Your home can be a perfect launching pad for a new business. But if everything goes as planned, it won't stay that forever.
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As the home business grows, it will become increasingly difficult to operate within the confines of a personal residence. What will you do then?
Signs of Growth for Home Businesses
Knowing when it's time to relocate your home business away from your home is often the most important factor in the transition process. Move too soon and you may find yourself in a facility that is less than adequate. However, if you wait too long the business - and your personal life - will suffer.
The first indication that it may be time to relocate occurs when it is time to bring one or more employees into the business. It's one thing to work from home when it is just you. But having a staff of employees tramping through your house all day can get old quickly. Additionally, some zoning codes limit the number of employees that can be housed in a personal residence.
Another good indication that it might be time to relocate is if the home business is starting to overwhelm your house and/or the neighborhood. A situation in which your driveway is regularly filled with delivery trucks and your living room is filled with merchandise may work in the short-term but it can't go on indefinitely. Locating the business to an alternate site is clearly the smart move for your business and your relationship with the neighbors.
Relocation Options for Home Businesses
Many home-based business owners panic unnecessarily at the thought of having to moving their business out of their home.
This is based partially on the misconception that the business will need to relocate from the spare room to a full-blown manufacturing facility overnight. In reality, you have a lot of options to choose from and (if necessary) the transition process can occur in stages.
Unless your home business is enormously successful, you will probably be looking at leasing space for the first several years. The type of space you'll lease will vary according to the nature of your business (industrial, commercial, or retail). In any case, limit your decision to the amount of space you will likely use during the lease period. You can always upgrade to a larger facility when the lease period expires.
If cash flow is tight, another option may be to share space with another business. This is most easily accomplished in service and manufacturing businesses, but with a little creativity it can be utilized in a retail format as well.
If cash flow is extremely tight, you may need to relocate the home business in stages. For now, just relocate the parts of the business that are creating the most problems. If storage is an issue, make arrangements to store merchandise and materials in a storage unit or in a relative's garage. If there is no room for employees, structure their jobs so they can be performed in the field or in their employees' own homes. The important thing is to make sure that your decisions are part of a plan to eventually consolidate all aspects of the business at a new site.