There are almost 40 million home-based businesses in this country. If you ask ten people why they work from home, you’re going to get ten different answers. There are pros and cons to working and sleeping in the same place.
It typically comes down to your personality and what kind of atmosphere makes you the most productive. Creating your own business and working for yourself is all about you, your product or service, and what you can accomplish on your own.
For a lot of people, working from home is a dream come true. For others, they like wearing a suit and going into the office. The beauty of being an entrepreneur is this decision is entirely up to you. Here is a list of some of the pros and cons, and what you can expect, from working in the comfort of your home office vs. renting an office or building.
Pro Point #1 – Saving Money
The list of people who start a business with infinite money is pretty short. No business comes into this world with a fish full of cash.
Other businesses have come before you. They’re established. And they likely have acquired the funds to keep their business afloat.
Working from home can save you a ton of money, both in the short-run and on the long-term. The most obvious and most talked about way of saving money are the tax deductions. The home office tax deduction, specifically.
But you can write off all sorts of things, even if you’re starting off as a freelancer. Hotels and gas are on the list as long as the trip is work-related. So are the costs of starting a website and some marketing practices.
While most new businesses don’t think about this right of the bat, even retirement contributions can be written off.
And how about the cost of commuting every day? You may not think about the wear and tear on your vehicles or time spent traveling to and from the office, but these are all things you should take into consideration when deciding whether or not to work from home.
Pro Point #2 – Control
Who says you have to work from 9-5, Monday through Friday? You work for yourself. Work whenever you want and as much as you want.
If you’re most productive in the afternoons, then that’s when you grind. Maybe you have parenting duties or personal projects that take up your time in the evenings, so you work in the mornings.
Leaving the corporate grind gives you the freedom and control to work when you can and want to work.
Not only that, you also have the freedom to pick and choose your clients. As a freelancer, if you had problems with a client when you had a day job, you can decide you won’t do business with them. On the other hand, if your old day job passed up the opportunity to work with a great client, reach out and tell them you started your own business and you’d love to work with them.
How much do you charge for your product or service? It doesn’t have to be the same amount for every client. You have the control to manipulate the costs of your services. This isn’t always a great practice, but if one project takes an hour and another takes 6 months, it’s silly to charge both clients the same price, isn’t it?
How do you feel about working in your pajamas? I’ve done it. It’s awesome. Matter of fact, I’m doing it right now at almost 3 in the afternoon.
Con Point #1 – You’re the Boss
You’re your own boss. But wait…isn’t that a good thing? It can be. It means you have to wear many hats. Some of these hats may not be your forte.
Everyone wants to be the boss until they’re actually the boss. Being in complete control and having an entire business resting solely upon your shoulders is too much pressure and responsibility for a lot of people.
What makes matters worse is that no one can tell you what to do. Taking a random day off can easily make you lazy and before you know it, you’re only working one or two days a week.
If you struggle to maintain a personal budget, what makes you think that you can handle all of the finances for a company? What’s to stop you from blowing all of your revenue on bad investments?
No one. And this is a huge problem.
Con Point #2 – Google Hates You
Having a wfh office and not having a legitimate office has a major downfall when it comes to search engines. Do you really want your home address pasted all over the web?
Not to mention, having your home address attached to your business lacks professionalism and it can send the wrong message to prospective clients and investors.
For years, entrepreneurs found ways to get around this. They would get P.O. Boxes, use virtual offices, or get addresses through a UPS store.
Google has since laid the smack down on these practices and you cannot register for a Google My Business account without a valid address that goes to an actual business.
Sure, there are other options. You can still do quite a bit of local citation link building to get you on the map but you’re still going to be behind when it comes to people who are searching for local businesses in your area. Your competition that does have a legitimate office is going to leave you in the dust.
Con Point #3 – Your Personal and Professional Lives Become One
Nothing is worse than friends showing up at your home, wanting to hang out and party, when you’ve got work to do. If you have kids, you’re going to find it difficult to stay on task in the middle of a snow day when you’re kids are running through the house and watching TV at ridiculous volumes.
But this also works the other way as well. When you work from home, the dream is to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. So you take off at 4 in the afternoon to go to your godson’s concert. When that six-figure contract having client calls with an emergency, are you really not going to answer?
And yes, these scenarios aren’t going to happen every day. However, they do happen and it’s something you need to prepare for as your business moves forward and continues to grow.
Pro Point #3 – The Kicker – Learning and Personal Growth
There are very few paychecks that compare to learning new skills, networking, and achieving the solo personal and professional growth that you can achieve while working for yourself.
If you’re the type of person who wants to learn more and be the best at what you do, you really don’t have much of a choice. Sooner or later, if you want your career to have the success that you believe you can have, you’re going to have to go out on your own.
Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you can and probably will fail at least once. And yes, it’s probably still worth it.
There are ways around all of the above points that have been mentioned here today. The key is to find what works best for you and go for it. If you fail or you’re wrong, learn from the mistakes and move on.