When you work from home, it’s awesome that you’re saving on your weekly commute. But, that’s the thing — when you first start running a business from home the expenses can pile up if you aren’t careful. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here are three different kinds of expenses that can surprise you:
Getting Your Office Started
When you first start working from home or running a home business, you’ll be surprised at how costly it can be to replace the luxuries of a traditional office. While of course you can shop sales and get things second hand, if you’re expensing it and feeling fancy, retail office supplies can really hurt:
Hole Punch $6
Printer paper $5 per ream
Pens and pencils $5-15`
3-Ring binder $4 each
External monitor $75-150
Right off the bat, you’re looking at almost $ to get comfortable. Ouch!
Small business costs
Regardless of how you’re being paid, running a small business means you’re getting paid somehow, and that doesn’t come free. You’ll likely need to pay a large upfront fee for a program or a recurring monthly fee ranging from $20 up to $100, depending on the size of your business.
If you use PayPal, you’ll also want to factor in fees from your transactions. These can range from a flat $.50 fee per transaction, or a percentage of the amount being handled (ouch!).
Putting the Finishing Touches on Things
A real or fake tree in the office is one thing, but if you’re going to work from home you’ll need more decor than transitory Christmas decorations! When things start going well, it can be easy to want to upgrade. Furniture, electronics, planners, and calendars, galore! But that’s where things can go wrong.
When I first started my small business I purchased a new chair I also had purchased wireless keyboard wireless mouse and a Mac as well as supportive items like a wrist rest for the keyboard and mouse. While I don’t consider these things frivolous, I’ve also been tempted by a new stylish chair, an expensive day planner, and pens that have no reason to cost $5 each.
The key here is to put aside some of your business income for specific business savings. It’s all right to indulge… as long as you’re doing so with money specifically set aside for that purpose and making smart business choices.
Did you have a large number of investment costs when you first got started? Or have you stayed lean?