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to become overworked. Being constantly bombarded with ‘motivational’ messages about ‘grinding’ and getting ‘no sleep’ can seriously hamper your ability to keep your business and home life separate.

Let go of all the faux motivational (and harmful) messages about entrepreneurship. Rest is essential, so be sure to wind down and get some much-needed shut-eye when necessary.

Although running a business from home can be quite challenging, when you take into account the importance of separating your business and home life, it’s possible to achieve a healthy balance that will result in success in both spheres.

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