Working at home is now viewed by a growing number of people as their ticket to realizing their full potentials. For parents of growing children, a home-based business is a chance to create a better balance between family and career. For others, it also means freedom from the daily commute to work, or the traffic.
For a lot of people, however, the financial benefits of working at home are very attractive. The amount of money that you could earn is now directly proportional to your own performance, without waiting for a boss to give you a raise or promotion. Whether your business provides your sole means of support or a secondary income, its earning potential now depends on your ingenuity, determination, and willingness to work at it.
What’s more, people who have been frequently shut out of the job market –homemakers, students, retirees, and the disabled, to name a few — can use their home business to create new income opportunities. To a housewife with two or three kids, being self-employed and making $20,000 or $30,000 a year looks a whole lot better than being “employed” at $4.50 per hour. If you’re handicapped, a home business may be a perfect solution to your special employment problems. For the seniors without employment but not yet eligible for social security, a home-based business can be a wonderful bridge, giving you not only personal satisfaction but income that otherwise might not be possible.
Benefits of Working at Home
In addition to the money you can earn by working at home, there’s also the money you can save. By working at home, you automatically save money on clothes, lunches out, transportation expenses, and day care costs. The reductions in the cost of transportation, business lunches, wardrobe, and children’s day care are cause for celebration.
Savings on Commute
Think what you can save if you do not drive to the office everyday. Simply by eliminating the need to commute to and from work, the home-based worker stands to realize savings ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a year. If you normally use public transportation, your savings will naturally be lower. However, if you are currently driving your own car each day, the savings can be considerable, including money saved on gasoline and oil, maintenance, parking, and insurance. Wear and tear on your car will be reduced, and your auto insurance would probably decrease.
Savings on Lunch Money
Business lunches — often hurried, unappetizing, and overpriced affairs — need no longer be mandatory daily occurrences. Home-based businesspersons have the luxury of eating what they want and when they want to eat. Plus, there’s the satisfaction of knowing that they got their money’s worth (assuming of course that you can cook).
Savings on Corporate Wear
While we’re at it, do you know how much you spend for your work clothes? Unless you wear a uniform, you probably can’t wear the same thing everyday. Working out of your home also gives you the freedom to dress as you choose, thus reducing your clothing costs by doing away with the need for a separate “work wardrobe.” Casual clothes probably will be the rule – blue jeans, warm-ups, or even a bathrobe may be your uniform of the day. Unless your business is one that constantly requires you to present a professional look (doctor, attorney, consultant), you may need only a few “dress-for-success” outfits for seeing clients.
Savings on Eliminating Day Care Expenses
One of the common reasons why many become work-at-home entrepreneurs is that they can spend more time with their family and kids. As a result, there’s big savings to be had on eliminating day care expenses.
Children’s day-care centers, a fact of modern life in single-parent families or those in which both parents work, can put a big dent in the family budget. High quality care are not only difficult to find, but can be very costly, particularly if more than one child is enrolled. A home-based business enables parents to be with their children and still earn an income. Children receive the care they need, and the money that would otherwise be spent to provide it could be used to improve the family’s overall standard of living.
Note, however, that there may be instances or phases in your business where you will need someone to look after the kids even when you’re working at home. You may be meeting clients, whether remotely or coming in your home; or you may be rushing something for clients that need your full focus and attention.
Savings on Rent and Lease for the Business
Another benefit of locating your business at home is readily apparent: the money you can save by not renting office space. Rent payments, in many cases the single largest expense in running a business can be a major stumbling block to getting started. The high overhead costs that kill so many new businesses are low, sometimes nonexistent, when your home becomes your place of business. The reduced overhead means a lower operating break-even point.
Even when the money for rent is available, the accompanying requirements for a security deposit, maintenance, and cleaning fees or the pressure to sign a long-term lease can be overwhelming. Converting a portion of your home into workspace enables you to avoid this, lowering both your costs and your risk. Some business people use their office rent savings to buy houses or other real estate investments.
Where a non-home-based firm may struggle, a home enterprise can not only survive, but also prosper.
Recommended Books on Working at Home:
- Work at Home Now: The No-nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living
- The Work-at-Home Success Bible: A Complete Guide for Women: Start Your Own Business; Balance Work and Home Life; Develop Telecommuting Strategies
- Working from a Home Office Successfully: Best Practice Tips
- Home-Based Business For Dummies