It is estimated that more than 35 million Americans work full-time or part-time from a home office.
A good proportion of these people, maybe as high as 40%, are self-employed running their own businesses.
Why is the thought of establishing your business in a home office so attractive?
Let’s take a look at five significant advantages to locating your business at home.
1. You can save thousands of dollars in expenses paid for an outside space.
In many metropolitan areas, rents for decent office space run $12 per square foot and up. Rent for a retail store in a typical strip mall often starts at $18 per square foot ($1500 per month), and this figure doesn’t include common annual increases for the strip malls maintenance and property taxes.
When you rent outside space, you are also usually required to set up your own account with the gas and electric companies, and you may have to pay several hundred dollars to hook up a couple of phone lines.
2. You can coordinate your work and personal schedules more effectively.
When your office is only feet away from your living room or basement, you may find it much easier to accomodate the scheduling needs of your family with a flexible work schedule.
Many homebased businesses are started with the expressed intention of being able to earn money while the business owner spends more time with her children.
Even though new business owners typically work long hours each week growing their businesses, working from home can offer you a much more flexible work schedule.
3. You can enjoy "creature comforts".
A typical business office includes just a door, a set of walls and maybe a private bathroom. You can add such comfort items as a sofa, a mini-fridge and a television, but it is often not the same level of comfort you are used to from your recliner chair or spa bathtub.
You must be careful not to allow too many distractions when you work at home, but it certainly is nice to be able to take a relaxing break by sitting on your patio watching the birds and squirrels in your yard. Or by taking a brisk half-hour walk around your neighborhood (one of my favorite pastimes).
4. You have access to storage and assembly space.
A good number of homebased businesses either inventory and sell a line of products (such as Shaklee) or assemble components into a finished product (such as gift baskets), which they then sell.
For these types of businesses it is important to their productivity that they have enough open space to properly organize their inventory and/or raw materials. A large table may be necessary for assembling a craft product and it is often helpful to have a long table to pack products you are preparing to ship via UPS or the U.S. Postal Service.
It can often be quite a challenge for find an assembly-type space outside of your house that is both large enough and affordable.
5. You have a short "commute to work".
I can remember many cold winter days when I had to stand out on the commuter train platform in freezing weather waiting for an already overfilled train to pull up.
When you locate your office at home you save many hours of commuting time, which you can then invest in more productive activities, such as calling sales prospects or preparing a proposal to be sent out.
And working at home permits you greater flexibility about when you work. Some business owners with small children take a break from work from 4 pm until the kids go to bid and then they work until midnight on their companies.
And many homebased entrepreneurs fit needed business projects into unexpected chunks of time that unexpectedly appear, such as when a planned family event is cancelled.