Hosting your business at home instead of in an office offers a number of benefits for entrepreneurs. Not only can you avoid the costs associated with leasing and maintaining a commercial space, but you may also get more work done since you’re not spending hours each day commuting. Additionally, many business owners can deduct a portion of their home costs, including rent and electricity, on their income taxes. Entrepreneurs can then funnel these savings directly back into the business.
Clearly, business owners can save money with a home office. However, if your business is successful, at some point, you will more than likely need to move your company to an office. Here are a few signs that your business has outgrown its home-based office.
1. You Need Space for Employees or Customers
One of the most obvious reasons for relocating your home-based business to an office is also one of the most important. If you need a space for employees or customers to gather, you may want to consider buying or leasing an office. Because your business is only as strong as the people on your staff, as your company grows, you will likely need space for workers to gather and share ideas. If you don’t want employees gathering in your home, consider looking for an office space.
Additionally, relocating from your home to an office may be necessary if your business requires you to regularly interact with clients. While operating out of your house is a great way to save money, home offices don’t always look professional. Moving to an office can put a more sophisticated face on your home business while giving you plenty of room to expand. Just be sure to find a location with adequate parking, so employees and clients don’t get frustrated when they visit your property.
2. Your Business Is Interfering With Your Family Life
Are your children always leaving toys on the floor of your home office? Are your pets interfering with your productivity? If your family and business lives are having a negative impact on each other, it may be time to move your home-based company to an office. While operating from your house may save you money on rent and childcare costs, business owners with families often find that their productivity suffers when they try to work from home. By finding a workspace outside the home, entrepreneurs can create a better balance between their business and personal lives. Working outside the home helps you keep work at work, so you can truly concentrate on your family during your off hours.
3. You Need to Purchase More Equipment
Space can sometimes be severely limited inside of a home office. As your business grows, you may find elements of your work spilling over into other parts of your house, especially if your business involves the manufacturing of physical goods. If you need to purchase more equipment and require added space in order to work comfortably, then it may be time to consider moving into an office. Not only can working out of an office give you some much-needed manufacturing and equipment space, but it can also help free up space inside your home.
4. You Want to Grow Within the Community
Keeping your business confined to your house can be limiting. There's absolutely no substitute for having a physical space with your company's name on it. Owning a store or office space within your community is a 24/7 marketing opportunity. Having a physical store shows you're a part of the community, and customers love supporting local businesses. But even setting up an office in a co-working space, which is cheaper, can be very beneficial for you because of the free flow of information. Being around other people—no matter what profession or age—can give you new ideas and advice to help grow your company. This is seldom possible with a home office.
5. Your Business Is Financially Successful
A lot of entrepreneurs start businesses inside of their homes because they can't afford office space. Once a company is financially successful, however, that limitation no longer exists. If you think your company's profits are sufficient to relocate to an office, take the time to run the numbers before deciding to move. Keep in mind that some of your office expenses may have been bundled into your household bills, so you may need additional money for things like rent, utilities, phone and internet. Also, now that you're working outside the home, you might have commuting and parking expenses. To ensure that you’re financially prepared to move into an office, be sure to create a budget that outlines monthly expenses and other costs for your new space.
Tips for Finding an Office Space
The first thing to consider when looking for an office is location. A number of factors go into determining the best location for your business. You’ll want to find an area where you can easily tap into your target customer base. Also, do research on the neighborhoods in which you’re thinking about setting up shop. Sometimes, local governments provide incentives for businesses to move to a certain area. Perhaps the most important factor to consider is cost, since cheaper rent and leasing payments can dramatically cut down on your overhead. And don’t forget to think about your personal comfort as well. You’re accustomed to working from home, so it may be a good idea to pick a location that does not involve a long commute.
Also, if you’re worried about transitioning from a home office to a professional one, you may want to consider renting a serviced office or suite. Serviced offices are typically located in business districts. The premises come fully equipped and are overseen by a facility management company, which cuts down on the amount of legwork you have to do to get your office up and running. Typically, the rental agreements for serviced offices offer more flexibility than leases for commercial spaces, and they can be more easily scaled to fit your needs.
Nothing can match the convenience of a home office, but successful businesses often need more room to flourish. Moving your business to a professional office will not only allow your company to grow, but it will also de-clutter your house, provided you don’t bring too much of your work back home with you.