Grow: 4 Signs You May Have Outgrown Your Home Office

Sometimes, acknowledging that your home-based business needs to move out of the house is as tough as sending your son or daughter off to college. But just like the kids can’t live with you forever, at some point, most home-based businesses will need to leave the nest.

How do you know if your “baby” has outgrown the confines of your home? Here are 4 warning signs.

  1. You’re squeezed for space. If your inventory, equipment or other aspects of your business are spilling out onto your kitchen table, overflowing the garage or otherwise invading your personal space, it may be time to look for new digs.
  2. Your image is hurting. Not having an actual office can hamper your business image if you need to meet with clients frequently. Always asking them to head to Starbucks may not send the right message. Noise (like barking dogs or lawnmowers) during conference calls can also convey a less-than-professional image.
  3. You’re distracted. Many home-based business owners struggle to resist the siren call of the fridge, the TV or the phone. Kids or overly friendly neighbors can hurt your focus and cut into your productivity.
  4. You need help. If your business grows enough to need employees, hiring them to work in your home can be awkward. Some business owners can solve the problem by using remote or virtual workers, but if you can’t, you’ll need to bid home goodbye.

Moving out of home isn’t a choice to make lightly, so assess the pros and cons of the move first. If you really love working from home, brainstorm solutions to your problems. Maybe you could rent meeting space on a temporary basis from an executive suite company, or visit clients at their locations. If neighbors or family members are interrupting your work, be honest about your needs and set some new ground rules.

If, after assessing your options, you decide you’re ready to make the move, figure out what you need from your new office or retail space. Find a commercial realtor with experience in your industry who can help you make the right choice.

Your SCORE Mentor can help you with the decision to work from home or move and help you weigh your options. Don’t have a mentor? Find one at the SCORE website.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia"></a> | <a href="" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


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