How to set up a home office space
Once you’ve decided to use your home for your business, setting up an office space comes next. That shouldn’t be too difficult for most authors, as they already work from home.
If you write at your kitchen table or just head to the coffeeshop to pen your novel, though, you’ll have to make some adjustments. First, you need to select a room in your house that’s dedicated to business use. That may be a requirement of local zoning laws, and if you wish to take a home office deduction on your federal taxes, it’s a must. Secondly, whichever room you select, ensure that you it will be a fairly quiet and private place to work. A spare room often works best for that purpose. If clients are coming to your office, you’ll want a room near the front entrance to ensure people aren’t traipsing through your house where your family may be.
There are several pieces of equipment or services you’ll need to acquire for a functional home office:
• Office furniture – This could include a desk, chairs (for your desk and for clients to sit), wastebasket, bookshelf, and file cabinet. Your desk chair should be comfortable with plenty of back support.
• Computer – You’ll need a device to work on. A printer for it is a must.
• Internet connection – Your computer needs to have email and the ability to operate various programs. Always opt for a fast, reliable connection.
• Software – You’ll at a minimum need a word processing and an accounting program or app. If putting together public presentations, you’ll want PowerPoint or an equivalent.
• Telephone – A cell or Internet-based phone rather than a landline is fine.
• Assorted office supplies – Among the many items you’ll likely need are a notepad, pens, Post-it notes, printer paper, printer cartridges, envelopes and stamps.
As arranging your office, make sure you don’t place your computer so that window light shines on the screen. Likewise, you don’t want the glare of a setting or rising sun striking your eyes through the window. Make sure cords are covered with plenty of slack so you and others don’t trip over them.
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