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Perks and snags of internet or home-based businesses

By Samantha Garner | March 19, 2011

You’re thinking of starting a home-based or internet business and have been daydreaming of finally making your own schedule and doing only the things you want to do. But wait! Running a home-based business or internet business can be very liberating, but there are some things to keep in mind before you dive in. Here are some perks and snags associated with internet and home-based businesses:

Perks of a Home-Based Business

  1. You’re able to work around things like doctor’s appointments, going to the gym and walking the dog. If you work from home, you may be able to take time out to do more enjoyable tasks like taking a long lunch with a friend, dipping into the pool or taking a walk around your neighbourhood. These breaks might help you to be more productive when you get back to your work. Working from home, or working with an internet-based business, allows you to have more flexibility in your workday.
  2. The dress code is not an issue. As long as you don’t have to meet with clients or customers, you can work in jeans, sweatpants or even pyjamas. If you conduct video conferences on a regular basis, you may only need to wear something work appropriate from the waist up – be careful not to rest your feet on your desk and reveal your bunny slippers!
  3. Working from home or running an internet-based business can potentially save you a lot of money. Aside from the cost of commuting, you could save on childcare costs and office rental fees. You’ll also save time not having to drive two hours into the city and back through rush hour traffic – which can also help save your sanity!
  4. Canada Revenue Agency allows you to write off some of your home expenses as a tax deduction when you work from home. These can include supplies, equipment and the space of your home office itself. Visit their website for more details.

Snags of a Home-Based Business

  1. Working from home, without any coworkers or managers to hold you accountable, means you’re going to need a lot of self-control. There are countless distractions: family; friends; visitors; pets; cleaning; cooking; phone calls; not to mention your comfortable couch and your Netflix queue. Working from home may present too many interruptions for you to be successful and productive in your home-based business. You may also find it difficult to leave your work behind at the end of the day since your work is always just in the other room. You’ll need extra willpower to step away from your computer.
  2. Depending on the relationships your business has, it may be difficult to appear credible to suppliers or customers if you’re working out of your home. You may have to hold meetings at the local coffee shop or restaurant, which may not be the way that some businesses or customers prefer to operate.  Investigate virtual office locations or find out if there are organizations in your area that rent boardroom space.
  3. Zoning regulations in your area may prevent you from operating certain types of businesses from your home. Check your city’s government regulations to make sure you can legally run a home-based business.
  4. If the internet goes down or your phone system is on the blink, it’s down to you to fix it. Calling the building superintendent won’t be an option, which can be especially frustrating when your business relies on these types of communication.

Here are some tips for successfully working from home as well as a list of permits and expenses for home-based businesses.

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