Setting Up Your Home Office As An Entrepreneur Or A Freelancer

setting up home office - SMEStories
Home Office Setup – Being a young entrepreneur without access to plenty funds and other resources can be very challenging in Nigeria. With the rise co-working spaces are springing up daily across the country, you might be tempted to actually subscribe to start working from one of them,  but before you make that decision, you need to ask yourself if you are truly ready for it, working from these spaces can be costly and you have to incur monthly re-current expenditures.  Don’t get me wrong, many of these spaces are conducive and have their own advantages one of which is getting to meet other small business and start up owners who might be needing your services or be able to introduce you to people who might be needing them.
This article actually focuses on how you can set up a mini home office  as a small business owner especially in Nigeria. As a young entrepreneur starting a new small business venture, you need to minimize costs and recurrent expenditures as much as possible especially if said business is in its early stage or service based (businesses that don’t really require physical presence).
Here are a few steps to guide you in setting up your small home office without costing you an arm and a leg.
Make a list of the things you will need: You need to make a list of everything you will be needing in your home office. Offices accessories and equipment like chairs, table, internet access, fan, papers, printers, staplers, etc. this list is dependent on the kind of business you are building. Once you make this list, you need to make enquiries on how much each of the items cost and do a scale of preference from the most important to the least important. This will help you prioritize your purchasing power. It will help you create a timeline to purchase the items. see image below
Select good spot or location: Yes! This is very important, you need to select a very good location within your home to set up your home office. If you want to set it up in your living room, you might want to choose a corner with less distractions or a corner that isn’t so close to the TV, if you decide to set up your home office in your room, make sure it isn’t close to your bed so you won’t be tempted to jump on the bed at every given time.
setting up home office - SMEStories
My Home office
Constant Electricity/ Power: Having constant electricity is one of the biggest challenges businesses face in Nigeria,  this is why most entrepreneurs prefer to work from co-working spaces so they don’t have to spend their profits on diesel and fuel purchase. Depending on the kind of business you run, you can generate affordable power to meet your immediate business needs. Here are a few options available:
  1. PHCN/DISCO/GENCO: I am not sure what they are called these days but they are your number one source of electricity even though  they are not so reliable, every business and home in Nigeria are stuck with them
  1. Generators: 90% of homes and offices in Nigeria run on generators because electricity from PHCN is not reliable. Now you can add fuel purchase to the list of your monthly recurrent expenditure. You can also make this as cost effective as possible by creating a sort of timetable for the duration you want to have the generator on when PHCN seizes power (2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours or 5 hours daily). The choice is yours. You could budget between N5000 – 10,000 or more for petrol or diesel purchase every month depending on the type of generator you have.
  1. Inverters: There are different types of inverters available in the Nigerian market that I know of; the solar powered inverters and the battery powered inverters. The battery powered inverters require you to charge the batteries with electricity while the solar powered inverters are basically charged by the sun through the installed solar panel systems, the cost of these inverter installations are on the high side but MTN recently introduced an affordable one which requires you to make a monthly payment of about N4000 after an initial 26,000 installation fee or thereabout. I haven’t used this personally but two of my friends use them and its been quite effective. You can find out more about it from MTN offices (Please note that this is not a paid ad)
MTN inverter - SME StoriesNG
MTN solar powered- inverter
Furniture: This is very important for your comfort. Before you choose a set of furniture to purchase, you need to put your back, side and leg space into consideration. your productivity level may be dependent on how comfortable you are while working. Comfortable office chairs go from N7,000 – as much as you can afford. office desks might cost more. You can actually also make use of space dining.
Office chairs and tables - SMEStoriesNG
Internet Access: You need to get this right, hence you will be frustrated and always want to change internet Service Providers (ISPs). Before making this decision, ensure the network signal of your preferred provider works excellently well at your location. Although data services are still quite expensive in Nigeria, there are SME friendly packages you can go for depending on how internet dependent your business is. Ntel and Airtel both have unlimited data plans, while Spectranet and swift have good packages, You may also check out other ISPs.
Depending on the kind of business you are into, you can also get a printer and stock up on papers, ink and other office accessories. We hope this write-up has been helpful. Please share your contributions, comments and feedback on how you set up your home office with us.
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