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If you want to start a home-based business, you must determine whether your current home is a good fit for such a business, and that means taking the whole picture into account. If not, you will likely need to move to a more suitable home. The following steps from Better Homes & Properties outline the process.
- Choosing a Home
All of the traditional advice for home-buying applies when you intend to run a business out of your home: get your finances in order, choose a house you can afford, make sure it’s a good fit for your family, etc. However, choosing a location will be more important if you will have clients visiting. The Small Business Administration recommends keeping things like your target market and zoning in mind. Also make sure the home is easy to find, preferably locatable on GPS devices.
As The Smart Investor explains, per sales records, most home sales are facilitated by a real estate agent. This is likely because they have insider knowledge of the market, plus they can help buyers and sellers with paperwork and negotiations. Of course, this applies to buyers looking to start a home-based business as well. Real estate agents often know (or can find out) zoning restrictions and other pertinent information, too.
Purchasing a new home will be different for those who are currently running a home-based business than for those who are still weighing the pros and cons of doing so. If you do not already have a business, you will need to do some research to see how much space you need for necessary equipment, inventory, etc. Those whose business is already established will have a better idea of what the business needs but will need to juggle working from home while selling the home. In such cases, it may be a good idea to rent a temporary office or seek a coworking space while your home is on the market.
- Setting Up the Workspace
After you have moved into the new place, you will need to get your work area set up. Whether you are working from an extra bedroom or running a business from the backyard shed, be sure the area is conducive to productivity. Create a comfortable workspace which will accommodate your workflow, tools of the trade, storage, and so forth. And as Entrepreneurship in a Box notes, make sure your family members know that this area is for work.
If you will have clients visiting the property, be mindful of the need for professionalism. The area should be clean, work-oriented and quiet. It may help to create a second entrance to ensure clients’ and your family’s privacy.
If you plan on improving your skills, whether by obtaining a formal certificate or by learning on your own, your work area could be a good area to study. Make sure that you have everything you need for school work as well as business work.
- Getting to Work
Once your work area is ready, take steps to ensure productivity. Create and stick to a schedule. Minimize distractions in your work area. Instruct family members not to interrupt you at work unless it’s an emergency. During the first week, make a list of all the things that disrupted your workflow. Over the weekend, come up with ideas to prevent those things from happening the next week.
Whether your business is completely new or just in a new location, advertising is key. Leave your new location as part of your voicemail greeting for a while. Send out an email to your existing clients letting them know you have moved and including directions to the new place. Newer businesses can advertise on social media and through flyers. You may even consider adding decals to your personal vehicle to advertise while you are running errands around town.
You might also find it helpful to broaden your business knowledge. Even if you’re a master craftsman whose work generally sells itself, the more adeptly you tackle the business side of things, the more you can grow your venture. Reading some well-chosen books, listening to podcasts, or picking up a few classes can make a world of difference in your professional development.
Moving your home is stressful even when you don’t run a business out of it. Fortunately, taking the process step-by-step and being patient will help you get through it successfully. Contact Better Homes & Properties for more information on finding the perfect place for your personal and professional needs.
About the Author: Tina Martin started her career in business administration but eventually decided to pursue something that actually inspired her: becoming a personal fitness instructor. After realizing that personal improvement is about more than just physical health she became a life coach and never looked back. She started ideaspired.com as a side project to reach as many people as possible, and encourage them to put their dreams first.