As a sole-trader or small business owner, you’ll likely have to decide whether you should rent an office or work from home. I’ve worked from home and rented office space, and I would say hands down that working from home is a lot better. You save money on rent, you save time on commuting, and it give you the flexibility to work when it suits you. But working from home certainly isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t suitable for every kind of business. Whether or not you should work from home or rent office space depends on a number of factors:
- Will your business be relying on walk-by traffic? Is there an alternative way that you could promote your business that would enable you to operate from home instead?
- Are you legally allowed to operate your business from home?
- Are you in an industry where it would look unprofessional or be inappropriate for you to work from home?
- Do you need office space so you can meet with clients? Could you go to their office or home instead? Or could you meet them at a coffee shop or rent a meeting room by the hour?
- Can you get into ‘business mode’ while you’re at home? Or will you find yourself getting distracted?
- Can you separate work life from home life? Or will you find yourself working more than you should if you work from home?
- Have you discussed working from home with your family members and any other people that you live with? If applicable, would they be comfortable with staff Windows Update Error members and clients coming to your home?
- Are your friends and family members able to understand and respect that when you are working from home you are in fact working and not available to do other things?
- Can you afford to rent office space?
- Can you afford to rent the kind of office space that is appropriate for your business?
- If you lock yourself into a lease, will you be able to afford the rent if your business isn’t as successful as you think it will to be?
- Will office space assist your business to grow?
- Have you considered other things that you could spend money on to help your business to grow if you don’t have to pay rent?
- Do you need to pay for office space? Could you barter with another business that has unused space?
- Could you share office space with another business to save money?
- Do you need a permanent office? Could you rent a co-working desk by the hour, day, or week-to-week?
- How much space do you really need? Could you rent a smaller office in the short-term, and move to somewhere larger when your business starts to grow?