Running an ecommerce business, either as a full-time job or for extra income is increasingly popular. The easy accessibility of the internet for shopping means that anyone from the very smallest artisan can sell to anyone, anywhere in the world.
The most obvious place from where to run your business is your home. It is cheap, readily available, and means no commuting, but it’s not without its downfalls. Depending on what you do, your products encroaching on your home space could become an issue, as could finding the time and energy to do the operational essentials. Here are our top tips for running an ecommerce business from home…..
1. Get extra space
If you find your products taking up valuable domestic space, then stop your home becoming a glorified warehouse by adding space with a garden room. Modern garden rooms can be equipped with electric sockets, lights, and insulation, which means almost anything can be stored safely. Garden rooms provide easy access to your products without compromising domestic harmony. Gardens rooms can be a good investment and make more sense than paying for a warehouse off-site which will generate travel expense and time.
If your products are large, or you just don’t have the time to carry out the essential picking and packing, then consider using a fulfilment company such as James and James, or Amazon. These companies will store your products for you, take orders, and despatch them to your customers. If you find meeting your delivery promises is sometimes difficult, then letting someone else get their hands dirty to give you time to concentrate on sourcing and selling is a smart move.
3. Check your insurance
While most insurance companies will let you do your business admin from home, not all include cover for commercial visitors to your home, or let you store your products or materials. You may also need the permission of your mortgage provider or landlord to do anything which may be considered a commercial activity. Separating your commercial products from the four walls of your home may be a requirement of insurance, but please check first. If you do anything that your insurer considers a commercial activity and something happens, then your whole home insurance policy may be invalid, not just the losses to your business. Don’t risk your home too. If you work from home you should consider garden office security and make sure that any locking systems are insurance approved.
4. Time out
Running a business from home with your products sharing your personal space can mean you get sick of the sight of it all. Find a way of visibly hiding your business items, and have at least one room in your home which is completely business-free where you can escape. Taking even a little time out each day to go for a walk, or do something unrelated to your business will give you the mental energy to cope with the often-demanding regime of having a shared home-business life.
5. Get help
If your ecommerce business does well and you’re still happy to work from home, then consider hiring other people. An extra pair of hands can help you to fulfil more orders faster, find new customers, increase your output, or just help around the house so you can concentrate on business tasks. Don’t be afraid of getting professionals in, such as cleaners or gardeners, if it means you can commit more time to your more profitable business activity.
Running a business from home is a popular way for more and more people to find better work-life balance, but you must give thought as to how things would work on a daily basis. Bad planning because of unrealistic expectations can lead to business failure, so make your business suit you and your family’s needs, and keep that essential domestic harmony.
Whatever your business we have an office design that suits you. Take a look at our video to see our range of design options.