Moving from a home office, where occupancy costs are effectively zero, to rented space is a big decision. Obviously, monthly expenses will increase. You may need to hire movers or purchase office supplies or phone systems. However, there are important reasons to set up shop in a location other than in your home.
1. Revenue benefits from moving out of your home. Consider a business where prospective clients routinely visit you before making a decision to purchase your product or service. There is a perception that rented space is more professional than a home office. Moving may attract additional sales. In fact, the increase in monthly revenue may be greater than the extra cost associated with renting space. In such a situation, you should move the business out of your home as soon as you can cover the one-time costs.
2. Hiring employees. When you decide to hire your first non-family-member employee, a move to rented space may be justified. You may not be comfortable having your new employee come to your home every day, particularly if you have to spend considerable time out of the office. Alternatively, you may find that it’s difficult to hire the type of employee you want while working out of your home. In the employment market, there is a bias against home-based businesses. For instance, many colleges and universities prohibit home-based organizations from advertising positions on their job boards.
3. Space limitations. If you have employees and your business grows, physical space may become the limiting factor. As your enterprise expands, the time may come when you can no longer operate effectively out of your home because there simply isn’t enough space. If you are unable to make the move, consider allowing some employees to work virtually in a coworking space. This is a lower cost solution with the same benefits of a real office space.
4. Productivity boost. Perhaps your home provides too many distractions that keep you from staying on task. If you find that the ability to work at any time creates a casual or informal relationship to your work, you may need to move. An informal attitude can promote procrastination and other habits deadly to entrepreneurs. Sometimes physically leaving home to go to an office may help you to be more effective. The different environment triggers a “now-I-am-at-work” mindset that will improve your output.
5. People interaction. Working from home can be a lonely experience, especially if you are used to having colleagues. While interaction with vendors and customers can provide some contact, long days spent working alone can wear on your creativity. Coworking space can provide a low-cost, low-commitment option if you are feeling a bit like Robinson Caruso. Launch Workplaces offers coworking spaces equipped with printers, internet, kitchen and networking events — essentials for most entrepreneurs. In addition, coworking spaces like Launch push collaboration, interaction and support for startups and more established businesses.
Moving your home-based business into rented space will increase expense. However, there are good reasons to make this decision. Make sure you know when the time is right to give up your very short commute and move out of the spare bedroom.