When you’re the only one in your business, you get to call the shots. That means you get to pick where you work. Will it be a top-notch penthouse office with a view of the ocean? Or your guest bedroom converted into a home office?
There are solopreneurs who prefer working somewhere other than their homes, while others prefer the short commute and lower overhead of a home-based business. Which you choose will be based on the following criteria.
Do You Need to See Clients in Your Office?
Certain types of businesses involve more face-to-face interaction with clients than others. If you frequently need to meet with clients, the local coffee shop might not cut it. That’s an instance where investing in visually-appealing, easy-to-reach office space is a good idea.
On the other hand, if you mainly interact with clients over email or the phone, there’s no reason why you can’t do so from the comfort of your home office.
Can You Be Productive at Home?
For many, the decision to look for business real estate is less about need and more about want. Some people find that working from home presents too many distractions to get any work done, and so they prefer to work out of an office elsewhere.
But if you can ignore the laundry and dishes, you may prefer the convenience of working from home.
Can You Afford Office Space?
If you’re just starting a business, you’ve got to watch every penny and cut unnecessary expenses. Commercial rent, utilities, Internet, and a phone line all add up quickly, and can put you in the red if you don’t have money in savings. A home-based business tends to be a sunk cost: you’re already paying your home rent or mortgage and utilities, so other than some office equipment, you shouldn’t have any tremendous costs to get started.
What If You Grow?
A great hybrid solution to the office space vs. home office debate is to start out of your home and then invest in office space as you grow. Once you’ve been running a business for a while and have secured a steady profit and are ready to hire employees, you can start considering a property that will scale as you grow.
When shopping office space, don’t get dazzled by high-end properties that you don’t need. Sure, that glass elevator and wall waterfall are impressive, but if no one but you and your staff go to your office, you’re wasting money that could be put elsewhere in your business. Pay attention to the part of town you look for space in; some more popular areas can charge double (or more) what office parks and industrial areas do.
Don’t skip a detail when starting your new business. Our starting a business checklist can keep you organized.