A home office is a great place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started. However, as every successful business owner knows, there comes a point where you’ll need to move to a more formal office space in order to continue to succeed. It can be quite a leap moving from a home office to traditional office space and no one wants to jump the gun, especially when the cost of upgrading your space can be a little steep. However, knowing what signs to look out for can make your decision much easier. Here are the top five signs that you’ve outgrown your home office and it’s time to move on.
1. Your home is now in your office instead of the other way around.
Is your office taking over other areas of your house instead of just your designated office space? Do you have work crowding out your kitchen table, living room, or bedroom? Keeping your work life and home life separate is a challenge for any small business owner, but if your home has taken second place to your office it may be time to consider upgrading to more traditional office space. This is especially important if you live with other people such as children or your spouse, as they deserve to have use of the home as well.
2. You need a place to meet with customers or employees.
At first, meeting with the occasional employee or client in your home or a coffee shop is no big deal. As your business begins to grow and gain credibility, however, it can be a serious detriment to your professional image if you’re meeting an important client in your living room. If you also find yourself with a steady stream of traffic from employees into your home this can become incredibly draining, especially on the other members of your household, to constantly be prepared to accommodate “visitors.”
3. Difficulty claiming the home office deduction.
Claiming a home office deduction can be a little complicated. You have to be able to say that you use the space for no purpose other than your business. This is almost impossible, especially if your business is beginning to encroach on the rest of the house. If you move to an office space you can easily claim the cost of renting your space on your taxes without all the hassle involved in claiming home office space. If your business has grown to that point, it’s a smart decision to move on to bigger things.
4. Your children or pets can no longer be separated from your space.
One of the best things about having a home office is being able to multi-task and take care of children or pets without relying on expensive childcare or pet care costs. What may have worked for a little while can become quite challenging as children grow and become louder and move about the house. Inevitably either your child will barge into the room or your dog will start barking while you’re attempting a teleconference with an important potential client. If this happens once or twice it may not be a huge deal but if it begins to happen more frequently this may mean that it’s time to move your business out of your home.
5. Your business is growing rapidly and you’re running out of space.
If anything besides office work is happening at your home office, this is a huge sign that it’s time to find better accommodations. If your business includes producing or selling products out of your home, you can quickly outgrow your space in a short amount of time. If you decide to stay it can actually impede the growth of your business, sometimes permanently, which is a terrible position to be in for the new small business owner.
Making the decision to upgrade to more traditional office space can be daunting. However, if your home office is no longer able to accommodate your growing business this is a good sign! If you meet one or more of the above criteria, why not see where an executive office suite or other rental office can take your business? You’ll be glad you did.