NEARLY one million Australians operate a business from home, according to Australian government figures.
In 2005, Bibby Financial Services commissioned research into the planning habits of small business operators and uncovered significant differences in the habits of home-based business operators and those that operate from separate premises.
* 38% of home-based businesses do not usually plan marketing activity (as compared to only 20% of businesses that operate from a separate premises)
* 43% of home-based businesses do not plan for growth or expansion (as compared to only 19% of businesses that operate from a separate premises)
* 47% of home-based businesses do not forecast cashflow or do so on an ad hoc basis only (as compared to only 24% of businesses that operate from a separate premises).
Bibby Managing Director Greg Charlwood finds the figures surprising.
"I find it quite intriguing that the location of a business can potentially have such a big bearing on the way in which the business is conducted,” he said.
"With technology being what it is today, the essentials of good business really should not differ whether they are being conducted from a dedicated office, a spare bedroom or the back of a taxi," said Mr Charlwood.
Mr Charlwoood also believes that some home-based business operators lose sight of the reasons they chose to work from home in the first place.
"People who chose to take on the risk of setting themselves up to work from home usually do so to enable them to better balance their home and work lives,” he said.
"They should remind themselves of this regularly. In fact, it should form part of their business plan.”
Good systems are vital.
"Home operators need to take the time to set their business up properly to work for them from the outset,” he said.
"If they don't, the likelihood is the business will not succeed in the way in which it was foreseen and may not provide the benefits the operator was originally looking for."