Have you been thinking about exploring home-based business ideas? If you have found yourself dreaming of working from home, there’s a franchise for that. It’s easy to see why having a home-based business is attractive, too. The dress code is relaxed, there’s no rush hour commute to deal with, and, best of all, you avoid cubicles, office politics or unnecessary meetings. Little wonder that as of 2014, more than 16 million Americans worked at home and over 50 percent of small businesses were home-based.

From business consulting and coaching to in-home tutoring to cleaning services, there’s a home-based opportunity for every skill set and interest. Some businesses are run entirely from your house. Others allow you to run a part of the business at home and part at a client’s home or place of business. Most offer lower start-up costs and overhead as well as tax-savings when you run your business out of your house. For many, a home-based franchise can be an economical route to the numerous benefits of owning your own business.

Aside from the joys of possibly spending a large part of your day working from home in your pajamas, running your own home-based franchise offers some appealing business advantages over launching a brick and mortar operation. Primarily, it’s about money.

By operating out of your house, your home-based franchise will typically require a substantially lower overhead compared to maintaining a storefront. Once launched, the tax benefits of running a business from your home begin accruing immediately. Although you should always consult a tax advisor to confirm that your business qualifies, you can normally expect to claim a portion of your home’s expenses as deductions—things like your mortgage, utilities, home repairs and more.

Many entrepreneurs find the flexibility of a home-based franchise one of its greatest appeals. When you rent or own a storefront business, you are locked into a commitment regardless of what the economy and your sales are doing. With a home-based business, it is much easier and faster to scale up or down to meet market conditions or changes in your lifestyle.

For most families today, both parents working is the norm. Dual incomes are required in order to run households and maintain lifestyles, but the impact on the family—especially for new parents—can be stressful. The hectic schedules, commuting and interferences from work can increase anxiety and reduce quality time spent with children in their formative years. A home-based franchise that allows mom or dad to stay at home, while also contributing (often substantially) to the household income, has become a popular option for many.

Additionally, a home-based franchise can be the ideal way to re-enter the workforce. A parent who has spent years and years out of the daily grind is often viewed as “behind the times” and is challenged to find employment. For those in this predicament, starting a home-based franchise business bypasses the fruitless job interviews and lets them go straight to the top and be the boss.

People of all backgrounds, experience levels and dispositions have found success running their own business from home. As with every business enterprise, however, there are challenges. First, it is up to you to dig in, do the homework and the necessary due diligence to ensure the opportunity is the right fit for you. Once invested, you have to be committed to the process as designed by the franchisor. But for those who are well-suited to the demands, a home-based franchise can be more than a solid financial investment. It can be a calling.

Eric Bell
Eric Bell has 15 years of franchise industry experience and currently serves as General Manager of Franchise Gator. He began his career in 2002 as a Hollywood Tans franchisee in Atlanta where he also served as area manager and helped develop the Atlanta territory. In October 2005, Eric joined Franchise Gator as a sales representative and went on to hold several positions including sales representative, sales manager, and director of sales and service. Eric is a member of the Southeast Franchise Forum and is a Certified Franchise Executive. He resides in Georgia with his wife and their two children. Follow @franchisegator on Twitter and Facebook.