*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to scare anyone or criticize those who do not heed the suggestions. It is for informational purposes only.*
There are huge advantages for having a business out of your home. The costs are much lower than having a brick and mortar location, you can stay at home if you have kids and you have much more flexibility.
However, there are a few things to think about when you are running your business out of your home. I have compiled a few suggestions which will help keep you home business safe and secure. It is important for you to protect yourself and your family from potential identity theft, predators and theft.
I do not place my home address on my store’s website. Instead I rent a post office box (P.O. Box). Depending on the size of the box you rent it will cost you around $140.00 a year through Canada Post. Well worth every penny. I share a lot of personal information through my store and social media outlets (full name, personal anecdotes etc.), however, I do not share my home address.
Have a business mobile phone
If you talk to your customers often on the phone consider getting second phone. This will allow you to compartmentalize your home business from personal life. It is also helpful to have a dedicated cell phone for those times your teen will just not get off the phone and you need to call your supplier.
Buy a paper shredder
You should shred all of your personal mail before putting it in the recycling box. Government mailings and bank statements almost always contain sensitive personal information. When you have a small business there is also your clients information they are entrusting with you to protect (full names, addresses etc.). The $50.00 a paper shredder costs will save you (and your clients) much heartache and money in the case of identity theft.
Business Bank Account
If you own a consignment style business and pay your customers with personal cheques you should have a business account. By using cheques from your personal account your clients will have access to your bank account number.
Do not use your children as models
Okay, this is a tricky one. If you use your own child(ren) as models for the products you make/sell you might want to reconsider. If you have not followed the above rules your clients/strangers/anyone who accesses your website will most likely have your address, personal phone number and know some personal information about you and your family. I would suggest using friends/family members children as models in addition to your own. By showcasing a variety of models the viewer will not assume all of these children or any of them live at your address.
The list are just a few ways in which you can help protect yourself. They are by no means a fool proof plan. Thinking Outside The Sandbox will be in no way liable in any means by anyone following the above suggestions.