When is the right time to leave home?

We contacted the Small Business Mentoring Service to ask for advice for home-based businesses - when should they consider moving out of home?

There comes a point in every home-based business person's life when home gets in the way of business and business gets in the way of home. The question then arises about whether you should move out of home and if so, HOW?

So let's start with a couple of the issues...

First, you know it's time to move out (or to move part of the business out) when the living room has become an office; the car is in the street because the garage is full of stock or has become a production facility; and the neighbours can't park in the street anymore because of all the couriers making deliveries to your house.

Second, you also know it's time to move out when family life is so hectic you have to make an appointment with yourself and book a baby sitter so you can conduct your business from home.

All of these and many more reasons can raise the question of moving out, so it's probably a good idea to look at how and what parameters to consider.

There are many good reasons to stay at home - rent is cheap, there's no wasted travel time, you have the flexibility to be home for kids when required or do 'family' chores, you have flexibility of time and you don't have to get out of your PJ's if you don't want to.

These however are also equally good reasons for getting out of home.

How many times have you failed to estimate the real costs of paying rent or had difficulty separating business and personal finances?

Are you assuming your home insurances cover business activity because it typically doesn't?

And as to the time flexibility...that just means it's easier to put off work and end up wondering why the business is less successful than desired.

Here are couple of quick tips about moving out of home

  1. Understand the business type you are in and select the style of business environment that best suits your business type - e.g. an office based business can work very well out of a low cost business incubator, hub workspace or serviced office where you can hire by the day or week. A product based business might still do the online customer service from home but hire a storage unit to keep and dispatch goods, similarly a health business might take shared space in a clinic.
  2. Next is to do the sums - come up with a budget to understand what the costs are in moving out and make some decisions about how you will recoup that money through additional sales or changes to your pricing

More information

If you'd like some assistance in making this decision or need help in other business areas, book in for a FREE 45 minute one-on-one Small Business Mentoring Clinic session.

If you want to move out of home but are not quite at the stage of your own place, consider becoming a Co-working Space Member