5 Benefits of Working For Yourself (Online Business)

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-11-0416

I was actually one of those folks who was perfectly suited for the 9 to 5 and worked for many employers over the span of 17 years so imagine my surprise when I found myself turn into an accidental entrepreneur. I never really thought about working for myself until several years ago, when my hobby was fortunate enough to graduate into an online business (yes, you may be able to make a bit of money blogging or working online)!


I was never sure if I would be cut out to work for myself. I am not exactly the entrepreneurial type (or so I thought) until I took the leap around four years ago. I felt right there and then that it would be a huge risk, but I also realized that without going full time, it would be tough to get anywhere with this “hobby”. If I were going to take the next step with this venture, I would have to get serious.

It has worked better than I expected, all things considered. I wanted to be my own boss primarily to maintain a flexible schedule for my family, but it turns out that work / life balance can be elusive, depending on how you decide to live your life (and especially for those of us who have Type A personalities). To date, I now work on several projects and businesses (both internet based as well as traditional). My internet business experience actually encouraged me to try out other types of flexible work, and it’s been working very well so far. At any rate, there are some really great benefits to becoming an entrepreneur. Not only is this an endeavor where you aim to make money, but the lifestyle itself allows you to save quite a bit of money.

working for yourself

5 Benefits of Working For Yourself

So if you’re working on a side business, some of the considerations below may just convince you that going full-time with your own venture(s) is worth trying. These financial benefits may just tip things in favor of full time entrepreneurship!

1. No costs for traveling to work.

I have never gotten tired of getting up by 7am, getting dressed, having breakfast and then starting work in the room next door by 7.30 AM or thereabouts. There is no stress gained from jostling with loads of other people on the train or in traffic, and I don’t have to stress about having to be somewhere else by a certain time. If I am a few minutes late I don’t have to grovel to the boss either. What could be better? If I need to take a break, I can take one at anytime; later on, I can perhaps make up for the work I miss. I’ve saved quite a bit when you consider the gas and parking fees I used to pay each work day. I’ve written about this in my article on how we’ve trimmed gas costs (and saved around $5,500 per year).

2. No corporate clothes to buy.

I used to have jobs where I needed to wear a “business uniform” and had to buy certain types of clothing so I looked the part. Now that I work from home, I get to choose what I wear and I always make sure I feel really comfortable in it. There’s nobody I have to meet in person, so it doesn’t matter if I wear jeans and a t-shirt or anything else I so choose ;) . With the nice weather we’re having here these days, I can wear shorts or light trousers if I want, and there is no corporate style to adhere to at all. I don’t have to worry about setting aside a special clothing budget any longer. Because of the extra savings, I now have more of my money going towards savings.

3. No expensive lunches.

Perhaps one of the best money saving advantages of working from home is the fact that I don’t have the temptation to eat out during lunch. I also don’t have to spend time the night before preparing a packed lunch. Instead, I can take a break whenever I’m hungry (not when my boss says I can) and make something fresh if I want to. Try taking something healthy like sardines on toast to work and see if your colleagues won’t mind! You can easily do this at home though.

4. No need for extra babysitters?

My kids are of school age and one of the big positives of working from home is the ability to be around when your children are home from school. When they were very young and I was fully employed, I used to worry about this exact issue. For those of us living in California, it can be tough to live on one income (unless you really tighten your belt or have an enormous one person salary), so this was one situation I thought deeply about. The solution we ended up with that ultimately worked out pretty well was to work for ourselves! This has also allowed us to skip or control the one expense that many dual income families are forced to take on, especially if they don’t have the benefit of family or friendly neighbors nearby — paying extra for after school care or activities.

5. You can claim quite a number of tax deductions.

One of my favorite benefits for being your own boss is to be able to write off a lot of business expenses. Lots of savings here; I reckon I’ve saved quite a bit with the help of home office deductions and I don’t feel half so guilty when I opt to upgrade my computer, laptop or favorite electronic gadget. And what about travel costs? Internet marketing and blogging conferences have been good excuses for me to visit new places while traveling for business.

There are many other ways I’ve been able to cut costs and earn even more through my business, but these are the main methods that stand out for me. And when you add up those savings over a year or so they really make a huge difference. I know that if I can save, say several thousand dollars a year because of these advantages, I can earn a few thousand dollars less a year without it adversely affecting my financial situation.

So would you consider taking the plunge yourself?

Created August 1, 2010. Updated November 4, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Financial Samurai August 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I like the post SVB, and I think a lot of us would love to be able to work from home or untethered and make a decent living that way.

I’d actually be more interested in reading about the things you don’t like about working at home, and some of the things people don’t talk about that may wear on you. Whatcha think? Can you write a follow up post about that topic? I think it’d be great!

Cheers,

Sam

Silicon Valley Blogger August 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm

@Sam,
Thanks for the great suggestion! Yes, certainly, I can write a follow up on this post about what some of the issues are with the whole work at home situation. The biggest thing of course is the lack of compartmentalization. I find myself doing more and more work (yes, despite a lot of outsourcing that I already do) and struggling a bit more with the whole work/life balance.

Very ironic, since one of the reasons that I had for going this route is to try to IMPROVE my work/life balance…. I never realized what a challenge it would be! I’d love to expound on this issue a bit more some time. Thanks so much again for the interesting suggestion, Sam!

ENT August 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I strongly feel that a more appropriate title for this post should be “5 Benefits to Running You Own Blog from Home.”

The benefits you describe are NOT benefits for a typical self-employed person running their own business. I’ve owned 4 different businesses over the past 30 years, and am currently retired, and I can tell you that 1-5 are a dream for a self-employed person.

