The trend to home based businesses is really exploding. And, with good reason. The flexibility and profitability of working from home is tremendous. Besides for the fact that you can get up when you want and wear what you want, there are many other advantages to working from home and having a home based business.
Benefit #1: Increased Productivity
Working from home allows you to have more time. More time for work, or hobbies, or your family. It eliminates the commute to work. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the national average drive-time is 24.3 minutes. Americans spend over 100 hours a year commuting. Working from home not only eliminates the time spent commuting, it also eliminates time in the office spent socializing or leaving to get lunch. This time gained results in more productive hours and few hours spent “working.” Working from home also gives you the freedom to take a break to exercise or do something around the house. You’re home when packages arrive to sign for them. You’re home when the repair man comes and will only give you a four hour window. You are also more available to clients who need to reach you in the evening and on the weekends with a home based business. And, best of all, you’re home for your kids and pets when they need you. According to USA Today, people who work from form report having fewer sick days, improved morale, and improved productivity.
Benefit #2: Tax Savings
Working from home means a home office. A home office means deductible business related expenses such as Internet, phone, office space, subscriptions, and insurance. The IRS allows you to deduct a percent of your mortgage or rent payment, depreciation, property taxes, insurance, and utilities. The percent you may deduct is calculated by the number of rooms or square foot of your home you use for your business. For example, if you use one room of a four bedroom house for your home based business, you can deduct 25% of the homes’ operating expenses. However, this space must be designated specifically for your business on an on-going basis. According to the IRS, in order to deduct something as a business expense the “business expense must be ordinary in your business and necessary for operation.” Ordinary just means an expense that is accepted and common in your business. Necessary means those that are helpful and appropriate to maintain your business. The IRS requires you to separate your personal and business expenses and then only the business expenses can be deducted.
Benefit #3: Flexible Hours
Who wants a strict 9-5 job? It’s wonderful waking up and starting your day on your own schedule. Time to read the paper, get the kids to school, exercise all before you begin work. You have the flexibility to switch gears when you like. If you can only get a mid day doctor or hair appointment, that’s just fine with a home based business. It provides the flexibility to make it to your childrens’ school events, stay home with a sick child, or work late after the kids are in bed.
Benefit #4: More Family Time
One of the most fulfilling benefits of working from home and having a home based business is the ability to gain control over your life. Parents who work from home report a much higher level of family time and a much lower level of stress. If you chose to quit at 3:00 when the kids come home and work at night after they are in bed, that is now a choice of your own accord. Home based businesses allow for balance and the freedom to take the day off to golf or spend it with your kids without having to check in with someone.
Benefit #5: More Profitability
You will save money on rent, meals out, gas to commute, and the cost of work clothes. More importantly, instead of having a boss tell you when you have to work, when you can take vacation, when you’ll get a raise or a promotion, you make those decisions yourself. Your advancement and income is directly related to your own productivity. As a result, you’ll likely want to work harder and smarter since you reap the benefits directly.
Home based businesses are at the forefront of the biggest business movement right now. Technology is largely responsible for this shift in business. We each have the opportunity, if we chose to seize it, to work from home and have the freedom we all dream of.
I attended the University of Florida and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1997. After graduation, I attended law school at Chicago-Kent College of Law and graduated in the top of my class winning First Place the Moot Court and Trial Law Competitions. I did a judicial externship for the Honorable Blanche Manning of the Northern District of Illinois. I was a trial lawyer in the litigation department of McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago from 2000-2008. I am licensed to practice law in Florida and Illinois.