You’ve started your own business and since then there’s been no looking back. You were going to make this work no matter what. It all sounded so convenient, no more driving to work, no more rushing around trying to shower and pack lunch. Work was home and home was work. But it’s been a few months now and you’re finding things a little harder than all those motivational books suggested they would be, so you start to think of ways to take things to the next level.
Let me just make one suggestion: Move out of home!
Here are 5 reasons why it’s time to move your business out of your home.
1. Productivity 2.0
Let’s face it, it’s too hard to be productive at home, the lure of “Oh I’ll do it later” seems to be all smoke and mirrors as the informal relationship you’ve built with “Work” slowly becomes more and more casual. That’s just the least of it too, when you actually do manage to start working it seems that any and everything instantly becomes more distracting. TV, snack breaks, nap time and potentially family members take up more time than they should and before you know it, the day is over.
2. New business, new address
Having a contact address on your website and business cards (Yes, you should have both you own a business) is necessary but it’s even more necessary that the address be a professional setting instead of a place where clients have to take their shoes off before entering, trip over your son’s toys and climb a creaky flight of steps down to your basement before discussing their first order of your product. You can’t afford your own office with a mahogany desk and engraving awards you never won to display in an expensive cabinet behind you is far too costly. I understand. Do you know what costs less? A coworking space! Memberships for a hot desk at a business hub near you won’t break your bank and you’ll have a place to conduct your daily operations while inviting clients to a rented meeting room. Cleaning up your basement before meetings will become a thing of the past!
3. Real faces, not Facebook
The reason solitary confinement works so well in prisons is that we are social creatures that despise being totally alone. The same applies to workspaces. Personal offices and secluded cubicles are slowly becoming a thing of the past in preference for open floor plans and friendly conversation. In your basement, a lunch break is a trip to the fridge in silence. A bathroom break is a long and lonely journey. In an office space, lunch is spent with peers and a drink of water or bathroom break could become the funniest joke you’ve heard in a while because you bumped into someone hilarious and started a conversation. The main difference between your basement and office space is that you get to leave your seat in one frame of mind and return in another instead of keeping yourself in the same work mentality. It’s a better step towards a healthier mind.
4. Network for net worth
Your cat likes cat food. Your mum doesn’t know what a “like” button is. Your father is too busy breaking things around the house so he has something to heroically fix. Your wife supports you completely but, at heart, would rather find out what happens to Escobar in the next episode than hear your sales pitch. The point is, you’re exposing yourself to the same people every day and expecting sales to come. Yes, there’s social media. But nobody on social media is starting up a conversation with you about the weather then finding out you have a tech startup. Real, physical people do that. Head out and find them. Virtual office spaces offer a constant stream of new faces with bright ideas who are ready to exchange them. Every one of them is a potential lead. Every one of them is also of potential assistance. The app wizard and the graphic designer and the accounts genius and the event planning extraordinaire. They’re all going about their day, running and minding their own business. You’d never know of the services you could mine and the money you’d save just by talking to the person next to you. Your very neighbours might be customers, contractors, consultants and employees!
5. Expand your business balloon
Remember how you can’t afford a personal office space and mahogany desks are expensive? How much do you think it’ll cost to knock the walls out on your basement and make it bigger? Sure, the business is doing well and you might be ready to hire employees soon but weigh it out. Expand the house or move into an office space where all you need to do is bump up your membership to have a larger space for you and your staff? If you’re reading this and you find yourself nodding, that’s probably because you know it’s the right thing to do.
Nobody likes traffic or the one guy at the office who doesn’t shower. Working from home truly does sound like a dream come true. However, few business owners stop to think about the drawbacks when they’re too busy revelling in the thought of taking business calls in their underwear. Working more efficiently, having a designated company address, interacting, networking and expanding are all necessary components for the growth of your venture. Do yourself a favour: Convert the basement back into a petri dish of dust, black mould and deadly insects, lock the doors so that none of those things escapes, advertise it as a horror movie set for extra money, and contact a local business hub or co-working space to grab a virtual office. Oh, and since you’re not at home anymore, don’t forget to bring your pants.