Working from home is a good way to get your business off the ground, after all overheads are low and so are your travel costs to and from work! However there might be a time when a home office simply won't do and it could be holding enterprise back. Hiring a professional office needn't be costly, and it could bring a surprising set of benefits to your business.
Being the only person involved in your business can be lonely and isolating experience, there is no doubt about that. You might see family in the morning, but once your partner goes off to work and the kids are at school, you are by yourself for the majority of the day. You will spend some time with clients, however if the nature of your business means that you are sitting in front of a computer most of the time, there will be days where you don't see anyone. Some people don't mind that, but isolation does mean that you might get stuck in a rut or have nobody to turn to when you need to discuss ideas or business worries. By hiring an office you are immediately surrounded by a business community, with other business owners who are going through the same journey as you. Having a rant about bad debt when making a cup of coffee in a shared kitchen will take some of the pressure off day to day running of the business. The benefits of becoming involved with a business community will ease loneliness and also grow your professional network.
Clear home/work boundary
When you are working from home it may be difficult to either switch off from work and spend time relaxing or with loved ones; or it might be very difficult to get motivated in the first place! There are lots of distractions at home, from chores that need doing to walking the dog. Friends and family might think your "working from home" means that you are available 24/7 and you surely don't mind if they pop in for a cuppa at any time. This is when hiring an office sends a clear message to your loved ones (and to yourself!) that you are at work. Home distractions are left behind leaving you free to concentrate on the task in hand and increase productivity.
Anoher reason to look at hiring office space is data security. WIth the advent of GDPR in May, it is crucial to keep client's data and your databases secure. If you do have to keep paper records a lockable filing cabinet in a secure business premises will be more secure than a box file in your spare bedroom.
Professional feel to your business
Organising meetings with potential clients you are trying to impress can be tricky when your meeting room is your kitchen which smells of last night's curry. By hiring business premises you instantly have a professional office where your business can shine through. You can have all your business files and information in one place, making it easier to review client files, pick out information and show off what you do.
Hiring staff the reason why most people look for an office. A smart building with a professional feel will help attract the best people. It also makes organising your time off more efficient - for instance if you are on holiday or off with flu staff can still carry on with their tasks in the office, and you won't have to worry about having people in your home.
If you don't feel ready to commit to a full time office, you could try hotdesking. Many office spaces hire out a desk for a day or part of a day. You can see if the formal office environment suits you and your business needs by dipping your toe in the water. It's a great way to meet other tennants in the building and judge if the atmosphere is right for you.