Small businesses are the economic engine of America. Did you know that there are more than 28 million registered small businesses in the United States? Cumulatively, SMB’s represent a 99.7% of national employers, and they are responsible for generating over two million new jobs in the United States annually.
Cities and towns know that small businesses are important to job creation. However, the cost of renting business space is accelerating in many areas of the United States, to the extent that it may jeopardize economic growth. Read: “How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It”.
Whether you are employed full-time or part-time, operating a small business, finding new resources to grow your business and profitability remain part of the challenge. Most small businesses find success through hard work, passion and dedication, and by discovering ways to economize and reduce operating expenses. Do you own the kind of small business that can be operated from your home? There are many niche service industries that are home-operated, but one of the most expensive aspects of running your business may be an office lease.
We’ll discuss how many owners are evaluating how they can save money and grow, by building a new home that accommodates residential and business needs.
What Kind of Businesses Can Be Successfully Run from a Private Residence?
Many people dream of starting a side-business, and growing it to allow them to work full-time as a self-employed small business owner. There are eight service sectors that lend themselves to working from home, conveniently accommodating business space within the owner’s residential home.
- Accountants and Tax Preparation Professionals
If you are an accounting professional, the option to work from home is ideal, as it provides the space and quiet needed to focus on business or commercial processing, or tax preparation. Design a residential office that is large enough to allow for confidential file storage, and a work area, including a small seating area for consultations. You may also want to design this type of home office to accommodate visitors, by allowing an exterior door that is accessible to parking in the driveway.
- Marketing Consultants and Content Writers
The demand for contract marketing consultants continues to grow, as small and medium sized businesses look for affordable assistance with social media management, blogging, and business communications. Typically, consultants will meet outside the office when assisting a client, or via phone or video conference. A small home-office space is all that is required.
- Landscaping Businesses
Having a store-front is not always necessary, and a landscaping business is service driven. Most customer requests are generated online through a website, or through local advertising. A small office for administration and record keeping, and an extra paved area to park a truck and trailer with landscaping equipment. Depending on your location, an additional garage or storage area can be built to keep your equipment safe from the elements.
- Catering and Special Event Coordinators
Another fun and in-demand service business, caterers can operate administratively from home, saving costs on office space. While a kitchen facility is still required (with commercial grade equipment for large orders), many caterers successfully run the management aspect of their business from home. An office build-on that has room for pictures and portfolio items from past events will welcome customers, and help you land more work.
- Real Estate Professionals
The average real estate agent is constantly on-the-go. However, like most professionals, having an organized office space is a tremendous benefit. Since commissions can be seasonal, and much of the sales process is digital, it makes practical sense for an agent to work from home. Consultations with potential sellers and buyers can be conducted in a stylish home office with ample seating.
- Graphic and Website Designers
Reclusive, creative and embracing of the kind of quiet it takes to create masterpieces, graphic designers and web professionals enjoy the ability to work from home, with few interruptions. A standard home office accommodates most designers, who tend to consult on-location with the client at their place of business. Plan extra wall space to turn that oversized flat-screen into a monitor fit for Monet!
- Personal Trainers and Yoga Instructors
Can you turn extra space in your existing home, or build a home that has a fitness studio? Yes! Per property search and records site Arivify, many independently employed personal trainers and yoga instructors run a successful business from home, by augmenting their residential space to save on commercial leases.
- Psychologists and Counselors
Many counselors that work from home, successfully engage in therapeutic practice in an environment that feels less clinical, and more trusting to their clients. For individuals seeking the services of a counselor, a residential home is less intimidating and more comfortable.
Understanding the Tax Advantages of ‘Working from Home’
The opportunity to increase tax deductions is one of the driving forces for small business owners, who opt to grow from their residential home. Unlike an expensive office lease, there is no additional rent for space, however utilities (electricity, water, heat) and other maintenance costs (including snow removal or landscaping services) can be partially deducted to save you more money.
Taking the First Step
If you are currently a home owner, draft your home-business plan and get an estimate on renovation. Depending on the age and location of your home, it may be more expensive to increase floor space or remodel, than it would be to design a new home, or modify one as part of a residential development.
Weigh the costs of the additional home-office design against the cost of commercial leases in your area. Also, consult with your local governance and municipality regarding blended purpose home designs, to ensure that there are no bylaws that prohibit operating your small business from home. If all considerations are in order, you could save your business anywhere from $6,000 and more in duplicate bills, utilities, phone services and rent, helping you progress to the dream of full-time self-employment sooner.
Mansi is an established Content Marketing Specialist at E2M, a Digital Marketing agency, and PR Account Manager at PRmention, a Digital PR agency. She is well-versed in concepts related to Content Marketing, Communications Strategy and Branding. Reach out to her on her Twitter handle: @mansidhorda.