More than half of American businesses are now home-based, according to a recent Business Week article. With this increase also comes a positive shift in public perception regarding the legitimacy of small, at-home companies. This can mainly be attributed to our familiarity as a society with the concept as well as the value they are providing to our economy. This data really isn’t all that surprising as most of us probably know someone who operates their business from their home. Sounds like a great concept, but is it ideal for everyone?
Here are three key considerations when determining if home is the right place to launch your business:
Do I require a physical location to operate? Many starting businesses convert space in their homes into a small shared workspace for all employees. Others find it easier to work remotely from their smart phones or laptops and communicate over email/phone. I have seen many individuals and groups successfully working from Panera, Starbucks or even the library. There are also great co-working spaces such as Sandbox if you have limited space at home, or just want to be in a collaborative environment. However, there are instances that may require physical office space. This could include your employees needing access to specific equipment to do their jobs or when manufacturing and distribution is required.
Can I get stuff done at home? Working from home is not for everyone. It can be distracting, especially if you have kids, pets or a fascination with daytime television. Make certain you have the ability to separate your workspace from your living area, such as your basement or home office. Keep in mind that working remotely may not be best for all employees either. See this helpful infographic from Mindflash to determine if working from home is right for you.
Where will I meet with clients? Clients are often happy to have you come to their office and meet. Lunch meetings are also widely accepted. It’s no longer the norm for clients to expect to meet at an office location. However, there may be times when a client would feel better knowing you have a physical office location. You can alleviate this issue by leasing virtual office space through services such as Office Suites PLUS.
What if I need a large, private meeting space? Of course there are times you will need a conference space, but don’t fret, there are numerous rentable conference rooms available. For example in Columbus, Ohio you can rent rooms through group memberships at TechColumbus. You can also access on-demand conference room space at an hourly rate through services like Regus, Spark Space or at your local community center. If you have numerous people in different locations don’t forget about virtual tools that allow you to conference via video. Platforms such as Google+, and Skype enable multiple people from anywhere to video chat.
Upon reading this you may determine that you don’t need office space right now. But once your business starts gaining more momentum, you will likely need to reevaluate your decision. After all you wouldn’t want your daily employee meetings to overtake your local coffee shop!