Search icon


23rd May 2015

5 things to do BEFORE starting your own business at home

Fiona McGarry

Seriously considering starting your own business or working from home?

Great. There are countless ways to use your skills and creativity to make some extra money from the comfort of your sofa or kitchen table and still be available for pick-ups, drop-offs and everything in between.

Here are five important things to  remember before you get stuck in…

1. Beware of scams

Online con artists are getting ever more sophisticated when it comes to trying to part us from our cash. Unfortunately, so-called ‘work from home’ scams are big business for unscrupulous operators. Be particularly wary of any offers where a large up-front outlay of cash is required, or where earnings are promised when you recruit others to join a scheme. Even if they’re deathly boring, make sure to read all terms and conditions available. If you’re in any way suspicious, check out Consumer Help where you’ll get the full low-down from the experts.

2. Keep the Taxman happy

Remember the taxman will need to know about any extra or from-home earnings. You will need to register with Revenue as a sole trader. That’s not as daunting as it might sound. Find a good accountant who’s used to working with sole traders and small businesses and he or she will advise you on registration and making your annual tax return. Your accountant will also be able to advise you on all of the items that you can write off when you’re working from home.

3. Look before you leap

Whatever line of work you decide to pursue, don’t undertake it lightly. There really is no quick fix solution and earning money from home will take time and effort no matter what. Research the market – can you offer a unique product or skill? What are people willing to pay? What kind of time and financial outlay can you realistically afford while balancing the rest of your work at home? Get support and ideas from your other half, friends and family.

4. Get support

If you’re already working on a small scale and would like to branch into the big time, there’s a huge amount of advice and support on setting up your own business. Your Local Enterprise Office should be your first destination as that’s designed to be a one-stop-shop with advice on things like market research, finding investors, funding schemes, office accommodation, etc. Once you’re on your way, connect with like-minded people. The organisation Network Ireland has branches all over the country and is a great way to built up your contacts and top up on your inspiration.

5. Believe

Working from home can be a hard slog, but there’s nothing like challenging yourself. Plus the flexibility and the financial rewards can make it well worthwhile. Make a plan, get advice and support and believe in yourself. Best of luck!