Is your home-based business running out of space? It’s a common problem for entrepreneurs who do well in their first attempt to work as a sole practitioner. But, with success and growth come challenges, like facing the need for hiring employees, moving out of a home-based office, and perhaps hiring outside accounting or taxation help. If you do find that new office space is a must, what should you do? Here are some of the more effective ways that many owners of small businesses deal with the need for their own away-from-home office.
Work with a Commercial Realtor
To keep costs low as you test the waters of the commercial real estate market, consider opting for the smallest possible space. Work with a professional realtor who knows your area and has experience placing solo practitioners. If you really want to minimize expenses, let the realtor know that you are open to co-leasing with another renter. As long as you stick to a consistent hourly routine and find a good location for your company, even a tiny sliver of a storefront can work well as an alternative to working out of your garage or guest bedroom.
Refinance Student Loans
Many one-person company owners cut their personal expenses in order to free up capital for other purposes. Refinancing student loans can be a fast, effective way to lower your monthly payments on education debt, obtain a lower interest rate and get more time to repay the obligation. The result could be one easy monthly payment along with a nice amount of additional funds to use for growing your for-profit organization.
Export Supplies and Furniture from Home
There’s no need to plunk down thousands of dollars on new furniture and supplies if you remember to transport whatever you need from home. Many people simply export their entire residential workspace to the new location. Retaining and continuing to use things like desktop computers, chairs, tables, sofas, artwork and copy machines can save you a bundle and help keep profit margins high. Shop online for a used mini-frig and a small microwave if you don’t already have extras for your new space.
Focus on Building Clientele
If all works according to plan, you will probably have more time to focus on marketing. Most professionals who ditch the home office realize that working in a distraction free environment allows for an extra hour or two per day of productive time. Use these golden minutes to focus on bringing in new customers. Adding just one new client per month will help pay the bills, add to profits, and finance future expansion.
Sign a Short Lease
Remember to opt for the shortest lease possible, at least on your first solo venture into the commercial real estate market. Some realtors can help you find 6-month mini-leases that are ideal for testing the waters, experimenting with different locations and trying out different floor plan configurations. If you wish to go this route, be sure to let your real estate person know.