Starting a new business, especially a home-based business, has both positives and negatives. Here are the pros and cons of starting a work-at-home business.

Operating a home-based business has its advantages and disadvantages, related to both work and family life. Before a person decides to pursue that-homeness opportunities, it is wise to evaluate the pros and cons.

Starting a Home Business – The Pros

There are many positive factors in starting and running a home-based business. These pros of home business opportunities include:

  • A person can pursue at-home jobs as a part-time or side business, while still maintaining a 5-time-time job with that full-time income.
  • A person can have a more flexible lifestyle with work and family for working mums because there is no 9 to the 5-time clock.
  • A new home-based business can be run with lower start-up and operating costs, unlike a business outside the home that requires the rental property to house the business.
  • For the person who has young children or an elderly adult to care for, at-home business opportunities can simplify care-taking choices.
  • There is no commuting, so a person saves the costs of vehicle wear and tear, along with gas money savings.
  • For the person who owns a home-based business, there is the satisfaction of being “the boss.”
  • Home business opportunities offer the opportunity for tax benefits and write-offs, related to the home office.
  • A home-based business can provide an opportunity for a person to showcase creative or unique talents.
  • Work at home business allows people to set their personal goals (instead of having a boss or company set the goals for them).
  • Depending on the family situation, it can be possible for the person with a work-at-home business to employ family members in the business.

Starting a Home Business – The Cons

In contrast to the “pros” of starting a home-based business, there can be some negative factors in pursuing at-home business opportunities. These include:

  • Because at-home jobs are operated inside the home, physical space may be restricted, impacting the potential for growth and affecting family use.
  • Starting a home business can interrupt or disturb family life.
  • There is a financial risk in starting or operating any kind of business, including a home-based business.
  • Because business and family life both exist in the same space, both may be disrupted at times.
  • Starting a new business can be very time-consuming. Even for a work-at-home business, there may be long work hours that impact family time.
  • Some of the employee fringe benefits (vacation time, training, health, or life insurance) available in a traditional company are not readily available for the home-based employee.
  • The person starting a home business might be somewhat isolated, missing out on some of the informal social contacts or opportunities to network.
  • A home-based business does not offer the job security that most traditional employment would provide.
  • A person starting a new business has to learn about the legal provisions, such as zoning requirements, which have to be met for home businesses.
  • At-home jobs can lead to stress in trying to balance family and business life.
  • Home-based employees might struggle in their relationships with family members and friends who intrude on their work time.
  • Business activities (customer or client traffic, work hours, or noise) may cause problems for neighbors.
  • For the person pursuing home business opportunities, discipline is required to establish steady, work-at-home habits.

How to Decide About Starting a New Business

For those who are still wondering whether or not to start a home business, the Small Business Administration website offers a self-assessment tool focused on starting a new business. This tool is not specifically designed for at-home jobs, but it is geared toward small businesses and helping people determine whether they have the skills, characteristics, and experience to be successful in starting a small business. The assessment takes about five minutes to complete.

A person thinking about at-home business opportunities can use the self-assessment tool along with considering the pros and cons. Then decide whether or not a home-based business is a right step.