Terry Powell is the Visionary Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source®, North America’s leading alternative career coaching franchise.
The future of working is changing. When the pandemic hit earlier this year, many people worked from home for a period of time. While many people have since returned to the office, it gave others a different work experience they would like to explore further. For anyone who has ever thought of starting a business from their home, it makes more sense to do that now than ever before.
Starting a business from a home means making money and building a career in an entirely new way, not to mention finally eliminating a commute and controlling one’s destiny in ways that aren’t always possible when working for a corporation. Rather than operating an expensive storefront location, home-based businesses often require far less operating costs and bring their services directly to the customer.
Home services surpassed food and restaurant franchises as the top category for new franchisees in Q2 of 2020, according to Franchise Insights. These types of businesses, which include segments such as pest control, painting and home improvement services, rose to the top with 21.1% of franchise inquiries in Q2 and a 31.2% increase in share from Q1.
Cleaning and maintenance franchises saw the second-most inquires (13.3%) over that time. These increased by 32.5% from Q1 to Q2, as the pandemic likely increased the demand for those services.
What type of business should individuals researching prospective ownership consider, and what are the benefits of starting a home-based business? For anyone trying to determine their options, they may want to consider some of the following industries that are conducive to operating a business from home.
Types Of Home-Based Businesses That Thrive
Some people claim to make a good living selling products off eBay or Amazon or doing YouTube tutorials — but not everybody is cut out to do that or finds those routes appealing. Fortunately, there are many opportunities available when it comes to running a business out of one’s home.
One type of home-based business that is often overlooked by people leaving the corporate world are franchised service businesses. Rather than buying an expensive restaurant brand that might cost half a million dollars or more, someone who wanted a business of their own could consider the less expensive route and purchase a home-based service franchise, like home repair, maid service or many more.
A home-based service franchise business can still require employees and delivery trucks and a million-dollar-or-more enterprise running the company out of a home office.
Some of the many other businesses one might easily run from a home office include computer repair franchises, painting and pest control. In those cases, the business owner might have delivery trucks and employees — but instead of working at an office or retail location, they would be on the road, doing work at clients’ homes. There are plenty of service franchise businesses that do not require having employees, it should be noted.
A popular home-based business for executives — one many think of first — is consulting. Somebody with a specialized background in accounting or taxes could open their own firm. There are home-based businesses that run the gamut from simple to extremely complex. A business owner doesn’t have to clear out the garage and use it as a warehouse.
There are plenty of services, franchised or not, that don’t require a lot of inventory, such as computer graphic design firms, dog walking or handyman services. Numerous professional services, from estate sales and real estate agents to insurance, can also operate out of the home. An aspiring entrepreneur is only limited by their imagination.
Benefits Of Starting A Home-Based Business
Even before the pandemic, there were a lot of good reasons to run a business out of one’s home. In today’s economy, those rationales make even more sense. For instance, business owners who operate out of their home will:
• Eliminate leasing costs. For starters, home-based entrepreneurs don’t need to sign an expensive lease to run their business.
• Eliminate the costs associated with a brick-and-mortar location. Of course, the expense of having a business location goes well beyond paying the rent. Business owners who have a store, for instance, need to think about utilities and a security system. Insurance will probably be far more expensive than it would for a home-based business. Entrepreneurs operating a store or a restaurant or any business that requires customers to come to them must constantly order inventory. They also must pay for cleaning to maintain the store, which can be an expensive proposition in these pandemic times.
• Scaling up is harder. For the business owner who has a store and wants to expand the business, building another store — and another — may be in order. That also gets expensive.
While the cost can be considerable, there are many great opportunities in owning a storefront business. For the right person, owning a store can be a wonderful and profitable endeavor, but there are a lot of expenses and challenges that come with having a brick-and-mortar location that simply aren’t associated with home businesses.
For some people looking where their next act should be, it may be that they don’t need to look very far.