Home-Based Business vs. a Brick & Mortar Business?

Home-based vs. brick and mortar which is right for you?

One of the biggest questions you’ll need to answer as you plan to start your business is where you will locate it. Will you work from home or set up an office, storefront, or other commercial space? In some cases, you’ll have no choice, as the needs of your business or zoning laws may decide for you. But very often, the decision will be yours. If you’re trying to decide whether to start a home-based business vs. brick and mortar business, each option has pluses and minuses, so here are some things to consider.

The Benefits of a Home-Based Business

When you’re evaluating the positive reasons to choose a home-based business vs. a brick and mortar location:

THE COMMUTE IS NONEXISTENT

On those cold, snowy mornings, the only digging out you’ll do is unearthing a clean coffee cup from the dishwasher. You’ll have no commuting-related expenses, whether by automobile or mass transit. No gas, no tolls, no bus or train tickets.

YOU CAN MULTITASK

Since you’re home, you can make productive use of your forced downtime by taking care of some domestic chores at the same time. While you’re on hold with a client, you can sort the laundry or take something out of the freezer to defrost for dinner. That load of wash can run while you’re updating your website. Dinner can cook as you work on sales projections. Many small odds and ends that would normally pile up for evenings and weekends can now be accomplished during your workweek.

YOU HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER YOUR SCHEDULE

If you’re a morning person, you can get up at 5 AM and start your workday. Clean out your email inbox, start on that next pitch and read today’s trade paper before you need to wake your kids up and get them off to school. Prefer evenings? When the family’s in bed and the house is quiet is the perfect time to work on your next client presentation. It’s difficult to keep such flexible hours when you’re at the mercy of an office complex. Should you have a half hour free, you can actually use that time to work instead of getting to work.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY RENT

Other than possibly upgrading your internet service to allow for more speed, working from home won’t cost you any more than your current living expenses. Find an unused corner in the basement, work out of your guest room, or clear off your dining room table. Your apartment rent or mortgage payment won’t change, and you’re utilizing the space you have anyway to actually make money.

THERE ARE TAX BENEFITS

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations, but if you qualify, you can deduct part of your home’s expenses against your business income. These may include a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, home expenses, car expenses, phone expenses and more!

THE STARTUP COST IS LOWER

Working out of your home significantly cuts the amount of money you will need to get started, even if you don’t plan to keep the business there for long. Without the expense and commitment of signing a lease, buying furniture, and installing a commercial phone system, computers and other office equipment, you can jump right in and get going with your plans. Use your cell phone for a while, visit the library for a copier or printer if you don’t have one, and make do with your home computer for now. If and when the business grows, you can then decide if you’d like to keep it at home or move out.

THERE ARE NO OFFICE POLITICS

And no dress code! It’s true, you really can work in your pajamas if you want to (although you might feel more productive if you get dressed). Depending on whether you have any employees working with you at home, no one knows what you’re wearing and no one cares. Similarly, there’s no office pecking order and no gamesmanship from other workers.

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