Frank Milner, president of Tutor Doctor, outlines six benefits of a home-based franchise
Many franchises offer you the opportunity to work from home. Home-based businesses provide a multitude of advantages, ranging from financial efficiencies to simple convenience.
And with modern technology allowing virtual connections at the touch of a button, feelings of isolation are becoming a thing of the past.
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 additional rates to pay.
This is a huge advantage for many people when considering the various franchise options open to them. Most home-based franchises have a lower entry fee and less requirement for working capital to reflect this.
A couple of things to remember are that you will need business insurance for your home office in addition to your personal contents insurance. It’s often easy to add this to your existing policy, but if you want to keeps things separate a quick internet search will point you in the right direction.
In addition, you may want to check your internet capability and Wi-Fi are up to the job, depending on the nature of your business, and consider upgrading if not.
Being your own boss does not necessarily mean you can, in the first instance, set your own schedule. For retail or premisesbased businesses, it’s likely that you will have set opening or customer facing times, which will limit your flexibility until you reach a point of employing staff or a manager you can trust to be there at crucial opening and closing times.
One of the main advantages of a home-based franchise is the flexibility your home office can bring. 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 make personal appointments for things like doctors or dentists during the daytime, because you can do 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 be around for a sick child are just a few more of this type of added benefit.
As with anything, it’s crucial you maintain full-time commitment. The beauty of a home-based franchise is that you can choose to fulfil this requirement at a time that suits you.
Parents can often find 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 after-school 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 forwards.
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 not alone. For many people, the duration and frustrations of the journey 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 when 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 two hours every day by not travelling to and from work.
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. Working with an accountant to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit out of these opportunities is highly recommended.
Don’t forget that in addition to lower start-up costs and less working capital, you can 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, the flexibility and freedoms offered by a home-based franchise could be the perfect fit.