If you’re reading this article, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve already considered a number of inexpensive business ideas and are now ready to delve into the nitty gritty of what it’s like to work not only for yourself, but out of your own home. (See also: Budget Biz Strategies for New Entrepreneurs)
If there weren’t perks to having a home business, so many people wouldn’t be striving to start one for themselves. Here are a few of the most popular perks that come hand in hand with launching your own gig.
Not having to head out the door and drive to work every day is a huge money saver. Some of the many ways it’s cheaper to work from home include lower fuel costs, reduced wear and tear on professional clothing and not having to spend money on restaurant office lunches. Depending on how much you are able to reduce your mileage, you may even be able to spend less on your auto insurance. How cool is that?
While a typical supervisor of cubicle employees might not think so, the truth is it’s possible to be at least twice as productive when you have your own home business. One major way I save time is by not waiting in line for things like coffee, copies or face time with the boss. If I need to have a phone conversation with a client or colleague, I can have it via a wireless headset, which frees me up to toss a few ingredients in the slow cooker, fold a load of laundry and even brush the dog.
Even if your home business requires more one-on-one face time with customers, you still don’t have to commute to work both ways every day. Trust me. There are WAY more productive things you could be doing with your time than sitting in highway traffic.
Unless you are running a shop or maintaining a professional office for legal, accounting or medical services for example chances are you can create your own schedule. This means flexible hours which allows you to take the kids to their soccer game and finish that report after they go to bed. You’ll need self discipline to make sure you don’t take more down time than appropriate, but if you’ve got mad organizational skills and a strong sense of accountability, the world is your oyster as far as owning a home business goes.
You didn’t think it would be all sunshine and roses, did you? Owning your own home business may provide its fair share of sweet perks, especially for those used to working for the man, but it definitely has its quirks as well.
Depending on the services you intend to offer, and how much room you have for things like an office or a photography studio, juggling your home business in the kitchen or from the coffee table can be a real drag. There are a few simple tips for a successful work at home experience, including carving out a dedicated space. Even if you have to use a closet or craft armoire to do it.
Since so many home businesses focus on desk jockey tasks like writing, editing and image manipulation, those who operate them are at increased risk for a variety of health issues, including heart attack and stroke. These risks occur regardless of how fit you are. Here’s an article I wrote recently detailing the many reasons why you need to spend more time on your feet and cheap ways to build a standing desk.
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Just because you’ve set aside several hours each day to make your new home business venture a priority, doesn’t mean your friends and family will realize they need to respect your space. Expect to receive unannounced visitors, people expecting they can interrupt your asking for support and more than a few “since you’re at home” requests. Rest assured these are absolutely as annoying as they sound. You’ll need to be firm about your boundaries, and that may mean a fair bit of friction in the beginning. In the end however, those who truly respect what you’re doing will adjust. Those who don’t no longer need to be in your immediate circle.
Many people who successfully make the transition from cubicle employee to home business owner find they never want to go back to their previous money-making situation. While it isn’t a quick switch to make, the rewards are there for anyone willing and able to put the time in. Do you currently operate your own home business? What are some of the perks and quirks that you’ve noticed over the years?