When you first opened your home-based business, you were probably thrilled that your living and working space were in the same location. The cost and the convenience couldn’t be beat, not to mention the short commute. But priorities and needs change, and now it’s time to relocate your operations.
As with every other aspect of running a company, the decision to uproot your office should not be an impulsive one. Before you rent a moving van and order new letterhead, stop and take a deep breath. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What can I get in another space that I can’t find here at home?
- Do I have the money to move?
- Do I have good reason to believe that my customer base will follow me? If they don’t for whatever reason, do I have a Plan B?
Once you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your current digs aren’t sufficient, devote your energy to finding the situation that will best meet your needs for expansion. If your quarters are currently cramped, make extra square footage a priority. If your budget is tight, look into sharing a location with another company. You could even contribute to the salary of a shared receptionist to cut costs.
Next, ask yourself if you would like to buy a building – a major capital expense if there ever was one – or rent. If you have ever experienced apartment living, you know that the latter choice provides help with maintenance while simultaneously entering you into a relationship with a landlord, for better or for worse.
Once you find a place you think you might like, close your eyes and imagine yourself providing your services or selling your products there. Do you have money in your budget to make cosmetic changes that would make your potential location attractive both to yourself and your staff, and your customers?
Finally, don’t make the next move without taking a long, hard look at your insurance for home business policy. What was sufficient for your home-based operation might be woefully lacking once you move, particularly if you relied on your homeowner’s insurance and some additional riders to cover your commercial policy needs. Sit down with your agent and discuss your plans, making sure that your business insurance protects you against property damage, theft or loss as well as liability and personal injury. Depending on the nature of your business, you might need more coverage as well, so be sure to detail all of your needs when speaking with your agent.
Growth is both scary and exciting. Before you make a physical move away from your home-based office that has been the nurturing place for your company, be sure you have given careful attention to all of these factors. If you do your homework in advance, your growth and future success can take your company to the next level.