October 9, 2013
Though most people think of franchises in terms of stores and restaurants. But, there are plenty of home-based opportunities available too. These franchises are in several diverse industries such as computer consulting, pet care, financial services, cleaning etc.
There are pros and cons to running a business from home. An advantage of a home office is the possibility of tax deductions -- an accountant can determine what is applicable to your situation.
Many people get into home-based businesses because they feel it will help them control their schedule better. However, in running a home-based franchise you must be diligent to separate your business life from your personal/family life. It’s easy to fall into a routine of never being “off work” when you’re based at home, so to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should draw boundaries between work and home.
One way to maintain separation is to set up your office where it is away from the distractions of children, pets, television screens etc. Let family members know that you are working when in you’re in office and should not be disturbed unless it is urgent. Establish a regular schedule for yourself, with breaks to stretch, eat lunch, work out, or tend to domestic tasks. You’ll be more productive if you stick to an established work schedule.
Since working from home can be isolating, reach out to other franchisees and home-based business operators in your area. It’s a great way to network -- you’ll get useful tips and maybe even some new customers.
The first thing you must find out before buying a home-based franchise is whether your city or town permits a business to be run out of a home. Make sure your business operation will be in compliance with any applicable zoning laws, and be sure to get whatever permits are required.
Next, you’ll have to think about the equipment you’ll need. Some franchisors provide the equipment, which might be specialized tools, such as those used for home repair or landscaping maintenance. The franchisor may also provide a computer with customized software for the business. But you may have to outfit your own office from scratch. It is helpful to talk with other franchisees in the business to find out what items are essential and most practical – stationery, business cards, multiple phone lines, broadband Internet, etc. Some franchises may require a vehicle.
Working from home has its rewards as well as drawbacks. If you can stay focused, ignore distractions, and keep to a schedule, it could be the right option for you.