How to Run a Successful Home Business (Part 1 of 2)

Part 1 of a 3 part series on how to make your home business work by putting your home to work.

For most families, your home isn’t just where you live — it’s also your biggest financial asset. Many people think that the only way to profit off of your home is to resell it in the future for a higher value, but there’s no need to wait that long.

There are plenty of opportunities to make money off your home that you can start taking advantage of right now. In this three part series, we’ll explore how you can use your home to make earning profits so easy that you can literally do it in your sleep. 

Rent out an in-law unit

In-law units can come in many forms — an apartment over your garage, a tiny house in your backyard or a basement unit, to name a few. No matter the model, these dwellings are great for families who plan to help their parents in their later years and are also highly profitable for those considering short-term renting. 

Depending on where you live, you can earn $1,000 - $3,000 a month by renting out an in-law unit on Airbnb. Some locations around large cities, convention centers and tourist attractions can earn significantly more. These units tend to be more desirable to renters than spare rooms, which offer significantly less privacy and independence. 

The best way to experience the full benefits of renting an in-law unit is to think ahead and purchase a home that already has one. Many home buyers make the mistake of opting for a cheaper house without an in-law unit, reasoning that their parents or kids wouldn’t be able to use the unit for years. But ultimately, an in-law unit more than pays for itself with its potential to bring you extra profits, especially when it’s bought alongside your home. 

Homeowners who look into adding an in-law unit after they’ve already purchased their homes are often shocked to find out how much it costs. Even basic renovation costs can cost over $50,000 before taking in to account the hassle of finding a trustworthy contractor and the nuisance of remodeling construction. 

It’s better to get started early with a slightly larger home with a unit you can rent out for extra earnings before you need it for your family. Those monthly earnings could add up to, helping to pay the mortgage or start a college fund. 

Rent out storage space in your garage with Sharespace

Many homeowners don’t think about their garage often even though it’s one of the largest “rooms” in the home. At Sharespace, we help homeowners turn their garage into another source of passive income, just like Airbnb does for extra bedrooms.

Perhaps your kids are going off to college and taking their car with them, leaving you with an extra spot in your garage. You could use that space to earn extra money by letting neighbors store items like furniture and clothing there. 

Sharespace customers store their belongings when they’re traveling, moving, doing a renovation or going through other major life events. They’re looking to keep their items safe until they have more space, but they don’t need constant access to them. For you, this means less time and work for the money you earn, especially compared to Airbnb hosting.

Depending on where you live, you can earn hundreds of dollars a month renting out a garage or basement to Sharespace storage customers, earning income that takes little work on your end. Once a customer has moved their items into your space, you get paid each month. No need to do anything else.

Claim home office tax deductions

To be successful running your home business, it’s important to think of it as just that –– a small business where you’re the CEO. 

Especially when first getting started with a platform like Airbnb or Sharespace, you should set up a portion of your home office where you can keep records and supplies, as well as work through the online portals of each platform. You’ll also want to budget some extra time for learning the best practices for working with your new customers. 

The good news is the IRS recognizes what you’re doing is running a small business. Always check with your accountant or CPA to understand what applies to your situation, but one great tax break you could take advantage of is the home office tax deduction. 

Depending on how you work, the portion of your home that you use for management and administration of your Sharespace storage may qualify for the deduction, allowing you to lower your taxes come filing time. This is just one more way your home can help boost your financial wellbeing.


Next in this series on running your home business, we’ll dive into the best practices for getting the highest paying customers and how to grow your customer base on different platforms.