A conversation this afternoon reminded me that while for some people working at home is the best of all worlds, for others working from home can be murder on productivity. For some businesses, working from home is not even an option. So if you know that’s true for you, you can pretty much skip this post. You’ll want to search the articles tagged “Storefront Options”.

For those who do have a choice – photographers, nail techs, massage therapists, plumbers, painters and so on – you have a significant choice to make. And the decision will be based upon a multitude of factors from your personality, your brand as a business, the industry you’re involved in and what challenges are easier for you to deal with. Both choices – in-home and out-of-home operations have advantages and disadvantages, but which side of the list they fall on depends largely on you.

For instance, while working from a home office can make it easier to engage in hands-on parenting, many find that the interruptions and emergencies can lead to an inability to fully focus on either part of your life fully. Alternatively, you may find that it feels like you’re working ALL THE TIME. When you work from home it can hard to delineate when work hours end and family hours begin – especially if you’re trying to fit in full-time hours with a ground-floor or start-up business around an active household.

Work at home entrepreneurs sometimes find that they get less respect for their space and their time than the conventional business owner. This can be especially true of creative or online endeavours, like writing or internet marketing. People may feel they can drop in unannounced for coffee or want to impose with errands for you to do “since you’re at home”. If you’re a passive person by nature it can be hard (but essential) to set (and enforce) solid boundaries to ensure your business gets the attention that it deserves.

An out of home office represents a (sometimes significant) regular set of bills to pay each month in addition to your home expenses. While some people see this as stress they don’t need during the start-up stages, others find it’s exactly the motivation they need to really put their plans into action from the start. Bills to pay can be effective prevention for procrastination. Or add so much pressure that you feel like you can’t function.

No matter what you decide, remember you can always make a new decision if things don’t work out the way you planned. Well at least you can if you don’t commit a long term lease on that out of the house office space or renovate your house to make office space until you’re certain what type of situation is going to work best for you and your business.

If you need help weighing the pros and cons, get in touch to book a coaching session to address your start up questions.


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