Working from home can be wonderful. The commute is from your bedroom to your office, you get to use your own kitchen to make a great lunch and you get to take breaks in your own living room, maybe even in your pajamas.
Having a home-based franchise doesn’t mean that you never leave your house, but it does mean that you get to work from home more often, save money by not having to lease a commercial building and you can get some great tax write-offs for your home, such as: a portion of property taxes, utilities, repairs and maintenance, home insurance and a portion of your mortgage interest or rent.
Home-based franchises cover a wide variety of businesses. Nearly every industry has some kind of home-based business. Some common ones include:
- computer consulting,
- senior care,
- cleaning and janitorial,
- financial consulting,
- marketing services, and
- home décor like floors, windows and painting.
With more people valuing their time, home-based businesses are becoming more popular. That’s not to say that they’re easier to run than a non-home-based franchise or that they require less of a time commitment, but once your business is running smoothly, they allow for more time with your family at home.
Advantages of Working at Home
Flexibility is probably the best part of working at home. You can be in full control of your hours and you don’t need to make complicated arrangements when you need to run errands.
Not having to commute to work will also take a lot of stress out of your day. No being stuck in traffic, no having to deal with the weather and no having to struggle with public transportation. You’ll also save money on fuel and/or fares.
The most obvious money-saving aspect of running a home-based franchise is not having to lease a commercial building or build one from scratch. Doing business from home will take a big chunk out of your initial startup investment.
Disadvantages of Working from Home
Many people equate home-based franchises with easy to run, but they do come with their own set of challenges. People who get easily distracted may find it difficult to work from home. It can be tempting to stay in bed an extra hour when your alarm goes off or find something else to do besides work.
Work can also end up intruding into your personal life more than you intend. If your office is at home, you may find yourself not able to separate the two aspects of your life. Just because a business is home-based doesn’t mean it takes any less effort to start and run.
Depending on your business, you will likely need some place for storage, which could mean taking up a part of your garage or basement for that, or having to rent storage space. You also may not be thrilled at the thought of having people come to your home for business meetings. This means you’ll always have to be looking for outside locations to hold meetings.
And, there is also the loneliness aspect. You may find yourself wishing for the companionship of other people during those long hours sitting in your home office. That’s not to say you never get out of the house while running a home-based franchise. Many service-oriented franchises that are run from home will still require you to get out and mingle with people and customers, but there will still be long stretches of you doing the books and various other tasks alone in your office.
Look Before You Leap
To ascertain whether a home-based franchise would be right for you, try asking yourself these questions:
- Can I work for long stretches in a solitary environment?
- Does my home have enough space to fit an office?
- Am I a self-motivated and organized enough person to work from home?
- Will I feel comfortable living where I work?
- Will working from home negatively affect my work/life balance?
You’ll also need to check with your city’s administration about whether you are even allowed to run a commercial enterprise from your home. Some businesses may not be permitted in residential areas.
And don’t forget the insurance. Homeowners insurance will likely not cover business related equipment, so you’ll likely need to purchase more insurance to cover your business.
Try to create a working environment that emulates a business. That means having a designated office space that is in its own room. Try to keep your business phone separate from your work phone, regardless of whether it’s a landline or a cell phone. And when you wake up in the morning, dress for work as if you’re going to an outside office. Looking the part will help you stay motivated throughout the day.
And don’t forget the business licence. Just because it’s being run out of a house doesn’t mean you can forego the licensing.
With less of a startup commitment and more control over your working environment, home-based franchises can be a great way to realize your dream of owning your own business. For help finding the best home-based franchise for you, sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today and let us help you find your perfect franchising match.