You've probably heard more than once that franchise...
Running a franchise from your home can be the perfect fit for your lifestyle and your needs. There are quite a few home-based franchises in Canada to choose from, but before you take the leap, here's what you need to consider.
Check the legality
Not all communities will allow a person to run a business from their house, especially if you're going to have a truck in your driveway or clients coming over regularly. Speak to the local government office or zoning board to find out about the rules regarding commercial activity in residential homes in your area. If you live in a condo, cooperative or other type of planned community, you'll also need to check with the local homeowners association or board.
Dedicate a space
Except for unique circumstances or for a brief period of time, don't plan to use the family room or your kitchen table for your office space. If you have to use a common area in the home temporarily, you'll need to at least set aside an area that is for work only, and you'll want to your family to understand that area is exclusively for the business.
Go for comfort
You'll be in your work space for extended periods of time, so you'll want to be comfortable. You can still set up a decent space even if your budget is limited. Look for deals on new or used office furniture for your chair and desk and other needs, and make sure you have good lighting and a solid organizational system. A decent computer and printer are must-haves for most businesses, and you may want to consider a separate phone line for your business.
Set a serious schedule
One of the biggest obstacles for people working at home is simply being at home. For some people, it's tempting to slack off, and for others, it's tempting to work constantly. To avoid over or under-working, set a schedule and stick to it. Because you are at work during those hours, don't let friends or family constantly drop in; you respect their work hours, and they'll learn to respect yours, too.
Working from home can be the ideal choice for many franchisees, but it does come with its own set of unique challenges. Plan ahead, set up your business space and stay on schedule to keep your business and your home life running smoothly.