Tool up to succeed in modern environment

BUSINESSES operating from a home office should seem like they are operating from St George’s Terrace, says Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis.

“Today businesses can do a lot of research from home. They can accept orders via the Internet or through some answering services,” he said.

“There is nothing as frustrating as seeing someone who is not geared up properly trying to operate a business from home.

“Someone going into the small office home office set up should look at what technology is available.”

Mr Etrelezis said there was no substitute for service delivery.

“At the end of the day, that is how you will be judged,” he said.

“You can’t have your service delivery interrupted. There must not be any reflection on you operating from home.”

Mr Etrelezis said SOHO operators needed a business plan as much as any other business.

He also believes SOHO operators should join business associations to avoid becoming isolated from what is happening in the real world.

“You can quite easily get cut off from networks if you are operating from home,” Mr Etrelezis said.

“One of the big advantages of networking is that you can keep pace with your competitors and your business environment.

“You still have to get out and about to some extent.”

Mr Etrelezis said SOHO operators should set up a separate area for their business in their home.

“It’s no good trying to run it from the kitchen,” he said.

“You often don’t get anywhere until you set up a distinct place in the house for your business.

“At least there you can get into the discipline of doing certain things on the business.”

Mr Etrelezis said it was also important to check with local governments before embarking on the SOHO adventure.

“A lot of local governments are becoming quite tough on home-based businesses,” he said.

“Different councils have different regulations, parking restrictions and the restrictions on the types of businesses you can operate.

“Most councils allow you to operate from home so long as you don’t upset the amenity of the neighbourhood.

“However, it just takes one complaint to have your business shut down so check with the council first,” he said.

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