Right time to relocate home office

score Question:
I've been operating my business out of my home for the past three years and have good sales growth. When is the right time to move out of the home to a commercial area?

The best time is when you are ready, but I guess that doesn't help you make a decision. Maybe some of the following statements will help you.

  • All of your neighbors expect you to sign for their UPS deliveries because they know you are home during the day.
  • You're the neighbor's baby sitter of choice when they need to run a quick errand.
  • You have more face-to-face conversations with your pet than your customers.
  • Your primary method of motivation is "Finish this report, watch your favorite soap."
  • You can't hear your caller because your spouse is yelling at the kids.
  • Your idea of "dressing for success" is putting on your robe before sitting down at the office in your spare bedroom.
  • You can't use your computer because the kids are on the Internet.
  • You've discovered you really can't make a business call and ride the exercise bike at the same time.
  • If finally dawns on you that the home address 123 Tulip Lane, on your business stationery isn't consistent with big-business image.
  • Your idea of a stimulating conversation is yelling at the guest on the TV talk show.
Now that I've got that out of my system, lets look further.

First and foremost, can the business afford the cost of a remote location? Will you generate any more income? Can you be more productive? Is there a parking problem? Are the neighbors complaining about the traffic or employees taking up the street parking? And the big one is, does your firm need to hire more people to operate the business?

It's normally not convenient and efficient with a number of people working out of your home, crowding, lack of space for conferences, office desks on top of each other, etc.

Since you're operating out of the home, I assume it's not dependent on walk-in trade, so really, you can locate anywhere that is convenient. The best way to examine it is to make a list of all the pros and cons -- including whether your business can support the additional expense.

If you are asking the question, it's time to do the evaluation and start the plan to move or stay until you have sufficient reason to relocate.

Bill Bryan is a counselor with the Service Corps of Retired Executives. SCORE offers counseling, workshops and seminars on small business operations. You can reach Bryan through SCORE, 515 N Court St. 815-962-0122, for information and appointments.

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