home office business plan

When is it Time to Leave Your Home Office?

Some of the biggest businesses started from home-based offices. With low overheads, domestic conveniences, and the world’s shortest commute – the appeal is certainly hard to beat.But there will come a time (hopefully!) when your business will start to outgrow the confines of your home office. When this time comes, it’s important to take notice, look into what your options are, and consider moving to an external space.

 

What signs should I look out for?

When you’re busy running a small business, moving offices might be the last thing on your mind. But it’s important to slow down and recognize when it’s time to make a change. Here are a few signs to keep in mind.

  • You’re hiring (or have hired) new employees.
  • You need more space to entertain and work with clients.
  • Your home life is infringing on your work life.
  • Your work life is infringing on your home life.
  • You’re feeling isolated and lonely.
  • You want a physical shopfront where potential clients can walk in – not just read about your services online.

These are just a few signs to look for. Sometimes it can be hard (and expensive) to make that next move into an external space, but if your business is growing, or it’s having a negative impact on your home life, it’s often the best thing to do – for you and your business.

 

What are your options?

The leap from home office to an external space doesn’t have to be huge. In fact, it can often be better – and more financially viable – to take smaller steps.

For example, a co-working space might be your best option. These spaces come in all shapes and sizes, and usually, have all the conveniences of modern offices. You’ll be sharing the space with other professionals – but this emphasis on collaboration and networking is part of the appeal.

Another option is to rent out space in an established office, which is similar to the co-working scenario, but with less emphasis on being part of a ‘community’.

You can also try out hot-desking, which means finding desks to rent in established offices (no matter what the industry), or consider making the leap into a short-term or long-term private office – if you can afford it.

What you choose depends on the type of business you run, how many people your employ, your personal preferences, and financial situation – so make sure you do your research before making any commitments.

 

Budget considerations

Getting your small business out of your home office can be expensive. But by looking into what your business truly needs, and coming up with a financial plan to suit these goals, you’ll find moving doesn’t have to drain your bank account.

As we’ve mentioned, perhaps your next step is to move into a co-working or shared office space where everything you need is already set up for you. But if your small business needs space to flourish, a private office might be your best option. In terms of finances, this means you’ll need to consider (among other things):

  • Rent
  • Internet
  • Furniture
  • Location
  • Storage
  • Accessibility

With more overheads, you should have a contingency plan. There are always unexpected costs that come with migrating offices, so it’s important to ensure you have enough money to cover every expense.

To test the waters, investing in a short-term office can be a great option. This way, you can take it month-by-month, without locking into long-term situations that can drain your finances and put extra stress on your small business.   

 

Making the move

When the time comes to move out of your home-based office, think of it as a good thing – it likely means your business is growing and all that hard work is starting to pay off!

But before you do, make sure you understand what your business needs, what your goals are, and what you can actually afford. Not only will this make finding the right space much easier, it will also make the process really exciting.

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