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Know how: When to move the office out of your spare room

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Lori Davis
Guest Columnist

Going from a home-based office to a rental space is a big decision that causes angst among many business owners. The thought of increasing monthly operating expenses because of rent, utilities furniture, IT services and office equipment can be quite unsettling. However, here are five solid reasons why it is time to set up shop in a location other than your home.

Revenue benefits

Prospective clients may regularly visit you prior to making a decision to purchase your product or services. There is a perception that a home-based business is not as professional as a rented office. Moving to an office location can attract additional clients thus increasing your revenue. This revenue may, in fact, exceed the costs incurred as a result of renting an office which will allow your business to grow and thrive.

Hiring additional staff

You may not be comfortable having an employee coming to work every day at your home. Besides the distractions of everyday life and the potential invasion of privacy, both the employee and family members may feel at odds with the situation. Alternatively, it may also be challenging to find the right employee when there seems to be a predisposition against home- based businesses. Most employment agencies and universities do not allow home-based businesses to post employment positions on their job sites.

Space constraints

When your business grows, that spare room you are using may be cause for inefficiency and disorganization. With the additional need for staff and or equipment, things get cramped, and actually moving will allow for private work space and office functionality. In the interim, consider allowing employees to work virtually if possible until you can justify moving and the monthly expenses that go with it.

Efficiency improvement

Noise, daily household chores, answering the door, family and pets can provide distractions that keep us from staying focused to the job at hand. An informal approach can be cause for procrastination and other bad habits experienced by entrepreneurs. Physically leaving your home to get to an office can help you be more effective and the office environment itself conveys a business mentality which fosters greater productivity.

Interfacing with others

Working from home can be a lonely experience. Even though you may be dealing with clients and vendors remotely, it doesn’t allow for collaboration that can spark the imagination and creativity. If making the big move to a traditional office is too much to handle at one time, there are other options available that can be a stepping stone to leaving your home. Co-working spaces and shared offices can provide not only the office environment you crave it can allow for the use of other office amenities; i.e. copiers, printers, coffee, and internet while allowing for collaboration which is a great support for both startups and established businesses.

Relocating your business from your spare room to an office will increase your overhead. However, there are several supported reasons as to making this challenging yet rewarding decision. Just make sure you know when it is the right time to do so.

Lori Davis brings more than 25 years of operations and customer service experience to her role as executive operations manager at Stat International.

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