Have you ever considered about launching a homebased business? If yes, you probably have thought of the benefits, as well as the challenges involved in starting this type of business. In fact, more and more entrepreneurs prefer having their businesses headquartered in their homes. Many homebased businesses typically start on part-time basis and as the business grows and develops, they expand into full-time. Study shows that the majority of homebased companies are actually women-owned businesses.
Homebased businesses may include product-oriented services such as clothing and crafts, child-care services, computer software consulting, food and catering, farming and horticulture, specialty mail-order, and hospitality establishments.
Homebased enterprises attract many people for a variety of reasons: flexibility and more work time, being their own boss, sense of independence, and personal satisfaction of being hands-on about the business. The demographic of homebased business owners are single or stay-at-home moms and dads, hobbyists, retired business executives, dislocated workers, and freelance contractors among others.
Running a homebased business may require a great deal of commitment than most office-based jobs. There are pros and cons that you may want to take a look into before launching your own home business:
- More flexibility on work hours
- More integration with the family
- Can be launched as a part-time business, a sideline if you’re still employed
- Low operating and start-up costs
- Cost-savings on commuting fare, gas, child or adult care
- Being your own boss.
- Increased tax benefits
- Can be a channel for your creative skills/talents
- Employment of family members
- Work-life balance may be disrupted
- Working space can be cramped
- Long work hours
- No taxable fringe benefits
- Lack of informal social opportunities
- Family members and friends may disturb or demand more of you when you’re at home
- Business activities may cause neighbor issues
- More discipline is required
These pros and cons may impact your business or family environment in one way or another. Remember that your business, even if it involves massive amounts of your time, effort and concentration, does not have to come at your family’s (or neighbor’s) expense. Set priorities, stick to them, and manage your time effectively to maintain that ideal work-life balance.
Balancing business and family
Operating a homebased business doesn’t have to be all about you. Even if you are your own boss, you still need support to achieve balance you need for a successful business and a smooth-sailing family life.
To strike that work-life balance, you can include family members to help you develop a good business plan or share responsibilities at home. Allow time for family vacations and business hours must be limited to specific times of day and hours.
Hire a team
A business will not go well if it doesn’t have the right people working for you. Take time to hire individuals who will help you grow your business as well as fit your business needs.
You can employ a team in-house or through outsourcing. There are many professional and skilled independent contractors out there who are waiting for their next job opportunities. These contractors will help you with your invoices, accounting and bookkeeping, offline or online marketing, and so on.
For more information, home entrepreneurs can learn more about or get financial assistance in launching their home businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).