cramped spaceWhen you first decided to start a business, you needed nothing more than your empty garage or guest room, and so you started a home-based business. And that worked for you for years. But if you’ve been feeling cramped lately, it might be time to graduate into something more accommodating.

Sign 1: Your Living Room is Now Your Inventory Room

If your stock has slowly been creeping into other rooms in your home, this might be a sign that you need more space. If you don’t have anywhere in your home to keep products without them disrupting your everyday home life, consider getting storage space or an office elsewhere.

Sign 2: You Need to Meet with Clients

Few of us are comfortable inviting clients into our homes for a business meeting. If you’re tired of meeting at Starbucks, consider renting office space. Another option is co-working space, where you rent an office or meeting room when you need it. This can cut down on your costs if you don’t have to pay for full-time use.

Sign 3: The Distractions of Home Are Affecting Your Work

If you’ve ever tried to take a conference call with a baby crying or a dog barking in the background, you can see how that might look unprofessional to your clients. There’s no reason your customers should think less of you for working from home, but they might if it’s distracting.

Sign 4: You’ve Hired Employees

And while your staff could navigate around the bouncy seat on the floor, it might make them uncomfortable to work out of your home. Having staff is a fabulous opportunity for you to branch out to an office where everyone has her own space and you can feel more like a team.

Sign 5: You Want More Visibility

Working from home is ideal for people who don’t need to see customers on a regular basis, like a writer or designer. But let’s say you started your business making jewelry and selling it on Etsy. But now you’re skyrocketing, and you think you’re ready for a storefront. It’s time to take that leap to investing in real estate to really get your business growing.

You have options when it comes to branching out from your home-based office. You can rent space as needed, like when you need a professional place to meet clients. You can rent storage, if all you need is somewhere to put your products. Or you can rent office or retail space. It’s scary, going out of your comfort zone, but I guarantee, you’ll be glad you did it.