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6 compelling reasons to invest in a home-based franchise

6 compelling reasons to invest in a home-based franchise

According to the 2018 British Franchise Association NatWest franchise survey, almost four in ten franchise systems can be run from the comfort of your own home

Home-based businesses offer a multitude of advantages, ranging from financial efficiencies to simple convenience. And with modern technology making virtual connections available at the touch of a button, feelings of isolation are becoming a thing of the past.

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Here are six homeworking benefits that franchisees enjoy:

1. Lower start-up costs and overheads

It stands to reason that working from home is going to be significantly cheaper than renting office space or a retail unit. Your lighting, heating and floor space already form part of your monthly outgoings and there are no hidden costs to pay. This is a huge advantage for many people when considering the various franchise options open to them.

In addition, the entry fee for most home-based franchises is lower and they usually require less working capital to get you up and running.

A couple of small things to consider though are that you will need business insurance for your home office on top of your personal contents insurance. It’s often easy to add this on to your existing policy, but if you want to keep things separate a quick internet search will point you in the right direction.

Also, you may want to check that your internet capability and Wi-Fi are up to scratch, depending on the nature of your business, and consider upgrading if not.

2. Freedom and flexibility

Being your own boss does not necessarily mean you can, in the first instance, set your own schedule. For retail or premises-based businesses, it’s likely you’ll have set opening or customer-facing times. These will have a direct impact on your flexibility until you reach a point of employing staff or a manager you can trust to be there at crucial times.

On the other hand, the undeniable flexibility of a home-based franchise offers a major advantage. For maximum productivity, it’s still best to set a working day and stick to it. That’s exactly how our franchisees operate at Tutor Doctor.

However, as a home-based business owner, you have the freedom to allow yourself time off to run errands and for personal appointments for things such as the doctors or dentist during the daytime. You just have to be certain that you can - and do - commit to doing a few hours in the office that evening to make up for it.

Accepting parcels, being around for plumber/electrician visits and even having the option to look after a sick child are just a few more benefits of working from home. However, as with anything, it’s crucial to maintain full-time commitment. The beauty of a home-based franchise is that you can choose to fulfil this requirement at a time that best suits you - whether it’s working around your family or maybe you simply find you’re more productive earlier in the mornings or later at night.

3. Family life

Parents can often find that a home-based business fits their family life incredibly well. Having the flexibility to take your children to school and be there at the end of the day to pick them up again is a luxury we can’t all enjoy.

Many Tutor Doctor franchisees have children and their work/life balance is all about making the most of family life. Being around for mealtimes and participating in things like afterschool clubs and sports days are just a few of the benefits homeworkers can enjoy.

Then, once the kids are in bed, it’s back to the office for a couple of hours to get the most out of the day and keep the business moving forward.

4. Say goodbye to the commute

It seems like such a little thing when you see it written down. But if you find the mere thought of your daily commute stressful, you’re definitely not alone. For many people, the duration and frustrations of the daily commute to the office or a place of work is one of the strongest driving factors - excuse the pun - for making a change.

Working from home eliminates this nightmare from your daily routine. Aside from the occasions on which you need to travel for meetings or events, the only commute you’ll be doing is through the house to your home office. Bliss.

Time saved on the daily commute means you have more opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends or doing the things you love. On average, people regain a staggering two hours every day by not travelling to and from work - just think what you could with that extra time.

5. Tax advantages

When you work from home, you can offset certain expenses through your business. Use of your office space and a proportion of utilities, including internet and telephone, can be charged as business expenses, for example.

However, this isn’t something you can just decide on your own and there are rules and exceptions that must be followed. Working with an accountant to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit out of these opportunities is highly recommended and well worth it.

6. Money saving

Don’t forget that in addition to lower start-up costs and less working capital, you can actually save money on things like fuel, parking and rail tickets simply by being able to step out of your slippers and into your office.

A simpler, capsule work wardrobe is usually all that’s required while you’re at home, so office clothing costs and things like dry cleaning bills, both of which can be significant in the corporate world, can reduce dramatically.

Home office working isn’t for everyone. It’s best suited to someone who is organised, self disciplined and committed to their business. If that’s you, then the flexibility and freedoms offered by a home-based franchise could be the perfect fit.

The author

Frank Milner is the president of Tutor Doctor.

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