Running any type of business is challenging, but running a home-based business has its own set of challenges. If you are considering running a home based business you should thoroughly weigh the pros and cons for your type of business and your personal needs. You need a fit for both to be successful and happy.
A wide variety of small businesses are home based. Examples include, daycare, home improvement, retail, cleaning services, bed and breakfasts, catering, baking and some franchises. Technology and the ability to run and stay connected to a business remotely, have made home based businesses much more common and acceptable today. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (quoting Forbes magazine), more than 52% of all small businesses in the U.S. are home based. https://www.sba.gov/blogs/5-reasons-start-home-based-internet-business.
In many ways, thoroughly evaluating two factors before you start a home based business are the most important:
- Does my type of business lend itself to being home based?
- Does my personality have the characteristics for a successful home based business?
Oftentimes, the first thing people jump to is the legal requirements for running a home based business without really thinking through what it takes and whether it is the best scenario for you and your business. This is a big decision which should not be based solely on saving money or not paying rent.
On the type of business, ask yourself if it's feasible to run your business from home? What kind of equipment or tools will you need? How much space will you need? Do you have a separate and dedicated office, computer, and phone? Do you have a business address? Does it matter? Will you need to meet with clients or customers? Will they be deterred from hiring you if you work from home? What zoning requirements are there for your type of business? Will you have room for employees and growth? What about parking? What about homeowner's nearby or homeowner association covenants? What about traffic flow? What about supplies and technology you will need?
On whether a home based business suits your personality ask yourself if you would like not being in an office or around others regularly? Are you disciplined enough to work at home and ignore household chores and other distractions? Will you put in the required hours? Are you good at or do you have the money to hire someone to help you with taxes, payroll, necessary filings, accounting, marketing, equipment repair and maintenance, and every other aspect to keep your business afloat and flourishing? Can you really treat your home office like an office? Are you good at time Management? Do you have the discipline to treat this like your real job, which it is, without being tapped by friends and family during the workday to run errands or do non-work related things?
Like any other type of business, there are people who love working from home and others who hate it. This is a personal decision. To help you, here are some links to websites and articles discussing this topic:
If you decide that a home based business is right for you, you must still form the right type of business, get any necessary licenses, and comply with tax laws and other laws and regulations. http://www.taylorlegal.com for more information about Katherine Taylor, a Maryland business attorney.