Business Lifecycle

Moving out of your home office

What are the advantages and limitations of your home office space?

Many successful small businesses are based out of home offices. You may have started your company from home to save some money, have more flexibility, or receive tax benefits. It's even possible you can continue to effectively manage your business in that way indefinitely. But there may come a point when your business becomes too large or complex to operate efficiently out of your home office.

That's when it's time to think about renting or buying office space. The transition may come with many decisions. Here are three questions you need to answer before making a move.

Is it time to move out?

As your business begins to retain clients, it's important to maintain a professional appearance. Working out of a home office can sometimes hurt your image, so buying or renting an office space may become a necessity as your team grows and client meetings increase in number and frequency.

"You don't want to meet with clients, who are paying thousands of dollars, in your home office or the cafe of a coffee shop," says Nick Clark, founder of Common Desk, a shared office space rental company.

Moving out of a home office also increases the likelihood of attracting quality employees. It can sometimes be more difficult to persuade skilled workers to work for a company based out of a home office rather than a company based out of a commercial space.

Before starting this transition, you should consider whether you have enough money to move into an office space. Don't forget to factor in costs such as utility bills and extra equipment when making a decision.

Should you lease or buy?

If you're confident about your company's future and have the financial assets to make the investment, you might look at purchasing space. Buying property can provide you with an opportunity to customize your office if you know you can afford to stay long term. In the long run, buying property may be more cost-effective than renting.

When in doubt — no matter your business' size — look to lease. This provides you with the flexibility of leaving the space. That way, you have an out if your business is struggling, and you can move to a bigger space if your business is thriving.

"You don't want to lock yourself into a long-term deal," Clark says.

Is shared office space a good fit for you?

While it can be nice to have a space solely devoted to your company, shared office spaces are another option that offer a sense of community and provide opportunities single-occupant spaces cannot. In a shared office, you'll join a community of other businesses. For smaller businesses and freelancers, these spaces can offer inexpensive access to in-demand office locations and meeting spaces you might not otherwise be able to afford.

Ready to take that next step? Find out if buying or leasing a space is right for your business.