Gone are the days when a person works for one company their whole life.
Now, people are always on the search for new and innovative ways to make an income to support their lifestyle.
This has opened endless possibilities in working from home or the opportunity to be more flexible in the hours worked in a day.
Many business owners start off running their business from their homes or garage.
We’ll talk about the legal issues with working from home, the pros and cons of running a business from home, and if it is a feasible way to manage a team and make an income.
So, back to the original question…
Can I Run a Business from My Home?
You can absolutely run a company from the comfort of your home!
In many situations, it might be more cost-effective and convenient to do just that. But, I am not going to tell you that it will be a cakewalk or any bit easier to work from home…
most of the time, it is much more of a challenge.
Have we scared you off yet?
Here’s the thing…
if you have the right dedication and self-discipline, running a business from home could be the perfect option for you.
This is not a new concept either.
In fact, many popular business owners you may know began their careers in a basement, garage, or even their own room.
That’s right. The CEO and co-founder of the Apple brand launched Apple Computer Co. from his adopted parent’s garage. So, the company that now has a net worth of over $750 billion started in a personal home.
This is just one of many examples of the thousands of companies that were run from their home in the early stages.
This list comes from not only the experience of thousands of business owners, but also from personal experience as I started my first business from my home office.
Pros and Cons to Running a Business from Home
- Save money on operating expenses (such as rent and utilities)
- You are your own boss/Flexible schedule
- Commuting costs/Save time without traffic
- In-home tax deductions
- Stay home with children while making an income
- Startup costs are much lower
- Flexible lifestyle
- May seem unprofessional to potential customers/clients
- No office to meet customers/clients
- Difficult to concentrate/ Easily distracted
- Can create sleeping issues
- Difficult to communicate with a team
- Hard to find balance between work and family
- Lack of a clear discipline
Pros of Running a Home Business
Let’s start with the money you can save by working from home.
If you decide to run your business from home, you may only need a computer and a desk to get started. The startup and operational costs are much lower starting from home than getting an office.
Costs that you can save on by running the business from home include utilities such as water, electricity, and internet.
Also, you could be saving a whole heap of money by not paying the additional rent for an office space when you have perfectly good space inside your home.
Here’s a big one.
Saving money from not hiring someone to watch your children.
The cost savings you could obtain from this one alone could make the whole venture worth it. Also, you get to spend more time with your kids rather than sending them to daycare.
How about commuting costs?
While it may seem like having the ability to work in your pajamas each day is the best part of running a business from home, think about that pesky traffic and the time spent commuting to a normal office each day.
Even if you have an office close to home, the amount of time driving back and forth each day can truly add up and takes away valuable time you could be spending with friends and family.
Also, did you know you could be eligible for a home office deduction on your tax return?
If your home office is a space that is directly committed to the business, you can claim it on your tax return. This situation is most relevant for businesses that are classified as sole proprietors.
If you run a home-based business, that means you are your OWN boss. No answering to anyone else or taking any crap from a person in a higher position.
Also, by being your own boss, you can set your own hours on whatever days of the week you would like.
This give you ultimate freedom and flexibility with your job. This can open up countless doors for travel, family time, or extracurricular activities.
Does this all sound incredible to you? Well, this ultimate freedom in a career also comes with some downfalls and can not be done by everybody.
Cons of Running a Home Business
“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”.
The quote that was once made famous by the Spider-man comic books, is now a way of life and is even often quoted by the Supreme Court of the United States.
This quote is very true when it comes to working from home.
With the power of having ultimate freedom in a career, you have the responsibility to discipline yourself and make sure that you are working effectively and efficiently.
This is probably the most difficult part of working from home.
You do not have any clear discipline meaning that it might be hard to keep away from surfing social media or be distracted by people stopping by the house when they know you work from home.
Another downside to working from home is the lack of a professional office space to meet customers or clients.
You may not want to ask a potential client if they would like to meet you in your personal home to discuss business deals.
This could be challenged by meeting people in public places such as a coffee shop but even then, not having that office address can look unprofessional to many…
And could lose valuable customers for your business.
Working from home can also cause sleep issues.
If you are working too close to where you sleep, you may have trouble shifting your mind after a long day of work or keeping healthy habits in line.
Can you work with a team while running a business from home? You may find yourself having a difficult time communicating with a team on a project online rather than being able to talk with them in person.
Finally, keep in mind the toll working from home can take trying to separate time for family and work. When you mix your work life with your family life in the same space, it can be much more difficult to have the ability to spend the proper time with family.
Overall, it is extremely important to have the approval and support of your family with the decision to run a business from home.
Now that we know the good, the bad, and the ugly of running a home-based business, let’s talk about some of the legal issues that you should consider when making this career choice.
Another major consideration and a potential challenge of working from home is having to keep your home office safe from cyber-attacks while you are away. Also, your home network may not be nearly as secure as the office. There are many preventative measures that you can take to keep your home office safe.
Is it Legal to Run a Business from Home?
Most likely, it is completely legal to run a business from your home.
With that said, it is recommended that you look at the local property laws to see if there could be any restrictions on using your home for business purposes.
There could be restrictions on certain types of businesses or there could be a restriction on any business in general in your area. While this is uncommon, it is always a good idea to check the local laws first.
Other special situation that might need to take extra care could be renting a property and working with a residential mortgage.
If you are renting a property, you must first check the lease to see if there are any restrictions as it will govern the use of the home. If there is nothing that discusses using the property for business as well as personal use, it would be wise to check with the landlord before any big decisions.
If you are working with a mortgage lender, it is important to check with them on using part of your home for business as many residential mortgages prohibit using a property for business.
More likely than not, you will have no issues running a business from your home, but it is recommended to check all local laws and with any local authorities to 100% make sure that you are in the clear to claim your home as a business address.
Can You Really Run a Successful Business from Starting inside Your Home?
I will answer this question with another question…
Have you ever bought anything from Amazon?
Another great example of a geniues entrepreneur who started his business right out of his home.
Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon.com and back in 1994, he started the business as an online bookstore right from his home.
Now, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer.
Or how about Google?
Google began from Susan Wojcicki’s garage back in September of 1998 with Standford Graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Now, Google is the most trafficked site in the whole world.
Running a Business from Home might be the Best Way to Start
The social proof speaks for itself. So many entrepreneurs that are now worth billions of dollars started off in their garage, bedroom, or basement.
If you have a difficult time trying to come up with the funds for your start-up, a home-based business might be just the perfect solution to get your company up and running.
That is what we did with our business and with hundreds of thousands of other businesses around the world.
It may not be for everybody.
Many people lack the discipline or the self-motivation to run a business from the comforts of their own home.
You could travel and work anywhere.
This is true but does present some challenges. One of the biggest challenges you may face is having a solid internet connection around the globe.
In fact, many people are now taking on the challenge of running a business online while traveling and living out of a van.
Are you ready?
Get started with your home business by downloading and printing out the Business Model Canvas, which has been used by thousands of successful businesses worldwide.
Free Business Model Canvas
Need Marketing Help?
If you want assistance with marketing strategies to grow your business, then let's talk.