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Small Business

Home offices – Switzer’s pros and cons

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Home-based businesses account for a huge number of small businesses in Australia. Many businesses that have external premises also operate from a home office as well.

Those contemplating the full-time escape from the nine to five commuter quagmire really should be aware of the pros and cons of being home-based.

The potential pitfalls
Always on tap.
Working from home can hurt your efficiency. Your son who forgot his football boots at home could ring up and ask you to bail him out because you’re at home where if you were in the CBD he wouldn’t try it. Also, friends and relatives could just drop in during work hours because, well, they think you don’t have a real job!
One worker does the lot!
The home-based business operator does it all. Secretary, tea person, manager, marketer, salesperson, financial controller and personnel boss all in one. Believe me, the phone can really drive you mad when you know you have to pick it up for potential money-making reasons while you’re in the middle of actually doing a making-money exercise.
Home alone.
On the other hand, you can feel a little isolated when you are home alone. You could also miss the benefit of brainstorming with colleagues. It’s a good idea to join business network groups such as your state Chamber of Commerce or local Business Enterprise Centre.
No one knows me.
On your own also means you have to market your business and this costs time and money. Business cards, joining local chambers of commerce, clever marketing ideas and anything that highlights your business are essential.
Too cosy?
Ultimately, to make the home-based business work, you have to spend a bit on making your operation look professional. It might mean a state-of-the-art phone, print and computer system as well as a well-designed office. Also, a place to take clients that looks like an office or small boardroom is the smart way to go.
On the other hand...

The positive side is you can maximise your effective hours, especially if you are saving one to three hours that once were surrendered travelling to and from work. And if you have kids you can work and enjoy family life as well.

If you systemise your operation, you could even do more work and find more time to relax and exercise. Systemising will require KO’ing a natural inclination towards amateur hour. There is no reason why a home-based business has to be ‘dinky’ just because it is not located 100 metres in the sky in the middle of the city.

So, if you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Monday, May 17, 2010

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