You’re realizing your home office doesn’t fit the scope and the status of your enterprise. You could run a home business from your kitchen counter on a 10-year-old laptop, but why would you want to if you could design an affordable home office? Though there are many ways to upgrade your work hours, like better software or setting a flexible schedule for yourself, consider elevating the foundation of your work-from-home business: your home office itself. ADVA Construction/Design shares some tips on how to get started.
1. Handle Business-Related Tasks
If you’re a new entrepreneur, or if you plan to run your small business from your home, you may have already hired an accountant to tackle your finances, and educated yourself on employee rights and other legalities. But have you considered registering your business as a limited liability company? This type of entity offers tax advantages, less paperwork, and protection from litigation. You can simplify the process of creating an LLC by using a formation service.
2. Design a Home Office in an Existing Room
If you live in a three-bedroom home with a spouse and no children, you may already be eyeing a spare room for your new home office. Depending on your line of work, you may want to be as much of a minimalist as you possibly can — but this doesn’t mean working from a folding chair and a cheap desk. Consider the hours you spend at your desk and invest in an ergonomic workstation for your health. Have an electrician install custom lighting if the room is too dark or if you frequently end the day with eyestrain. It’s not necessary to redesign your home office’s decor, but you may want to repaint it with a color that you find invigorating or soothing.
3. Consider Renovating Your Home
If your living space is maxed out with adults, kids, and pets, you may want to consider building a small addition either onto your existing home, such as a mother-in-law suite, or an apartment over your garage. Both of these options involve collaborating with a contractor you trust. Smartsheet recommends getting multiple bids or estimates before you give someone the job.
4. If All Else Fails, Find a New Home
If you don’t think renovation will net you the kind of space that will maximize your productivity, consider moving into a home that will be a better fit for your home-based business. If you’re in this position, it’s likely that you have a family that will be moving with you; make sure to consider their wants and needs before speaking to your real estate agent. A realtor can do in-depth analysis to help you find a perfect match at your price point.
Do you need a home with an upstairs bonus room or spare bedroom? Or are you looking for a more unique property that you’ve always dreamed of, such as a home with a separate carriage house that could be converted into a home office?
Think about things like whether you’ll do production in your work area, whether you’ll meet with clients there, and whether you’ll have delivery vans coming and going. You might need a half bath installed, parking added, a separate entrance, and so forth. Consider all the aspects of your personal and professional life and how the space can support your needs.
You’ll also need to have a budget fully prepared, bearing in mind any changes you intend to make to the new home. You might not find a turnkey property, but finding something with the general bones you want will help keep your renovation budget in check.
With some hard work, passion, and creativity — all of which you’ve already got in spades since you’re an entrepreneur — you will be able to transform that spare room, build that addition, or work with a realtor to find a new space for both your family and your business to gain the office of your dreams. Assess what your goals and purposes for your new home office are and decide on your perfect space with that in mind.