1-5 may be a reality for a form-home-blogger, but it certainly does not reflect the reality of owning your own company.

Silicon Valley Blogger August 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

@ENT,
You definitely made good points. I clarified the title of the article to reference the online business world. This article refers to the issues faced by a small business owner who runs an online business. It could refer to a blogger who wants to make some money, or to those people who freelance from home. Or it could refer to an internet marketer who does their hustling over the web. I should have clarified things more carefully.

One must note though, that running an online business is vastly more general than running a blog. There are many ways to make a buck via the internet, and blogging is just one of those avenues.

Then again, I know someone who owns a couple of brick and mortar stores that he runs successfully from home. And what about those real estate business owners (I suppose you can call them investors as well)? Lots of them hire local managers who do a lot of the day-to-day work while the owners attend to other things. It’s all about how you decide to set up your business, I suppose.

Lloyd Burrell @ Office Desk Reviews August 2, 2010 at 2:39 am

Working from home is, I must admit, beneficial in the terms you have described above. A few days ago I ran into somebody who explained that, ever since he had started to work from home, he noticed how many bad habits corporate jobs create. And he’s right. So I would extend your concern for corporate clothes to a much larger set of things.

doctor S August 2, 2010 at 7:37 am

As a recently married working bee who spends 40+ hours in a cubical all week, I have been trying to plan out doing something on my own. It is going to have to start out part time, but if all goes better than well, I hope to take the same jump as you after a few years (I have to submit the business plan to my wife of 3 weeks for approval first!).

I really think some of the tax benefits are huge allowing you to equip yourself with whatever is necessary to get the job done. The key word there is “necessary” and not “wants”.

I love the post because it really is practical b/c we spend entirely too much money on clothing and food for our corporate jobs because WE HAVE TO! I have to wear a shirt and tie everyday, if a suit was required, i’d be in a heap of trouble!

Great work, it’s great encouragement for people like me who have a tiny vision. I’ll bug you some more as it progresses!

Mrs. Accountability August 2, 2010 at 7:40 am

I wish I could take the plunge and quit my job, and devote the hours I spend to my current job, to my blog. Currently I do feel as if I am working seven days a week what with the “day” job, blogging around that, plus doing the accounting for my husband’s businesses. I have worked at home full time before, doing data entry, and it felt like I worked around the clock because the work was always there. I hope if I ever get the chance to quit my job and do this full time that I will be able to manage my time more efficiently. It is already a challenge now not to allow myself to be sucked into the Internet. Looking forward to the counter post that Sam requested. :-)

Gain Money Control August 2, 2010 at 7:45 am

You’ve outlined some nice perks about working from home. I totally get your Type A personality comment with work/life balance. :)

I’m looking forward to reading your follow-up post about some of the – challenges you face working for yourself too.

Greg McFarlane August 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

It’s sad to read people commenting about what’s holding them back from embracing SVB’s lifestyle. Of course you can quit your job and work for yourself: the number of us who have signed contracts that forbid us from doing so is vanishingly small. Once you plunge, if you’re motivated enough, your only regret will be not doing it sooner. You don’t hear SVB regretting her decision, do you? I have yet to meet a restaurateur who says, “Damn, if I could only get a job waiting tables at the Olive Garden.”

The tax deductions alone are enough to make the move. Plus, when you’re working for yourself, your conscience eliminates the downtime for you. All that time you waste working for The Man seems especially fruitless when The Man is you.

Money Smarts August 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

All of the above are great perks to working from home as an entrepreneur. One of the things holding me back is a perk of my day job – having the benefits like group health care insurance. If I were to quit my day job I would be forced to buy my own health insurance, which with my wife’s health issues, would be prohibitively expensive. For now I can care to dream. :)

youngandthrifty August 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Great post. I quite like doing this blogging thing on the side (though it is starting to get a bit difficult juggling a full time job and blogging) because it gives me some balance. For example, if I get sick of blogging, I can look forward to work for a change of pace and vice versa. Though not having to get up and tackle traffic would be a huge incentive.

I find that the tax write off implications are very attractive! I got a new laptop after christmas last year (macbookpro) and was able to get a $400 back because I use it for my new business. Score! =)

Brand Police August 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm

What a fantastic list! As someone who has been considering making the jump for some time from my “business is a hobby” to “business is my job”, in some ways it’s about having the confidence, systems, finances and customer base in place. Other than that I just see it as a need for that bit of confidence to say “yes – i can do this!”

Thanks again for the great read.
Matt

peter dunin September 8, 2010 at 6:46 am

You forgot getting up and finishing when you want!

Mary Kaplan November 6, 2012 at 11:58 am

Great list of benefits of working from home. I have recently gone back to work now that the kids are off to college. We own our own business so I am doing my work primarily from my family room with my lap top. It is great for all the reasons your post cited. I do get a bit lonely sometimes. A little face to face time with people is a nice bonus of going into the office a couple of times a week.

Suzanne November 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I’ve always had my own business except for four years when I worked for a large mutual fund company. Being self employed is the best lifestyle I know – there’s nothing better than being in control of your own destiny. Your hard work pays off in your bank account not your employer’s. Learning how to be self employed does take practice, but truly committed people can do it!

Financial Planner December 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

SVB

There are some disadvantages attached to blogging from home:
1. You do not have companions with whom you can chit chat.
2. You are more engrossed into your work, that shift the balance of your personal and professional life.
3. There is no regular income, so there is a risk involved.
4. You always have to motivate yourself, there is nobody else to motivate you.

Leave a Comment