If you’re thinking of setting up a new business, you may be considering the option of using your home as a base. Working from home may seem like an incredibly appealing option, but on closer inspection, you may come across some potential obstacles. Here are some questions to ask before you take the plunge.
Have You Got Enough Space?
Any business will require space. If all you need is an office, it’s likely that you’ll be able to start working from home without any real issues, but if you need a studio, a stockroom or a treatment room, the task may not be so simple. If you’ve got rooms you don’t use, for example, a guest room or an attic room, it should be relatively straightforward to make these spaces suitable for work purposes. However, if you haven’t got sufficient space available, the job becomes more complex.
There are options you could consider, but it may take time and money to make your home fit for business. Consider getting in touch with planning consultants if you’re thinking about adding an extension or look into options like a garden room or a glorified log cabin you could locate in the garden. Another path you may wish to take is renovating an outbuilding or converting part of the garage. If you’re toying with any of these ideas, get some quotes and find out how much it’s going to cost before you make any decisions.
Are You Creating The Right Impression?
If you plan to welcome clients into your home, it’s incredibly important that you create the right impression from the outset. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about how you would feel when you were driving up to the house and walking up the path. If you’re offering a service, for example you’re a hairdresser, a massage therapist, an accountant or a physiotherapist, it’s best to avoid taking your clients on a tour of your home and enable them to access your office or treatment suite directly.
Make sure your home looks the part to set the tone. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but if your home is your headquarters, it becomes an extension of your business and part of your brand. Keep the lawns in check, give the front door a coat of paint and use planters, hanging baskets and trees to create a more welcoming atmosphere. Any rooms you use for business should be clean and tidy, and they should give off a professional vibe. Think about what you would expect if you were a client.
Is Your Neighbourhod Suitable For A Home Office?
You may have the space, but you have to decide whether a home office is suitable for your surroundings. If you have clients visiting, do you have enough parking space? If you require a lot of deliveries, can your road handle large lorries? It’s also important to look at business rates for home offices as you may be liable to pay them, and it may actually work out cheaper to rent room in a co-working space.
If you’re working in a tech-based business then make sure your broadband speed is suitable – some areas are limited to the type of internet available and if you need to travel, are you near a suitable train/bus station or road network?
So, if you’re thinking about setting up a business at home, there are various considerations to bear in mind. Have you got space for the kind of company you want to run and does your home give off the right impression? Put yourself in your client’s shoes and create an environment in which you feel comfortable and able to do your job to the best of your ability on a daily basis.
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