Ten Ways to Protect your Home Based Business

The internet has made it easier than ever for people to work from home, which means home businesses are far more prevalent than they were a few decades ago. There are huge advantages to running a business from home, but it can have its drawbacks too. If you’re about to take the plunge with a new venture then take a look at the following ten tips which will tell you everything you need to know to keep your business safe and secure.

  1. Seek Advice

The best business people understand the importance of other people’s input, so seek advice from everywhere you can before you make any final decisions. You’ll find lots of information for small business owners on the government website or you can make an appointment with a building society or bank small business advisor.

  1. Get Legal

Whether it’s at home or in another premises, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with current legislation to ensure your business is set up correctly. For example you’ll need to register as a company with Companies House and set up national insurance payments.

  1. Insure

In many cases home insurance will not cover your business equipment, so get in touch with your insurance company to find out whether you need further business insurance. If clients visit your home you may also want to invest in public liability insurance which will protect you if they are injured on your premises.

  1. Lock It

When you work from home it can be easy to let security fall by the wayside a little. Protect your home with high quality windows and doors. If you’ve got a lot of expensive items in your office then consider extra security features like motion sensitive lights, a burglar alarm and CCTV.

  1. Protect Data

A lapse in data protection can completely destroy a business so keep any personal data about your clients safe and secure. Separate work and personal files and protect your PC with a password. You can also use software to encrypt your personal data files so they can’t be read by anyone else if your computer is hacked.

  1. Back Up

Losing precious worker due to a broken computer is devastating and can cost dearly. Make sure you keep a backup of all your work on a USB, flash drive or separate hard drive.

  1. Use a VPN

A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows you to carry out all your business tasks through a private secure internet connection, rather than using the same connection for work and leisure, which can leave your business data vulnerable to hacker attacks and corruption from viruses.

  1. Outsource IT

Unless you’re an IT expert then it’s a good idea to employ someone to tackle any issues on your behalf, especially if your business relies heavily on the net. You can hire IT support relatively cheaply and ensure that any problems that arise are dealt with as quickly as possible.

  1. Get an Accountant

Getting your tax right can be hugely complex and mistakes are expensive. Use an accountant to help you organise your tax so you don’t run the risk of missing deadlines or underpaying. They’ll also be able to alert you to any tax breaks that you might be entitled to.

  1. Be Realistic

When it comes to business, it’s generally a safer approach to start small and grow gradually, rather than spending a huge amount of money right at the beginning of your venture. You could try running your business on a part time basis until you feel happy that it will be a success.