Home-based businesses are the trend of the future. Government and industry reports show that increasing numbers of men and women are now opting to work out of their homes. In fact, the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that about 8 million entrepreneurs are now working at home, most of which are in the professional and services industry.
Entrepreneurs are rediscovering the benefits of working at home. The continuously good performance of the economy, followed by a change in lifestyles buoys well for the home-based entrepreneur. Many people now wants to combine their careers with families, opting out of the rat race to spend more time with their families and take a more proactive part in raising their children. The technological innovations in the past decades have also made working at home easier and more feasible.
You need not look farther than your kitchen, bedroom, den, living room, or garage to find the foundation on which to build your business enterprise. Here are seven reasons why it pays to work at home:
1. To gain personal freedom
The most enticing aspect of starting a home-based business is the opportunity it provides to gain control over your own life. As a home business entrepreneur, you can shape your work life depending on your goals and environment. There are no bosses to follow, no corporate culture to abide by, and no rigid work schedules nor time clocks. Instead, you have the freedom to work and earn as you choose, in the comfort and convenience of your own homes. Of course, having all the time and freedom to work as you please also has its drawback. Thus, a home business entrepreneur needs to have good time management skills and discipline to push yourself to work.
2. To reap financial benefits
The financial benefits of working at home are equally attractive. The convenience of having your office a few steps away from your bed allows you to save on commute time, gasoline and transportation expenses. There is also little need to buy power suits and dress up every workday as you can work in your jogging outfit or pajama. Since you work at home, you save on rental payments and overhead costs are cut significantly; allowing you to plough all your capital and profits back into the business. Your earning potential is directly proportional to your performance: no more waiting for your boss to give you your raise or promotion before you can increase your income. More importantly, however, a home business allows people who have been frequently shut out of the job market–homemakers, students, retirees, and the disabled, to name a few-to to create new income opportunities.
3. To exploit tax advantages
Using your home as a place of business offers a number of tax advantages. For starters, it allows you to deduct a part of the operating and depreciation expenses on your home. This means that a percentage of your rent or mortgage payment, depreciation, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and expenses for household maintenance, repairs, or improvements is deductible. You can also be entitled to deduct expenses from using a vehicle for your business, including gas, insurance, depreciation, and others. Consult your accountant for a careful evaluation of what can be and what cannot be deducted from using your home office.
4. To be with the family
Many opt to start their business from their homes to strengthen family relationships. A home business allows family members to be involved in the business. Husbands or wives can help in various aspects of the business, while children have the opportunity to see what their parents do for a living. Parents, most especially, can both work and earn, while taking care of their children; although daycare arrangements or babysitter may be needed to help you concentrate on the work at hand.
5. To reduce stress
Working at home can reduce the stress of juggling the demands of your work life with those of your private life. You can work while staying at home to care for a sick child, or continue to work late at night after preparing and sharing dinner with the family. Since you work alone, there is no office politics and deadlines imposed by your boss. You only need to follow the deadlines and schedules you have set for yourself.
6. For job enrichment
As a home-based entrepreneur, you are not boxed into one job and given a label identifying you as a researcher, secretary, banker, manager, or administrative assistant. You are free to learn and perform a variety of work-related tasks. If you are a solo entrepreneur, then you even have to be ready of being all things for your business: the strategy setter, marketing and sales person, customer service representative, accountant and bookkeeper, and other roles. You can vary your activities to keep you from getting bored. While it means greater workload, the plus point is that you develop an understanding of all aspects of your own business. More importantly, personal growth is greatly enhanced as you learn what you can (and cannot do) and your goals become much more achievable.
7. To increase productivity
Many home-based entrepreneurs find that working at home helps them to be more productive. With lesser time dedicated to commuting, there is more time available to work. More importantly, working for your own business – wherein the amount of financial compensation depends on your productivity and business management – increases the level of enthusiasm. Many get so caught up in what they’re doing that it’s actually hard for them to stop.
8. To harness competitive advantages
One of the biggest benefits of working out of your home is the reduced overhead cost. Lower operating costs can enable you to be more competitive, not just in the prices you charge but also in the quality of service you offer. You can use the money you save on rent to increase your overall profitability, or you can pass it on to customers in the form of lower prices. Competitors restricted by higher overhead costs have no such options. What they charge is predetermined by their rental agreements. The higher the rent, the higher their prices. Moreover, a smaller business makes it easier to provide customers with personal service.
Given these benefits and more, the trend toward home-based businesses is clearly just beginning. As more people recognize the opportunities of working from their homes, coupled by the need to be independent and the drive to succeed, others will soon join this growing movement.