How do I know if moving our business from home to a retail location is a good idea?

We have been in business 14 years and have always had a residential studio. I am a little tired of the 24/7 business and people stopping by anytime without appointments. How do I know if moving our business to a retail location is a good idea? We have a very strong referral-based business and sales have been steady even during the slowing economy. I know that opening a retail location will be a draw on our income but I am hoping that having easier access and more exposure will bring in enough additional business to cover our higher overhead.
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There are pros and cons to both options, as you already know. The best way to decide if the timing is right for you is to make 2 lists: one for all the reasons why you should do it and one focused on the downside risks. Assign a value to each line item then add up each side and see where the chips fall. Signing a lease for retail space may require locking into a longer term commitment, so you may want to see if there are other similar businesses that have some extra space for you to try on a shorter term basis to lower your risk and out of pocket expense. If the timing is not to move is not right, you should reevaluate within a year and see if you come to the same conclusion. Only you will know when it makes sense for your business.

Good luck,