The ultimate question is whether you want to start a business and/or work from home. If you answer YES, then starting a business or working from home has several advantages. It is no small wonder that almost 70% of business startups are begun in the home of the owner/founder. Employees are also starting to work from home. Sites like Upwork create a community where freelancers and businesses come together to collaborate on both small and larger employment projects. Companies are also increasingly offering remote/work from home opportunities for salaried employees. More and more people are working from home today than at any point in our history, and the numbers suggest this trend will continue.
There are several reasons for starting a home business. Maybe you want to start your own legal or medical practice. Or you have a recipe for Grandma Mimi’s lemon cake that everyone raves about, so you test it at your local farmers’ market. Graphic designers, writers, video editors… So many occupations can be done from the convenience of your home. The reasons are usually specific to each individual, but when considered all together, they boil down to desire, convenience and cost.
Below, we offer a list of the benefits of having a home business.
The Tax Advantage
The number one cost advantage of starting a home business is the ability to deduct a percentage of your home’s expenses such as property taxes, mortgage, utilities, insurance and maintenance costs.
The deductions are available for both homeowners and renters alike. Just make sure you have a designated place in your home set up as a home office, and not merely your kitchen table. Then, simply divide the total square footage of the home by the amount of space used as a home office. For example, if you have a 1000 square foot home or apartment and your home office is 200 square feet, that’s 1000/200 = 20%. You may be able to claim 20% of many home expenses.
Not sure what expenses qualify… or how much? You probably can’t write off that kitchen remodel. Homeowners and renters should consult with an accountant or attorney about exactly what costs may be deducted and the necessary documentation for tax purposes.
Working from home allows you to have more flexibility in your life. Depending on the type of business you have, what’s better than waking up and knowing that your place of work is just a few steps away? You will have more time during the week to run errands, visit family and friends, and even go to a local gym.
Go ahead. Conduct that 5 p.m. conference call in sweatpants and a t-shirt while sipping on “coffee.” Could life get any better?
Starting your own home business is not a small task. You—and only you—will be responsible for the success or failure of your business. This means the more time you put in, the more you will get out of your business. However, commuting back and forth to work in the Triangle, like in most cities, eats up time during your day. According to some studies, the average commute time in Wake County is about 30 minutes each way to and from work. This adds up quickly… five hours a week, or some 260 hours a year which equates to 11 days a year. Vacation, anyone?
Of course, you may have to travel some for client meetings and marketing purposes. But it also means you can get the grocery shopping done in the middle of the day when it’s less crowded. Think of all the possibilities. The time you save from commuting can be reinvested into your business, your family and yourself.
Additional Cost Savings
Besides the tax advantage, there are a few other cost saving benefits from having a home office. First, less commuting means lowered fuel usage. Before, maybe you had to fill up once every 10 days. Depending on your car or commute, that could cost well over $100 a month for gas. In addition, your carbon footprint will be measurably less by reducing your time on the road. Additional cost savings will include clothing, dining out, and car maintenance and repairs.
Earning Your Business Degree For Free
Well, you won’t literally receive a diploma from an accredited university. But if you’re going to start a home business, you will quickly learn what it means to be CEO—the boss of all bosses. The buck stops with you. You will learn about accounting, marketing, budgeting, forecasts, P&L statements and EBIDTA (earnings before depreciation, interest, taxes and amortization). The hands-on business experience has value beyond mere textbook learning. The lessons will last a lifetime and are transferable should you choose to embark on a future corporate adventure. Essentially, you will earn your business degree or sink with the sharks.
Less Capital Investment
Almost 70% of startups are home businesses. A major benefit of starting at home is capitalization. You will not have to worry about rent and other overhead expenses, which are usually a large portion of costs for most small businesses. This leads to lower monthly expenses, which can mean turning a profit sooner… if you have a well-executed business plan.
With a home office, you now have some independence. You have options that you did not have before. Your life does not always revolve around a clock or someone else’s agenda. Having this type of freedom is beneficial in many ways, especially for health and stress levels. A study by Staples shows that people who work from home eat healthier and experience less stress.
Starting a home business can be a rewarding experience… And Gaskill Realty supports all the pioneers and adventurers who decide to travel down this unique path. #LiveYourOwnLife