With the home business growing, the home office may need an update. Is it time to buy a home to better accommodate the business, renovate the office, or get creative and make do?
As a small business owner who runs a company out of your house, you reap the benefits of being close if your family needs you throughout the day. However, you also deal with the drawbacks such as dogs barking, kids popping in with questions, and ambiguous boundaries between professional and home life. Those struggling with making your work and home lives mesh can consider one of the options below, presented by Business 2 Business Times.
1. Move to a Home With a Functional Area for Work
Moving is a viable option if you’ve got the time, money, and energy. If your current home doesn’t have the square footage, you can get creative with the space, you can make your use of the rooms more efficient, but if you put together a wish list for the home office and your current digs can’t accommodate, it may be time to move.
A dual zoned area could be appealing if you can see opening a storefront one day. If you see the business growing, moving now may save you the trouble down the road. Look for a house with more square footage than the one you currently own. A separate entrance for your company is always a bonus to allow clients and associates to drop by without interrupting your family. You will want a space with adequate sunlight to keep it from feeling dreary and with plenty of room to meet your needs.
Real estate bargains are hard to come by anymore, but a little sleuthing could pay off. Look in up-and-coming neighborhoods. Look for foreclosed or “as is” properties, where, with a little foresight and caution, the risk can be minimized. For example, the property may be listed “as is” for a specific flaw that’s not that important, like a hot tub that no longer works, missing appliances, or an inoperable chimney.
Questions to ask yourself before searching for a new dwelling and office for your business include:
• How many people will regularly work in the space?
• Will you host clients in the space?
• Do you need a bathroom and kitchenette?
2. Renovate Your Space for a Better Workspace
If you are operating from your garage and it seems to be working other than the fact that you are in a garage, it may be time to consider a renovation. You could remodel an existing spot in your house such as the garage, a spare bedroom or even an attic. However, if you are out of areas to repurpose, you may require an addition to your dwelling.
Additions can be as stressful as moving and sometimes as costly. Research from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies shows that room additions account for about 6.9% of home renovations, and homeowners spend $18 billion on them.
3. Update Your Current Office Space
Some entrepreneurs start off in their garage or a corner of another room in their residence. If this is the case for you, Apartment Therapy recommends adding a room divider to separate your workspace from your living space. These dividers can be decorative or plain, depending on your taste and how the rest of your home is decorated.
Another idea to help you make the most of your square footage is to use up available wall space with cork boards or other wall-mounted organizers. This will allow you to keep your desk free of clutter and still stow important paperwork handily.
In addition to hanging organizational materials from the wall, you can hang a desk from the wall. There are numerous options for wall-mounted desks that fold down when in use and close back up in your free time.
Creating a home office space that enables you to work efficiently requires time and forethought. Think seriously about your needs and get a little creative if you have to, but think about the functionality of the space as your business grows. Your home can accommodate your business now, but what about as it grows and you can afford more space? One can dream.