Is there a difference between running a business out of your home or in an office?

Is there a difference between running a business out of your home or in an office?

Recently, in a conversation with the producer of my internet radio show, The Home-Based Business, I stressed how important it was to get home-based business owners to understand that there is no difference in running a business out of your home than with a business located down on Main Street. We need the same type of office equipment and electronics, we perform the same offices duties, we must advertise and market our business, etc. We work just as hard and we face the same decisions on how to provide a good product or service and make money at it. We, the home-based business owners, are just a little bit smarter – because we don’t pay rent, we don’t commute and we don’t work with people we don’t like!

I was particularly irked because just prior to our discussion, I had seen a television program, on a leading home decorating channel, where the goal was to combine a den, extra sleeping accommodations and an office all in one room. Of course, I stopped what I was doing and sat down to watch. By the end of the show, I was totally appalled. They created a great sitting area with a sleeper couch but the office area was a joke. They put a tiny desk, although it was pretty enough, with an in-box and a few accessories on it, facing the wall. The desk had no drawers and there wasn’t a filing cabinet in sight. The designer kept stressing the importance of keeping everything stored away so the room stays neat and clutter-free. I get it, it’s a television show and they have to wrap it up in 30 minutes….but was it realistic?…did it reflect a person actually running a business?…did it show us what it takes to have an office in the middle of your life?   No, no and no.

I don’t know about you, by my office is a WORKING OFFICE…that means that there are files on my desk and on my back credenza. My computer is on my side of the partner’s desk I share with my husband and the laptop, although it lives on his side, is available to me by just swinging it around when I need to do double duty. Two copiers and a fax machine are on the table next to the desk. Lamp, telephone, calculator, etc. are on the desk….filings cabinets are nearby. Who did they design this office for? Who works in this tiny space with a tiny desk? Where’s the scotch-tape, the stapler and the pens? Who can get any real work done if you are jumping up every time you need to get a file or some supplies from the “storage” area?   Home-based businesses are real; home-based businesses produce great products and provide great services; we are a huge business arena with over 65% of small business ownership. We do everything that businesses on the 3rd floor of that building downtown does…so I would like to suggest to those televisions shows, if they are listening, to design a home-office that is bona fide and true to the professionals that operate them.


Speaking of things that are on my desk, one of my favorites is a small, clear acrylic box…in it there are 3 figures…the first one is a human form standing upright, the second one is a human form that is slightly bent over hard at work, the third one is a human form hunched over a computer desk working on a PC.  It is the reverse of the theory of evolution where humans begin life as a hunched over ape and through the ages stands upright.  We have now become hunched over, in that original shape, as we work at our desks…we are home-based, we work at home, we are attached to our computers!  This little clear box reminds me that I have to get up, stand up straight and leave the work area from time to time.  I use it as an incentive to enjoy the life-style of a home-based business owner that is not tied to the desk 24/7! I work at home because I LOVE WHAT I DO AND LIVE THE LIFE I LOVE!   Helene – THE HOME-BASED BUSINESS SHOW Variety Channel

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