Publisher: Kelly Burkart – Posted on 03/08/2013
In part one of this series we examined the advantages of home offices and how to set up a home office for your business. However, even if you enjoy working from home, there may come a time when you need to consider another alternative. This article examines reasons you may need to move out and alternatives to look at before you do.
Watch out for these warning signs if you operate your business at home:
- Productivity begins to slide. Some people are highly productive working at home. However, for others interruptions and distractions eventually take their toll. If you find it hard to concentrate, or find you’re only able to get work accomplished at night and on weekends, home officing may not be the answer for you.
- Isolation sets in. Some people simply work better with other people around. They need people to bounce ideas off or just for the stimulation of conversation. If taking your laptop to the local coffee shop isn’t enough socializing for you, it may be time to move on.
- Growing pains become acute. If your home-based business is growing, good for you. But maybe you need to hire employees, your location isn’t convenient for meeting with clients, or you need more room for supplies or inventory. It may be unrealistic to continue working from home.
If moving beyond your home office becomes the best strategy for your business, consider these options.
- Find more space. If physical space if your main problem, it might be feasible to remodel your house to accommodate a larger workspace or more storage. Or consider moving to a home that better suits your work.
If moving or remodeling aren’t options, instead of filling your closets and garage with supplies or inventory, what about renting a storage space? If you need more employees, is it possible for them to work from their own homes?
- Consider shared office space. If the cost of a private office is prohibitive, an executive suite may be the answer. For a monthly fee, you get a private office with amenities like office equipment, a receptionist, and conference rooms. You also benefit from the camaraderie of other professionals.
An option that’s growing in popularity is co-working or collaborative business centers. These are communal office spaces that can be used in a variety of ways. You can rent a desk for a few hours, by the week, or on a permanent basis. Or rent conference space when you need it. Some have features like a concierge to direct visitors, copiers and other office equipment, and coffee.
Making the break. If a full-time, out-of-home office is clearly your best solution, consider these when you look for space.
- Space needs. If you anticipate your space needs continuing to grow, look for office space that you can rent short-term or with room to expand.
- Customer needs. If clients come to your office, make sure it’s in a safe area with adequate parking and in a building that creates a professional impression.
- Expenses. Budget for outfitting your office, from equipment and supplies to furniture and retail fixtures.
- Documents. If you are incorporated or have business licenses or permits, update your business address on official documents as soon as possible.
Whether you decided to stay in your home office part-time or set up shop outside the home, consider all your options and expenses before you move.
Kelly Burkart is a freelance writer from Minneapolis, Minn. While she has spent most of her time writing about financial services the past 15 years, she has also explored and written about everything from cardiovascular health to travel, higher education and sustainable energy practices.
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