The Pros and Cons of a Home Based Business

July 26, 2011

Working from home is the best … and the worse.  When asked about what it is that I do, people often reply, “Oh, I’d love to work from home”.  My answer is that you can, and it’s great, and hard.

The Cons of Working from Home
  • If great discipline is not used, productivity can slip.  There are many distractions in the home and it is only by treating your home office as a place of work, and sticking to a routine, that your productivity will achieve the required levels.
  • Speaking of distractions, at home friends may assume you are available for coffee – on call.  There are chores waiting, children at home needing your attention, errands to run…
  • Lack of colleague interaction.  In the workplace, you are surrounded by your co-workers who’s help in keeping the competitive spirit alive and enhance productivity. Going to office is a great way to get away from the stress at home and vice versa but if office is at home then there might be no escaping the stress.
  • Being your own boss means that the buck stops with you.  If you are having trouble, there are no co-workers on hand to ask for advise, if you are having difficulty meeting a deadline – there is no-one on hand to help you out.
  • Time Management.  A home based business may require your commitment to huge hours and it can be difficult to balance quality family time when it is so easy to ‘pop into the office’.  Myself, I work from 8.30am to 4.00pm and again from 8.30pm to 10.30-11.30pm.  Then there are weekends!  Again discipline is called for to ensure you have a healthy balance of work and play.
The Pros of Working from Home
  • You are your own boss!  
  • No wasted time commuting in rush hour traffic. 
  • More time with children – One of the main advantages of working from home is that one gets to spend much more time with the children. Monitoring their progress and providing them with the guidance that they may need for their development becomes easier.
  • There is a lot of flexibility that comes with working from home. You can decide your own timings and can accommodate other tasks that need to be accomplished.
  • Savings in working from home can be substantial.  Parking, clothing, office rent and don’t forget that a portion of your home expenses can be claimed on your tax return.
  • One of my favourite pro’s in working from home is the variety of my work.  Today being an average day in the life of a Virtual Assistant, I will (after I finish this post) be doing credit control, accounts, online marketing, designing a flyer and reformatting a Word document.  
  • My number one pro is customers.  Working from home in your own business should mean that you choose who you work for.  There is nothing better than an email from a client to say thank you for a job well done or commenting on how you have made their day an easier one.  Because your customers are your key to a successful home business, you tend to give them 120% effort.  Without them you do not have a business!

Summing up, working from home in your business is fantastic.  Try to get out of the office regularly in order to interact with others (eg. training, networking or client meetings).  Use the social networks.  Used correctly social media can provide support, answer your questions and almost fill the role of your co-workers.  Outsource where possible to reduce pressure and set yourself goals in order to keep productivity high.

Do you run a home based business?  Let me know what you love (and have trouble with) in your office.

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