Many of us who are working from home or virtually, actually perform the work for several clients; if this is you, then you are actually a business, not self-employed. In my opinion, self-employed means a 1099 contractor who works for a company with minimum supervision but with details of how the work should be performed. Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you are not a business, it’s just a home based business or office. Otherwise, IRS would not generously allow you to take many business deductions and credits and your county (for most states) would not require you to obtain a home occupation license.
So what makes you a small business? Let’s review some points:
• You have several clients to perform services for your way or style.
• You filed with the IRS and your state articles of incorporation or organization of a limited liability company
• You operate why, when, where, and how you want
• You have a business license (for most).
• You may have professional / general liability insurance to protect your business.
Also, just because you perform the services yourself for clients and don’t have any employees, makes you self- employed, but a small business without staff. So let’s change your mindset. Let’s go back to reviewing your mission, vision, products, or services you have for your business. Once you review that, then let’s beginning operating in such caliber. I know many of you are thinking that we don’t have it in our budget to afford systems for our businesses. However, online resources like the Google chrome store has many applications for time tracking, project management, and word processing to create a workflow process. There are others out there for your invoicing, billing, and accounting that will allow your customers to pay over the internet and you on time. For example:
• Quick Books Go Payment
• Google Wallet
• Moonlighting App
• Wave Accounting (free online accounting program)
• My Bookkeeper (software at stores like Office Max for payroll and accounting)
How to begin operating as a small business you may ask? If you have hourly clients, use a time tracking system so you can send them your timesheet and invoice for payment of services rendered. For fixed price clients, use a project management system to track, update, and assign tasks. Use invoicing systems with less fees that will allow clients to pay their invoices online. Set up your processes that will aid you from the beginning to the end of the work day. When you are ready to hire staff or contractors you will be able to give them your processes and procedures on how you operate.
So let’s begin operating like a business. Change your mindset, do not allow anyone to tell you different. There are several successful businesses who operates from home. Some have staff that they oversee remotely. Even if you have a small private office space with only you in it, you are still a small business. Not everyone can work from home. Working from home requires more discipline. Why? Simple, because it is from the comforts of your home which will still require a change in your mindset. It’s all about the way you view things. But, in a legal perspective, you are indeed a small business.