Home sweet office

The good and bad about running a business from home

Fans of HGTV’s “Property Brothers” or “Love It or List It”  can pretty much count on one of the must-have items in a home renovation being an office.

One (or both) of the adults in the house are in need of a sanctuary where they can work with clients in a professional (and usually filled with natural light from a big window) setting away from crying kids, television noise or just the natural flow of life that goes on in a house.

But not all home-based businesses are operated out of the home. According to The Balance, professions such as software trainers, truck drivers and interior decorators may run home-based businesses, but have to go elsewhere to provide their services.

Wanting to work from home is particularly popular with millennials. A whopping 85 percent of people born between 1981 and 1996 want to telecommute 100 percent of the time, according to Forbes, while 54 percent want flexible or alternative schedules.

More and more entrepreneurs are finding ways to open shop in their homes, which has both pluses and minuses.

The benefits are pretty simple: no commute to work, lower overhead, tax benefits and spending time with the family.

But the negatives aren’t so cut and dry. The Balance noted that you can’t just have a home-based business anywhere. Most local governments set regulations on where a home businesses can operate, and renters might be banned by their landlords from working out of an apartment.

Another drawback involves hanging out your shingle. Signage regulations are strict in many neighborhoods, parking may be an issue and insurance may be difficult to get to cover your business.

Isolation is yet another possible problem, according to The Balance. Home-based entrepreneurs may feel left out of the loop with their office-based peers.

If you are determined to start a home-based enterprise, you have to do the same market research needed to start a business outside the home. Is there a demand for your service? Do you have sufficient skills (and motivation) to do the job? Can you work from home with any limitations local government places on a home office?

So you’ve marked off all the boxes and still want to work from your home business? Fundera compiled a list of best home business ideas that are affordable, engaging and flexible. Some of these require you to leave home, but the business can still originate in a home office:

  • Freelance writer
  • Virtual assistant
  • Researcher/fact-checker
  • Social media manager
  • Blogger
  • Freelance designer
  • Data entry expert
  • College consultant
  • Pet-sitter
  • Arts and crafts e-commerce store
  • Accountant
  • T-shirt creator
  • Cleaning service
  • Massage therapist
  • Personal trainer
  • Interior decorator
  • Event planner
  • Caterer
  • Bed-and-breakfast owner/manager

If any of these – or an idea of your own – makes you want to join the 3.7 million self-employed people who consider their homes to also be their offices, find out more details about the each job on this list at, go to fundera.com/blog/home-business-ideas.









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