You’ve worked for years on your home business, at first perhaps on your lap, then at the kitchen table, and then finally in the “spare room” that has been designated the “home office”. But thankfully, your business has grown, and with it, the need for more space.
So what do you do now that your business requires more room for additional meeting spaces for clients and working areas for additional employees? Here are 7 suggestions for expansion when you’ve outgrown your home office, and need more space.
1. Weigh up the pros and cons of buying property for your business premises
Naturally, this is a fairly big step in the life of your business, as you’ll finally have a physical space that is not related to your home at all. You’ll be able to properly split your home life from your work life! But remember to weigh up the pros and cons of buying commercial property. A definite pro would be the growth of your business’ asset portfolio, but a con would be that it would require a substantial outlay of funds that won’t negatively impact your business.
2. Weigh up the pros and cons of leasing property for your business premises
This is definitely the more affordable option, in terms of preliminary outlay, but again, leasing property comes with its own set of cons, one of them being the restrictions your lease term puts on your business growth, should you again need to expand and add room.
Whether you decide to buy or lease property, make sure you know what you’re in for. Have a checklist handy to ensure you are setting up your new premises correctly to avoid nasty – and costly – surprises down the track.
You’ll be able to properly split your home life from your work life!
3. Do your research via reputable commercial property sites and agents
You cannot afford to skip this step. Check out sites like Commercial Property Guide (CPG), which lists commercial property by sale or lease, and even helps you find an agent. It will be invaluable information while you’re in the crucial decision-making stage of the process.
4. Ask yourself what you want out of your office
Now that your office isn’t in the back room of your home, you are free to think about the space as purely used for professional purposes i.e. doesn’t house a sofa bed for visiting out-of-towners. You will need to consider the location and the commute you’re willing to do, meeting or breakout rooms, zoning etc.
Whether you decide to buy or lease property, make sure you know what you’re in for.
You’ll also need to consider how you will make that shift from a home office to an actual office space. Do you want to maintain the casual, laid-back environment so often found in home businesses, or will this office move signal a newer, more professional feel for your fledgling business? You might need to re-evaluate how your employees present themselves at work, in which case the importance of presentation skills in your new workplace becomes paramount to success in your new environment.
5. Get expert advice from people in the Commercial Property industry
It would be beneficial for you to meet with people well versed in insurance, legal and finance regarding commercial property. The Australian Government has a range of resources specifically catered to new business and CPG offers an Ask Ed service, which has been designed to assist you with every aspect of your business move.
You’ll also need to consider how you will make that shift from a home office to an actual office space.
6. Consider shared office space
A shared office space (i.e. an executive suite scenario, where you are sharing a floor with another business) means you share meeting areas, phone systems and, in some cases, a receptionist who looks after all businesses in your area. This may cut costs, and, if the business is in the same industry or complementary industry as yours, you will be that much closer to new business colleagues.
7. And finally, consider why you need new office space
Why you’re considering new office space will help you figure out what kind of new space your business needs to be in. For many, it’s because your business has grown so much that the extra space is handy for new employees and added clients, but if you’re merely after nice meeting rooms for your clients then perhaps a complete move to new offices might not be the best answer. Be clear about what you want, and what you and your business can afford now.
This article was written in collaboration with Commercial Property Guide.
Erica is a Sydney-based writer and digital marketer, and can often be found pounding away on a keyboard, writing about everything from travel, lifestyle, well-being and anything in between. When she is not writing, she is STILL writing, developing copy and content for websites and marketing collateral. Erica is passionate about film, literature and culture (high brow and low brow), as well as pro-social causes supporting cultural engagement (counting travelling as one of them). In her spare time, she loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book, go for a nice dinner with friends or spend time with her partner.