Before you start your own home-based business, it is important to know where you will work and ensure you have all the equipment and supplies you will need to get going. Like everything else, it is wise to have a plan and a list to help you keep track of what has been done and what still needs to be taken care of.

To start with, choose an area in your home, and if you can a place with at least some natural light. Of course it is preferable to use a separate room like a spare bedroom or specially built office in the basement for example, but the most important factors are that the space is free of distractions and provides enough room for your furnishings, equipment, and business activities, and at the same time isn’t cramped. If you can locate near the washroom too, all the better!

The next thing to consider is what equipment you will need. For the most part, a computer with high speed internet connection, applicable software, and reliable back up system; a desk and comfortable office chair; a telephone; and an all-in-one printer are the main necessities of most businesses. Other needs may include lamps, filing cabinets, a side table or credenza, and storage. Furnish only to your needs and available space. And don’t forget the waste basket and recycling receptacle!

As for supplies, that will depend on the type of business you will be operating. Consider what you will need at any one time to complete a project and your storage capacities too. Buying in larger quantities may be a money saver, but won’t help you any if you have no place to keep it or it risks being damaged because it is in the way. The dollar stores can be your best friend for everyday essentials like pens, pencils, paperclips and the like!

Other things you may want to include is a whiteboard/bulletin board, a plant or two, some photos, and maybe some wall hangings and ornaments that will make your “workplace” comfortable and pleasing. You want to be happy in this space since you will be spending lots of time here. Add a box of tissues, some hand cream, and maybe a candle too!

Finally, remember that when you are in your designated work space you are ‘at work’. Set some rules and guidelines with your family members (inside and outside of the home) as well as your friends, letting them know when you are available for personal time and when you are not. If you were working outside your home would they call you or drop in to your office at all hours of the day to chat?!

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