More and more entrepreneurs today are operating small but profitable businesses from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Most home-based businesses start small and provide a second income to a person that works in a traditional workplace. As the business grows and thrives, many are choosing to grow their home businesses and give up the traditional job.
There are some very clear advantages to being able to work from a home office; there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are a few of the points to consider if a home-based business is in your future:
Freedom: When working from home, you can often set the hours you want to work and maintain better flexibility when time is needed for children, doctors appointments, and other things you’ve longed to be able to fit into your schedule. This can be a huge advantage for self-motivated people because lots of productive work can be accomplished after the kids are in bed or very early in the morning.
No Commuting Hassles: No one really enjoys commuting to work, whether they drive, carpool, or take mass transit. Commuting eats into your free time when working in a traditional office. With a home-based business, your commute is only the distance from your bedroom to the room you have set aside for your workspace.
Time Savings: Without the commute, you will save many hours a week that you would be normally in your car..
Tax Benefits: Home businesses often qualify for a wealth of business dedications when income tax times rolls around. Of course, you’ll need to speak with your tax professional but you’ll likely be surprised at how much you can deducted for your home office and operating expenses, significantly reducing your tax burden.
Low Startup and Operating Costs: There is little overhead with an office space in your home. After all, the room was already there, you just hadn’t defined it as your office previously. You may need to update your computer or add an extra phone line for faxing, but the costs of start-up will be minimal compared with a traditional office. Also, there’s no rental or lease to worry about. You don’t have to own nearly as large a collection of professional clothing when working from home.
Discipline: Working from home requires a great deal of self-discipline. It’s very easy to become motivated at first, but over time it is also easy to allow yourself to see all sorts of things that need done around the home and begin procrastinating about business tasks.
Business and Family Overlaps: It’s also very easy to allow your family to interrupt your business time. Just as easy, many people end up spending time working that should have been quality family time. Making a set of clear boundaries is necessary but difficult.
Boundary Issues: It is very easy to “go to work” since it is just around the corner, but it can lead to family problems of another kind. There is no boundary between home and work and it can become a problem, or a very delicate balance, for the very highly motivated entrepreneur.
Stagnation: Lack of social contact is an issue for some outgoing people who decide to try working from home. It’s also very easy to lose contact with your professional network, making it much more difficult to remain on the cutting edge of progress.
Pressure and Stress: While working from home is flexible, it is also easy to work yourself into stressful, pressured situations. You want to please all your clients and generate constant leads, but many people become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Some set unrealistic goals and attempt to achieve them while others simply take on too many clients or fail to outsource when necessary.
Image: Depending on your client and customer contact, your company’s image could come into question. Setting up a client meeting at home or Starbuck’s can be less than impressive. There are alternatives such as a virtual office. They are pay-as-you-go subscriptions for office space. You have an official business address with an executive suite operator and can use their facilities on a “as needed” basis.
Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Virtual Office Space