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Homeward Bound? Set your site in the right location-- homebased or otherwise.

By Lynn H. Colwell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Without a lot of money to pour into their businesses at the beginning, many start-ups opt to start from home. But is this always the best strategy? While a prestigious or prime retail location equals success for certain kinds of businesses, others can flourish from a bedroom corner. But what if either location will work for your start-up? How do you decide? The examples of these two Spokane, Washington, consultants can highlight this dilemma.

Michael Arterburn, president of Professional Solutions Inc., a resource development company, chose an off-site address. Although he had worked from home in the past, Arterburn believes having a home address sent the wrong message to prospective clients.

"When I first started, I had a post office box, but that wasn't good enough," says Arterburn. "Nobody has ever come to my office, but they seem to want me to have one. Let's say I meet someone at a restaurant and we start doing the business dance where you talk about who you are. I say I own my own business. They say, `Oh, really? Where's your office?' Every time I said, `I work out of my home,' I could feel a door closing."

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