Home Office Planner

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

THE BRIEF:

First-time attempts to work or operate a business from home often meet with frustration and confusion about how to get started, because functional room design is more important than most people think. Being disorganized, too much noise, too small a workspace and having the wrong office furniture and equipment are common problems for the new home-based worker. They're also the basis of starting a home office planning service with the focus on assisting employees and business owners to establish, or make the transition to, a home-based office. Working one-on-one with clients, you can develop successful work and organization plans that are tailored to their specific needs. Focus on topics such as office layout design, ergonomics, security systems and devices, storage solutions, recycling programs, work routine schedules, computer and technology integration, communications systems and suitable equipment and supply requirements. Make sure you market your services to corporations who have flexible work-from-home policies. 

ASK THE PROS:

Know who your potential clients are — and where they'll look for you

"To find an interior designer with experience in home workspace design and planning, consult your local Yellow Pages directory, ask friends and associates if they know one, or visit the website of the International Interior Design Association, at iida.org. Typically, a designer might be helpful for businesses that will be receiving visits from clients, businesses that will be employing several workers, or businesses that require specialized professional facilities, such as a dentist's office with a waiting room, an X-ray room, etc."

An excerpt from Entrepreneur magazine's Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook by James Stephenson and Rich Mintzer available from Entrepreneur Press.

Learn the science of productivity

Light, color, temperature and noise can all affect how productive clients will be in their new office space. Designer furniture store Made.com delved into why that is and how you can use it to your advantage in this infographic

Know what questions to ask your clients

Before starting work with a client, you should have them answer these questions about their home office space, according to Dallas designer Jo Heinz

  • What will you be doing in the space?
  • What type of work needs to be done?
  • Will external clients be visiting the space?
  • Will colleagues visit for collaborative work?
  • What type of materials will be referenced and/or stored?
  • What type of equipment is required?
  • When will I be doing the bulk of my work?
  • Will I be making conference calls?
  • Will I be video conferencing?

The answers to these questions will begin to develop the program for your home office, she says.

 

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