Are you running your business in a rented/leased space? Or are you running it from home? I have run my business from both places. From home (and in client’s homes) in the Middle East, to trialing a rented downtown Victoria studio space and now back to a home studio (my happy spot), I feel like I can reflect on the pros and cons of running a business from home. So in no specific order, here they are:
CONS TO WORKING FROM HOME
Running a business from home can get lonely! I know how it feels to sit alone behind a computer while you edit sessions, book clients & create content. Being able to bounce ideas off colleagues and have face to face interactions throughout the days helps not only to break the day up but also provides some sort of social life! FIX: Try to schedule a weekly or biweekly coffee with a fellow entrepreneur to talk through business woes and dreams, these are your people, they get what you do and will have a more flexible daily schedule like you! Collaborate with another photographer or small business owner on a project. This helps create community & often re-ignites your passion for what you do.
There are no set hours. Personal & business life becomes merged. Now let me be honest, many small business owners do set more rigid times to work in their business. But I have a difficult time not trying to get work done in the cracks of time between getting ready for dinner or weekend down time. Who else is with me here? FIX: Set aside at least one day of the week where you do not engage in your business! That’s right, no work calls, emails or texts. Set work hours on your social media channels as well as your business online so that clients can refer to those when contacting you.
A home business means just that, space in your home. You need a dedicated work area which will indeed occupy square footage in your personal space. This can be a tough one for people who don’t have an extra room or don’t want to busy their living spaces with props & supplies. This also is difficult for families who have little ones home throughout the days. Finding a space that is clear from noise and children’s items can be a challenge. FIX: This needs to be a decision from the whole family to dedicate a portion of your home to your business. It is definitely a sacrifice for everyone to make but I feel worth the pros listed below.
PROS TO WORKING FROM HOME!
As a busy mom, there are a multitude of sick days, Professional days, holiday days and appointments & activities that need to be taken care of in the days. Together with my husband (who is also based from home), we are able to take our kid to school each morning and be present to spell each other off and tackle our busy schedule together.
HONESTY: We are not able to make it to every school activity. These are always a good chunk of day time and we just choose a couple throughout the year.
You can work the hours that best suit your life. This is actually a much more efficient way to work. You can set your schedule to work at your peak performance times rather than 9am-5pm hours and just go for it! I am not a morning person, so my best (and most productive hours) are in the evenings, where I don’t have interruptions and I can work until my tasks are complete. HONESTY: I sometimes stay up too late & work too many hours!
There is no rent/lease expense. This is obviously a big one! Your monthly sales goals go up and your cost of doing business goes down. A healthy monthly income is much easier to obtain if you don’t have a huge chunk of rent to pay out of your business each month. This gives you the ability to take fewer sessions and really give your clients the attention they deserve. HONESTY: Keeping the studio/home space perfectly clean sometimes drives us crazy!
Commute time is 0 hours! That’s right, the time (and gas money/parking expenses) you would have spent in your car are now reduced to zero. Who doesn’t want to give themselves the gift of time?! HONESTY: Everything about this part is awesome!
So there you are! Some pros & cons for you to think about if you are just starting your business or are contemplating a shift from a leased space to a home based business. Did I miss anything out here? Let me know what your thoughts are and in your current space, what is the biggest challenge you face?
Hope you all have a great week & until next time, find joy in chasing those goals & dreams!!