Home-based businesses are quickly becoming the fastest growing form of business start-ups. Growing your company out of your home allows for flexibility that is difficult when renting or buying office and warehouse space. Although working at home requires self-discipline, the benefits can be substantial - especially in the start-up years. (We provide six tips for creating a winning business in a losing economy. Check out Starting A Small Business In Tough Economic Times.)

TUTORIAL: Starting A Small Business

1. More Work Time, Less Commute Time
According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans spend an average of almost 50 minutes a day commuting to and from their offices. One of the best benefits of working in a home office is that commuting involves no more than a few steps to the spare room or the basement. That leaves more time for revenue-producing activities.

2. The Ability to Scale Up or Scale Down Quickly
When you rent or own office space, the size of your business is fixed to the size of the space. In the event where downsizing makes sense, you may not be able to do so quickly if you are signed to a long-term lease. Working from your home allows you to hire more people or fewer people, or simply work longer or shorter hours to right-size your business operations.

3. Deduction of Home Costs on Income Taxes
The tax benefits of operating a home office can be lucrative. If your situation qualifies, you can deduct a portion of your home's expenses, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities and repairs and maintenance, against your business income. To qualify, your home office must be your principal place of business and you can only deduct the proportionate amounts of the total expense which are directly related to your business. Although you cannot create a loss with your home office expenses, you can carry them forward to future tax years if you do not have enough business income to use them up in the current year. (Running your own business has both personal and financial perks. Check out 10 Tax Benefits For The Self-Employed.)

4. Flexibility of Working Hours
Being able to work at night or first thing in the morning is a great boon for those entrepreneurs who are juggling children or other obligations. Mobile phones, faxes and email allow you to interact with your customers and suppliers at any time of the day or night. You can more easily accommodate customers in different time zones and kids' school schedules.

5. Reduction in Overhead Costs
Working from a home-based office keeps your overhead costs low as you are not renting office space or phones or paying for office utilities. The zero commute also saves money on gas and wear and tear on your car. The reduction in fixed costs allows you to be more flexible in your pricing decisions than competitors who must cover those types of costs. You can choose to either give more favorable quotes or keep the same pricing as your competition and have a healthier bottom line.

6. Allows You to Test Out Business Ideas
More than 50% of all new businesses fail. If you have had to put money out for office space and other fixed costs right off the bat, a start-up failure can be costly. Working from a home office allows you to test out a new business without a lot of overhead. This way, you can determine its viability before investing a lot of money.

The Bottom Line
Starting a business from your home allows you many freedoms and flexibilities to grow your business at your own pace. It also saves money on many fronts, which helps during the often-lean start up years. (Your work environment can make or break your career as an entrepreneur. See Creating A Home Business Work Space.)

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups that Emerged in Toronto

    Learn how Toronto has built a fertile climate for startups, and identify some of the top companies to emerge from the city's hot startup market.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups that Emerged in London

    Learn why London's startup scene is so prolific, and identify some of the hottest companies emerging from this scene as of mid-2015.
  3. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The 4 Biggest Private Equity Firms in London

    Discover information about the largest private equity firms that are headquartered in London, ranked by total assets under management.
  4. Retirement

    Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

    If your business has receiveables, here's a smart way to leverage them to build up your retirement fund fast.
  5. Investing

    The 8 Best Business and Finance T.V. Shows

    With so many talking heads to choose from, which is the right show for your business and money matter needs? We review the best shows on now.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Side Jobs You Could Start Now

    Ways to make extra cash in your spare time.
  7. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in San Francisco

    Learn about some of the larger private equity firms with a presence in San Francisco, including KKR, the Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus.
  8. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Companies of Peter Theil's Founders Fund

    Learn about the major public companies that Peter Thiel has invested in and companies that are on the verge of going public at multibillion-dollar valuations.
  9. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in Los Angeles

    Learn why Los Angeles is a thriving market for private equity, and identify the five largest private equity firms operating in the city.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    What Does Bootstrap Mean?

    The term bootstrap refers to launching and building a business with little capital and no funding from outside sources.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of ...
  2. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  3. Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

    A UK program that helps smaller, riskier companies to raise capital ...
  4. Per Transaction Fees

    An expense a business must pay each time it processes a customer’s ...
  5. Freelancer

    A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or ...
  6. Digital Nomad

    Digital nomads are people who are location independent and use ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the benefits of financial sampling?

    Financial sampling allows auditors to approximate the rate of error within financial statements. For accounting purposes, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the benefits of prorating expenses?

    When a person prorates expenses between personal and business expenses, he is able to capture the maximum amount of tax benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the responsibilities of the principal in a company?

    Principals have different roles depending on the nature of an individual business, but the universal responsibility of a ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What do hard and soft goods in the retail sector refer to?

    Hard goods and soft goods, also referred to as hardline and softline, designate different types of goods a retailer offers. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!