4 Steps to Moving Your Business Out of Your Home and Into a Retail Office
by ChristineL, Former Moderator
- Created: May 11, 2010, 7:29 am
Are you considering moving out of your home office and into a retail location? Working at home has its benefits; flexible hours, no commute time. However, personal distractions and lack of sufficient space, among other reasons, may steer some home-based businesses to expand outside the home into a traditional office setting. Before you move out your home office, read on to learn about the pros, cons, and factors to consider when moving to a retail space.
1. Recognize the Pros- Reasons for Moving Out
Working at home is a mixed blessing. Oftentimes, home-based business owner make it work to their advantage. However, many end up moving out of their home office for a number of reasons. Below are common triggers for moving into a retail space.
- Less Interruptions and Distractions
- More Professional & Social Interaction
- Increased Office Space
- Increased Business Revenue home-based bakery would benefit from a storefront, attracting potential customers who can walk in the retail space.
- Enhanced Image
2. Weigh the Cons
Ask yourself, do you really need to move out of your home into a retail location? There will be lifestyle and financial changes to your business if you choose to do so. You probably have considered these factors when you initially decided to start a home-based business, but you will have to consider them again, from an outside-of-the-home angle:
- Longer Commutes
- Increased Expenses
- Less Time at Home
3. Consider the Middle Road
If the cons of moving into a retail space outweigh the pros, you can consider taking the middle road. Here are four ways to address some of the concerns of home office problems.
- Juggle Personal and Work Responsibilities - Home-based businesses succeed when you balance and manage your personal and work life in a way that you can enjoy the benefits. However, working at a home-office environment also means you are bombarded with a myriad of conflicting work and life demands, 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Here are some tips for juggling home-based business demands with home life responsibilities.
- Outsource Your Labor - If your home office does not accommodate the growing number of employees you need to run your business, you can consider hiring staff to work remotely. Read more about outsourcing options such as virtual assistants, freelancers, and contractors.
- Rent Temporary Office Space - If your home office is too distracting or if you are running out of space, look for temporary office spaces in your area. Many companies provide business owners professional office space to work in. They often offer conference rooms, office supplies and equipment, and technology to help you run your business.
- Revamp Your Marketing Strategy- If you are worried that your home-based office is limiting your customer base, you can consider upping your marketing game. Learn more about using social media and email marketing in your business at Business.gov.
4. Follow These Steps to Moving Out
If you decide to take the leap from a home-based business to a retail-based business, consider these factors when moving your new office:
- Choose the Right Location - The best location for your office depends on your target customer base. Since cost is an important issue, you should also consider the rent and leasing costs and regulatory requirements like licensing and taxes for each location. Consider the neighborhood as well- many local governments provide incentives for moving to a particular area. If commute is an issue, you can look for office spaces near your home. Learn about the steps to relocating a business and tips to choosing a business location at Business.gov.
- Size Up the Office Space - When looking at the office space itself, make sure you have enough room to accommodate your equipment and employees. If you are entertaining clients in your office, you can also think about whether or not you would need a conference room. Lastly, if you expect your business to expand, see if your potential retail office has extra space for your business to grow into.
- Double Check Your Expenses - Utilities for retail space vary, so ask about the cost for heating, electricity, and air conditioning (HVAC) when doing your search. Make sure that your business profits and growth can cover new overhead expenses and that you are getting a good deal for the location and space.
- Comply with Zoning Laws - Be aware of zoning restrictions of your new business location. You learn more by contacting your local planning agency or use the state and local search engine to find if your city or county has zoning ordinances online. Read more about zoning laws at Business.gov.
- Negotiate Your Commercial Lease - There are no standards for commercial leases, so negotiate well. Leasing a commercial office space is one of the largest expenses for new and expanding businesses. Consider hiring a lawyer to make sure you get the best deal. Learn more about drafting and negotiating commercial leases at Business.gov.
If you are still unsure if moving to a retail space is the right move, you can test the waters by signing a short lease. If you realize that the new office arrangement did not go as well as you expected, you have the option of moving back home to your old office.
What other concerns do you have when moving from your home to a retail space? If you have moved from your home to a retail office, what were some lessons you learned?
- Choosing a Business Location Guide
- Relocating a Business
- Are You Ready to Grow Your Business? - Five Tips to Help You Prepare for Growth
- Starting and Growing a Home-Based Business - Uncle Sam has Some Props that Can Help!
- Moving to a New State: A Small Business Relocation Checklist
- SCORE Moving Beyond Your Home Office
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