Office or Home? Where Should You Run Your Business From?

February 1, 2016

Congratulations! You’re a business owner, which means you should be congratulating yourself every day. Because you probably know by now that running a business takes a lot of grit.

Now that you’ve established the foundation of your business, it’s time to consider next steps, one of the most important being whether you should run your business from an office or from home.


A Look at the Options

As a new business owner, choosing between getting cozy in a fresh and fancy workspace, and sticking with the comfort and convenience of your home, poses an array of questions that are worth some serious consideration. Yes, it’s a question of cost, but there’s more to it.

So what are these two options really asking you? Before you jump ahead to which decision will save you the most money, you’ll also want to consider:

  • Your day job
  • Your duties
  • The resources you already have
  • The demands of your business
  • Your (near-future) staff
  • Your (near-future) clients
  • You

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these considerations.

Laying Out the Circumstances At Hand

Obviously, if your day job keeps you in another office 40 hours a week, renting office space for your business probably doesn’t make sense. Starting a business while working another job to pay the bills is not uncommon – and it’s not impossible, either. But if you’re in this boat, your resources can be more effectively delegated than to an office space you won’t be able to be in a lot of the time.

What duties do you have? Think about both your new business and your life apart from it. Will having an office space help you stay organised as you navigate through the worlds of marketing and bookkeeping? Or do your other responsibilities make going to the office for hours at a time unrealistic? Be honest about your time and the daily tasks that consume it.

Working from home can offer some flexibility for those inclined to multitask or shift back and forth from the nuts and bolts of running a business to keeping up with duties around the house. It can also be a tempting environment for those prone to distraction.


What You Have and What You Need

Too often, business owners, fresh and toiled, forget to take advantage of the resources they already have at their disposal. Focused on what’s next, what’s lacking, they miss out on opportunities to grow.

As you decide where to run your business from, consider the resources you already have. Do you have a comfortable work space at home? Does the local coffee shop inspire you to be productive? Can you find printing services at the public library? Make a list of everything you have at your disposal, and see if you find yourself lacking anything that a private office can offer (for a price, of course).

Determining the material needs of your business – and what it demands of you – is the next step. In fact, it’s always the next step, as business owners are always weighing their options to decide where and how to invest their time and resources to optimise business growth. As you narrow down your immediate needs, keep in mind that every expense has a hidden cost: Every pound spent is a pound that could have been spent on something else.

Can renting office space provide you with a network of associated businesses and contacts that could help you grow your business? Will you be able to get invaluable advice, support or even freebies? Anything that can save you costs as you start your new enterprise will be a welcome relief. From accounting and business advice on tap through help getting your new business essentials, such as designing your first business cards and providing much needed IT services.

Paying for office space and equipment to fill it reduces your ability to invest in resources that could have a more profound impact on the success of your business. Certainly, as your staff and clientele grow over time, operating your business from your living room won’t be sufficient, and choosing the right office space will be quite an important matter. But until that time comes, every penny counts.

Moving Forward

The best way to set up your business for success in the near future is to invest in quality resources that will help you establish a strong foundation for growth. While an organised office with a printer is convenient, it probably won’t help you improve your accounting practices or land you a new client. Working with outside specialists can help you achieve more in your business, faster and more efficiently.

But after all, when it comes down to it, it comes down to you. If you’re understanding of your circumstances, realistic about your needs, and resourceful with what you have, then choosing between an office and your home will be a simple matter of imagining the possibilities.

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