Here’s How You Can Save Money While Running a Home Business

Here’s How You Can Save Money While Running a Home Business
Image: iStock/PeopleImages
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Home-based businesses are a huge contributor to the Australian business market, with benefits that include having the flexibility and convenience to escape the daily 9-5 grind and work on their own terms.

However, working from home also comes with its fair share of challenges and risks – overheads being one of them. Keeping costs down is crucial when you’re running a home business and you can’t afford to waste time or money on household utilities. A survey from a home service provider, Amaysim revealed that 57% of the population found the process of managing different utilities time consuming, while almost three in five said they are also concerned they‘re spending too much money due to having their household services such as mobile, energy and broadband with multiple providers.

So, what’s the solution?

Business owners should spend their valuable time on things that make them money, by setting up a smart environment that can help keep costs down whilst staying flexible by not getting locked into contracts. When it comes to home services like mobile, internet and energy, this means you should choose wisely. Dealing with just one provider for all your home services will cut admin time and save you money later down the line. 68% of Australians agree that the idea of consolidating their bills with the same provider is appealing.

Even if you don’t own your own business, over the past two or so years we’ve seen a definite uptick in people working from home. So while not all of these tips may be relevant to you, some of them could help improve your current WFH status.

Tax time regrets

Speaking of home services – did you know that you might be entitled to claim deductions for running costs including heating, cooling and lighting? You can also claim home expenses such as computer, phone or other electronic devices you are required to use for work purposes. However, for many small business owners, tax time means stress time, and some don’t even bother doing their taxes. It’s worth it and you should consider getting in early so that sorting out your taxes will result in a lot less to do when EOFY is approaching.

If you hate dealing with 12 months of numbers and you can’t get yourself to sit in a room surrounded by invoices and receipts, pick clever software or hire a trusted tax agent. Why not invest a bit of money into something that promises a higher return?

Google, your new bestie

Your website is your digital business card and increases your exposure exponentially. No one expects you to get a diploma in web development, it’s as simple as using one of the handy website builders that make it foolproof for anyone to get a business presence up on the worldwide web.

However, the flashiest website is worthless if it doesn’t come up on Google’s first pages. To get discovered by potential clients who are in desperate need for your services, you should consider allocating a small amount of money each month to a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) agency that will take your home business to the next level. Putting money behind the right keywords like ‘pest control’ and ‘Bondi’ ensures that your Eastern Suburbs based family business ranks high in the search.

Once you have an internet presence you might also want to ask your happy customers to leave a review online. The good old word of mouth has gone digital and many people look for recommendations before engaging the services of a business that’s new to them.

Lower your bills

While running a business from your own home you might see an uptick in your electricity bills, especially if you’ve mostly been working in an office previously. These new energy costs could see you paying more every month, and the best way to ensure you’re not overpaying with your current provider is to compare your current costs to other providers in your area. We’ve partnered with a powerful comparison tool called eConnex to help make this process fast and easy. You can even use your most current bill details to get an accurate comparison. Enter your postcode in the box below to get started.

Where are you located?

Currently available in ddd, ACT, SA, VIC, parts of QLD, TAS & WA (only Gas). Not available in Ergon Area (QLD), NT and embedded networks or non-quotable meters.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

Log in to comment on this story!