Can You and Should You Operate a Franchise Out of Your Home?
Opening a franchise doesn’t always mean opening physical doors. In fact, there are plenty of successful business models that are run through virtual or home-based locations. Simply from running logistics or how a business is set up – whether Internet-based, etc. – there are so many more ways to run a company these days vs. old-fashioned brick and mortar.
There are also plenty of perks to not hosting a business front, especially if you’re not reliant on walk-in business.
Perks to Working From Home
When choosing to base your business out of your home, there’s much to be gained. For one, you cut down tremendously on bills. There’s no rent, no utilities, and no need to drive to and from work every day. You’ll only need one Internet and/or phone account, one electricity bill, and so on. A perk that saves on time as well as gas and vehicle use. You’ll also have all of your own amenities ready as needed – your home bathroom, your favorite coffee maker, slippers in case your feet get cold. You name it and it’s there waiting for you.
Another pro to working from home is the ability to show up in whatever’s most comfortable. Just roll out of bed? No problem. There’s no co-workers or customers to impress. Shower when your schedule allows. Take off and drop the kids at school, then pick them up in the afternoon. You can make your schedule as flexible as you’d like it to be.
Finally, franchising out of your home can allow for some serious tax breaks. A portion of rent or the mortgage acts as a write off, as do utilities, grocery bills, office supplies, and more. Over time, this can really add up – and all while working at a job you enjoy, and that can bring in serious dollars.
Just because there’s plenty of pros, however, doesn’t mean every business should be operated out of a home. For instance, if you have foot traffic, it might be difficult to create a setup where customers are comfortable visiting your home, and you’re comfortable with letting others into your house. Those with side or walkout entrances often eliminate this problem, but it’s also a setup that’s hard to come by. (Or is expensive to add.)
It can also be hard to work from home if you have excess overhead and are in need of storage space. And depending on your tax or legal situation, it can be more beneficial to keep separate business and residential addresses. Many times this can be sidestepped with a Post Office Box. However, you should talk to your lawyer and/or accountant to find the best outcome for your particular situation.
You should also keep in mind a plan for business growth. If you outgrow your home office, what’s to happen next? Is there room for an assistant? Are you comfortable with having an assistant in your home? Is it feasible to use a virtual assistant? Or, would it be easy to move into an office space, should the need arise? And so on.
If you’re a people person, working from home might not be ideal. Though it might cost a bit more to rent space, if you prefer seeing people on a daily basis, it’s a welcome expense. Another con can take place when it’s time for meetings. If you don’t have a set meeting space, it can be awkward trying to have colleagues over, or trying to find a public space that’s private enough to talk business.
Staying focused is another challenge. Especially when there are chores to be done and all of your favorite distractions are within reach.
So … should you franchise out of your home? Maybe. If you’re working with the type of brand where such a situation is viable, and you see more pros than cons, it can be a great opportunity. It’s also not permanent, but gives you the flexibility to start a new venture without spending excess funds on a commercial space.
If you’re interested in franchising out of your home, check out our Home Based Franchises directory for a great list of franchise options that can be run from the comforts of your own home.
By Bethaney Wallace | Jul 16, 2015 | General Franchise Information