Did you know that more than half of all small businesses are home-based? Home can be a great place to launch a company. You save on rent and utilities, and you can often organize your work around family commitments.
Thanks to the flexibility the Internet provides, many small businesses can flourish and grow right from the home base. However, in some circumstances, you and your company may benefit by making a move to another location. Here are five signs that it may be time to leave the nest.
You Need More Space for Your Business
One of the first signs that you need an out-of-home office is when you run out of space. As your business grows, that spare bedroom or garage space may not be large enough for your inventory and equipment. If you have rearranged everything you can and even branched into other parts of your home and still need more space to effectively run your business, you probably need to make a move.
Many home-based businesses work with a virtual staff. If this is the case, your home base may work well for the long run. If you have a growing need for on-site employees, however, it may be time to seek a new space.
You Need More Space for Your Home and Family
Maybe you started your business before you started your family when you had a bedroom to spare. Now, however, you need that space to serve as a bedroom for your child.
Additionally, depending on your business, you may feel that having the equipment or supplies you need are not safe to have in your home now that your business is growing.
Your Home is Distracting You From Work
One of the advantages of a home-based business is that you can maintain flexible hours. However, that blessing can turn into a curse of sorts. If you find that you can’t carve out your personal time any more or that your family feels you are always working, it may be time to make the switch to an outside office.
Going to another location can give you the ability to more carefully separate home and work routines. If you find yourself distracted at home – by anything from your unfolded laundry to the yard work – you may find that your work productivity increases away from home.
You Want to Expand Your Offerings and/or Reach New Customers
If you want to reach more people with your products and services, you may feel that a brick and mortar location other than your home is the way to go.
Like it or not, some people do not take a home-based business seriously. They may see you as more experienced and reliable if you have an away-from-home office. If you are in well-trafficked location, you will gain visibility and benefit from walk-in business as well.
You Want to be More of a Presence in the Community
Another sign that you need to move is if you are feeling a bit isolated from the rest of the business community. Many home-based business owners find a compromise by renting co-working office spaces. With this arrangement, you have a space in an office setting with another small business owner or solo entrepreneur. You continue your separate endeavors while sharing rent and other expenses, as well as sharing some office equipment and supplies.
By having an office presence in your community, you may feel more motivated to join professional organizations and other non-profit community groups. Not only will membership in these groups help you give back to your community in the way of public service, but you also will make some valuable contacts that can grow your business.
Moving your established home-based business into a rented space is not a decision you should take lightly. In addition to rent, you likely will spend more money on transportation, clothing and meals. It’s a classic case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
In other words, if your home business is going smoothly, stay put for now. If you feel antsy, you may just need a break or a temporary change of scenery. If, however, you are feeling your home location has you stymied, a long-term change may be in order.