Welcome to the first of a series of blog posts about running a business from home.
For the first installment, we’re kicking off with the pros and cons of running a business from home.
The Pros and Cons of Running A Business From Home
Before you decide whether running your business from home is right for you, you should weigh up the various pros and cons of running your business from home as opposed to an office or other premises.
Every business is unique, just as every home and premises is so give careful attention to all the contributing factors before you make your decision.
The Pros of Running Your Business From Home
1. It’s low cost.
In any business you always need to be mindful of costs and keep your overheads to a minimum. Premises are often a significant expense for business owners and running your business from home can cut that out. Furthermore, you may even be able to claim expenses for it.
2. There’s no commute.
No getting stuck in traffic jams, no missing the train, no standing at the bus stop in the rain. You’re already there. No time taken out of your day to get to work and no expense to get there.
3. It’s flexible.
You’re not tied in. If you decide at any point that you want to move to another premises, you don’t have to give notice to yourself to move. For this reason running your business from home can be a good temporary solution if you know that your business could be going through a period of change in future.
4. There are less distractions.
Although there are distractions at home, often these are things which are more within your control, for example less people walking in, likely to be less noise.
5. You’re closer to your family.
One of the reasons most people cite for working from home is getting to spend more time with family and improving work life balance. Be sure to have guidelines in place though when you first start about family time and work time which everyone needs to stick to, otherwise this can end up on the list of cons as you’ll read shortly.
6. You can set your own schedule.
Not having a premises to go to often also means that you aren’t constrained by particular opening hours of the premises, so in theory you can adapt your own schedule to suit you.
The Cons of Running Your Business From Home
1.It can be isolating.
Running a business from home often means you are working by yourself. Depending on the nature of your business, you may go days at work without seeing anyone else. Make a conscious effort to stay connected with people. Arrange to meet people for coffee once or twice a week to keep up your social interaction, if you can combine it with a bit of networking so much the better.
2. You’re always at work.
Just as when you go to work you’re always at home, when you are at home you’re always at work. It can be hard to switch off at the end of the day. Set yourself boundaries just as you would if you worked in an office. Have a clear dedicated work space, ideally in a separate room that you can close the door on at the end of the day. If that’s not possible at least make sure you tidy your work things away at the end of the day so you’re not always reminded of a nagging to do list. Have a set time to finish, leave your work behind as much as you can at the end of the day.
3. You are less visible.
If you don’t have a premises that can effectively act as a shop window you’re unlikely to get business from people just turning up at your place of work. These days so many people carry out internet research before they buy anything so make sure you have an online presence. List your business on Google My Business to help with your Google rankings. If you don’t want to use your home address you can always use a virtual office.
4. It can put a strain on family life.
Ironically, although spending more time with the family is one of the most popular reasons for running a business from home if not managed properly running your business from home can actually put more of a strain on relationships and family life. Communication is key here and making sure you are all in agreement on what’s going to work for everyone. Also look out for our later blog post in this series on how to achieve work life balance when you work from home.
5. You can start slacking off.
Just as it’s possible to not switch off from work, it’s also possible to feel a bit too comfortable in your surroundings and begin to slack off. Make sure you have a dedicated work space in your home to work from. Train yourself that when you’re in that place, you’re there to work. In this series there is another blog post coming on determining if you have the right personality to work from home.
Weighing up the pros and cons of running a business from home is definitely a good place to start. Next week we’ll start by delving a bit deeper, the subject is Is My Home Suitable To Run A Business From. Sign up here to get this post delivered direct to your inbox to make sure you don’t miss it.