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The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Aug 17, 2007
When you're starting up a business, there are a lot of things to consider. Number one amongst these is location. Where your business is based will affect your costs, your visibility, and your access to services and supplies. An office address in a good area can increase prestige. Locally based businesses may appeal more strongly to local customers. And, of course, you'll need to make sure that your location is suitable for the type of work you plan to do.

With these things in mind, many people still choose to run their businesses, at least in the first instance, from home. Why is this? A home based business has advantages and disadvantages, but it's becoming an increasingly practical option in the modern world. Part of this is down to computing technology - with a good internet connection, you can work from home and still do business with clients all over the planet. Home office software can enable you to create a very professional image without all the extra support which offices have traditionally needed.

If you live in a prestigious location, such as the centre of a big city, running your business from home can make it look more impressive. But what if you live in a bad area? In this case, you should be aware that it's possible to have your business address somewhere other than your business premises. Many companies use P.O. boxes for mail, which can then be delivered directly to them by the mail company. Others arrange with their solicitors to use their addresses as their official head offices.

A company based at home naturally incurs lower costs than one which needs a separate location, and this can be all-important during those difficult first few months. Besides not having to pay extra rent, a portion of household fuel bills can be written off against tax for the company. No daily commute means that you can save time and energy to put into the business. You'll also be able to make yourself available at any time of day or night if an emergency arises, bolstering your professional image.

If your work involves a significant quantity of manufacturing, however, it may need to be based somewhere larger. Whilst some people choose to use their garages or other outbuildings, these can offer poor security and may make insurers unhappy. Home based businesses may also be impractical if you need to spend a lot of time working with clients at your premises, if the work you do is noisy or polluting, or if you need to install large-scale specialist equipment.

Without a storefront or prominent office, your business may suffer from lack of visibility. With a home based business, it's all the more important to get your marketing right, as customers won't pop by on a casual basis. Fortunately, the internet makes marketing in the modern age much easier, giving you access to handy how-to guides and letting you see at a glance what your competitors are doing. Don't let this limit you to online advertising - you can use these facilities to help your organise locally-based campaigns. If the service you offer is a local one, or if you plan to distribute your products first and foremost in your local area, working from home can be a real boon. Many people prefer to buy things from people whom they recognise as part of their local community. You'll also be bringing money and thus economic growth to the area where you live.

Working from home can be tough. You'll need to find ways to separate your professional and domestic lives so that you don't end up working all the time. With these considerations in mind, however, it can be a practical and rewarding choice.
About the Author
Dassana Jayalath is the editor of WebSuperTips newsletter. Visit http://www.WebSuperTips.com to access free ecourse : Newbie's Guide To Profitable Internet Home Business
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