Home Sweet Home

Think it's time to move into an office? Use this checklist to see if you've outgrown your homebased business.
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This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: I'm getting busier and busier. I'd rather not increase my overhead, but how do I know when it's time for me to move from home to an office?

A: Being busy alone is not sufficient reason to move out of a home office. But can your home accommodate a bustling business? It may be time to move if you answer yes to the following questions:

1. Are you running out of room for inventory or supplies?

2. Do you have employees? Even if there is ample space, many business owners prefer not to have nonfamily members sharing personal space, like bathrooms and the kitchen.

3. Do clients come to your home? If so, you may want to find a more professional location.

4. Will moving allow you to generate additional business? For example, being away from home may result in more networking at meetings; having business breakfasts, lunches and dinners; or just having chance encounters with key contacts.

Unfortunately, moving to an office might require you to generate two to three times as much work just to maintain the same income. Here are some potentially less expensive alternatives:

1. Add on to your home. Chances are, you'll be adding to the value of your home in the process.

2. Move to a larger home. Check the zoning and homeowner restrictions if you do.

3. Use a professional office suite for meetings and specific activities.

4. Contract out work with other businesses, such as having fulfillment done by an outside provider.

5. Hire employees or independent contractors who will work from their homes.

Authors and career coaches Paul and Sarah Edwards' new book is The Best Home Businesses for People 50+. Send them your questions at www.workingfromhome.com or in care of Entrepreneur.

Edition: July 2017

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