Are you thinking about starting up a home-based business? Thanks to the web, it’s never been easier. However, don’t assume that because it’s easy to get started, you can cut corners. Here are five things you can’t afford to forget for your home based business.

1. Time is money.

When you have a home office, distractions are everywhere. You will have your usual office distractions, such as email, and the occasional glimpse at social media. But there are far more opportunities for your personal life to start encroaching, too.

Maybe your children keep coming into the office, or perhaps the phone goes off every ten minutes. Maybe you have a list of chores that need doing before the school run. All these little things start to eat into your working week and cost you a serious amount of hours. When you work from home, you have to be ruthless with your time.

2. Your appearance is important.

For the first week of working from home, it is unlikely you will get out of your pajamas. That’s OK – it’s a novelty, and everyone should try it at least once. But, it’s vital that you don’t fall into bad habits. Keep on top of your personal appearance, and try and groom as well as you would when you were in a normal job.

It’s important not only for your own sanity, but it will also help keep your professionalism at the front of your mind. And, you never know when that client calls you up and needs to meet you in five minutes.

Related: How Successful People Find a Better Work-Life Balance

3. It pays to consider insurance.

OK, so you work from home – what could go wrong? Alas, there will still be times when you could be at fault, even if you have no face to face contact with your client. You’ll need business insurance for many things, including accidents and mistakes you have made.

Plus, even though you do the majority of your work at home, there will still be times when you need to go out. Maybe you buy a new computer for your business, and accidentally drop it or spill liquid on it. Protect the assets you use to work from home. Sure, it’s probably unlikely – but that’s the whole point of insurance.

4. Remember your admin tasks.

Admin is vital for all home-based businesses, and it’s a habit you need to get into at an early stage. Finish your paid jobs, and sign them off or update your accounts as and when you complete them. Otherwise, you will just be in admin hell, and your office will get chaotic.

Now, if you can afford to miss a couple of days every month to catch up, then fine. But most businesses need that extra time to earn more money, and admin is not the best use of your time.

5. Get out more.

Finally, don’t forget to get out as much as you possibly can. It can drive you mad being in the house so often, and it’s not great for the fitness, either. Go to trade shows and events, and include the cost of these trips out in your budget. It will help you stay sane, and you might even get more clients out of it, too.

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