Entrepreneurship is alive and well, and more people than ever are starting home-based businesses. That’s a good thing for the economy, and the flexibility and freedom that come with going into business for yourself can be wonderful for the people who start these businesses, too.
One question that a lot of home business owners ask is this: How can I know when my business has outgrown my house? Every business is different, but here are some common signs that you might need to consider taking action:
- The boundaries between home time and work time have disappeared. Some people who work from home end up having a hard time switching off at the end of the day. When your home is your office, it’s easy to justify doing one more thing before signing off for the day… and then another.
- Your house is starting to look like an office. It’s one thing to have a dedicated space to keep work files and papers, and another entirely if you and your family are tripping over boxes or having to move papers around so you can watch television or eat dinner.
- You need a quiet place to conduct meetings. When your business requires you to meet with clients or vendors, you need a quiet and professional place to do that. A home office isn’t always the best place for such meetings, as interruptions from pets and children may be the norm.
- Working from home is affecting your customers or clients. In-person meetings aren’t the only way that clients can be impacted by the fact that you work out of your house. If you can’t have a professional phone call without being interrupted by a kid asking for a treat or a dog barking, that could make you look unprofessional.
- Your business has grown to the point where you have to take on one or more employees. It is one thing to be doing everything yourself while working from home. However, once you hire employees the prospect of working from a home office can be an awkward one. Employees require their own workspace and may find it uncomfortable to be working hunched over your coffee table.
- Your business is stuck in a rut. Some business owners find that working from home keeps them in a mindset that prevents them from expanding their businesses. The convenience of working from home can sometimes act as a hindrance to progress.
If you recognize one or more of these signs in your own business, you might want to consider doing something to improve your work environment. The good news is that moving out of your home office doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money on rent. You might rent an office in an executive suite, where you share a receptionist and amenities with other companies who rent space. You could also share an office with another company.
Another thing to consider is renting a storage space. If your primary problem is a lack of space to hold business papers and files, a storage space could solve that problem for you, allowing you to de-clutter and continue working from home.
The key to making the right choice is to consider what your business requires, as well as what you require personally. It may be that finding dedicated office space is right for you, or it could be that renting an office a few days a week would give you what you need to keep going. Every business owner is different, so get creative and come up with a solution