Is a Home-Based Business Right for You?

By Samantha Chang

Q. I’m a working mom who wants to start a home-based business but am concerned whether this could be career suicide. I love my job but the hours are crushing. I really want to spend more time with my child without sacrificing my work or income potential. Am I being naive?
A. Home-based businesses have skyrocketed over the past few years, and the trend is only escalating. For moms, the ability to spend more time with their child while running their own business is a key driver of this movement.
Today, there are some 25 million home-based businesses in the United States that combined generate some $427 billion in annual revenue, according to Entrepreneur magazine. In fact, some 50% of all U.S. business are home-based, according to Newsweek. And of those, about 70% are operated by women, so you’re not alone in wanting to embrace this option.
In addition, the average annual income for home-based businesses is $63,000—almost $20,000 higher than the median U.S. household income. And indeed, many entrepreneurs make their first million working from home (such as the founders of Internet sensation YouTube and Spanx founder Sara Blakely), so if you play your cards right, a home-based business can be a lucrative career that also suits your lifestyle desires.
Obviously, some fields are more conducive to home-based work than others. Some good examples are public relations, human resources consulting, dentistry, accounting, writing, travel agents, general practice physician and Web designing, to name a few. But given the explosion in companies offering telecommuting as an option, it’s not surprising that many people are deciding to branch out on their own and become entrepreneurs.
Here are some common reasons why a home-based business may be right for you.