Working from home, and for yourself is a dream come true to many people and those who take the plunge and start a successful home business are usually happier and more fulfilled for it. It’s not all roses and butterflies though – it’s tough, hard work and a constant battle to actually make a profit.

by Shane Adams via Flickr

So for all of you who are chasing the dream, here are a few things to look out for that can ruin your profitability and your margin:

Avoiding Distractions

Working from home means you can be around your family and work to your own schedule, but one of the biggest challenges you will face is actually getting work done. It is all too easy to sit in a state of limbo at your desk and feel like you are working when in reality you are not being productive and are constantly getting up to run errands and get other jobs done.

When you actually start working from home you should set yourself a schedule and designate office space for yourself to work in. Don’t allow people in whilst you are working and make sure you stay focussed. You can allow yourself some flexibility, but you have to be disciplined about it.

International Customers

Working from home generally means working online, which generally means that your customer base can be anywhere you like. This is great for expanding and getting more sales, but it also brings in an element of currency risk.

When selling to international customers it is important to find out what currency conversion rate you will actually be getting (not always the same as what Google tells you by the way), and what fees will be involved in receiving payment.

Additionally, be weary of monthly contracts which agree a set price in the foreign currency. These might be a great way to tie in business, but if currency movements don’t go in your favor you might end up doing a lot of work for no profit.

Be Tax Efficient

Part of working for yourself is managing your own finances and your own taxes. To many people this is the hardest part of the whole thing, but it really needn’t be.

Start keeping simple accounts right from day 1, in particular track all of your costs and don’t forget to include things like the cost of your equipment, internet connection and even rent on your office space. Don’t try to write off things that you shouldn’t but take the time to find out what your allowable tax write offs are.

My name is Mark and I am from a site called – I love to write about finance, currency and business. Thanks for reading my post!

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