A special guest blog by Tina Martin*
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7 Ways to Build the Perfect Office Space for Your Small Business
Having the right office space is crucial for many business owners. It creates the right atmosphere for productivity, motivation, inspiration, and organization. Some people need a place conducive to meeting with clients, while others need something solitary and creative. If you are thinking about creating a designated office space — whether buying, building, or remodeling — here are seven things to keep in mind.
You need a space that will allow you to focus your attention on your daily to-dos and important tasks. Keep in mind any potential distractions when planning a home-based office. Avoid any areas where you will hear noises from the rest of the house, be tempted with frequent trips to the kitchen, or get so comfortable you start nodding off to sleep.
For people who need to buy a larger place to contain a home office, you can get the most impact for your investment by looking into bank-owned foreclosed homes. Take extra care to inspect the home and research any potential issues, and make sure you are pre-approved before giving an offer.
Despite having a focus specifically on foreclosures, you’ll still want to gauge the market to get an idea of average home prices and the market in general. In Sarasota, for example, the market is somewhat competitive, and the average list price has been $315K over the last month. You’ll want to keep in mind that foreclosed homes typically sell for 28 percent less than other homes, which means you stand to save $88,200 on a foreclosure purchase of a $315,000 house. It’s always a good idea to contact a realtor in your area who has expertise in your market. A skilled realtor from the Steve Martin Homes Group will have the professionalism and knowledge to handle all your home-buying needs.
Use a business line of credit.
A business line of credit can come in handy for business owners looking for a simple change, like an aesthetic remodel — or a big renovation — like a new building. You can dip into this cash flow whenever you need, as long as you stay under your limit. You only pay interest only on the amount you use, not the entire amount of the line.
As you shift around your life to make room for a home office, storage can become a vital, but often overlooked side effect. Some people need to share their own office with other spaces, so storage containers that double as furniture and decor can be a bonus. Other business owners need a place to store larger items such as furniture. Renting a storage unit, selling the items, or building a portable storage shed are all fairly simple fixes.
Be sure your creation includes easy access to wifi, electricity, and other technology that is essential to your business. For people converting old homes or offices, your wiring might be outdated. You need to investigate these potential roadblocks before you buy. Some people convert a garage or build a detached office without remembering if the wifi signal will reach. When you’re online, you also need a plan for protecting your devices, including your smartphone and computer. Back up your files, download and install protective software, and be vigilant if someone communicates with you from an unrecognized email.
Factor in growth.
Purchase for the present, but look to your future. If you think you’ll need to double your inventory in the next year, consider building a larger storage space now. If you intend on adding people to your business, buy a home or office building with multiple rooms, even if at first you’ll only use one. This way you don’t waste money uprooting yourself when it’s time to scale up.
Stick to a budget.
It’s easy to get carried away when making decisions about where to house your business. You have a lot of people to please — customers, employees, and yourself. Before you begin researching, speak to a financial advisor to create a realistic budget. This will keep you from stretching too far out of the realm of comfortable reality when you start touring places.
Whether you are buying a new home, remodeling an outdated space, or building a new addition, you have a lot of options and opportunities to consider. You have made it this far, so clearly you can rely on your business mind and sound judgment. Trust your intuition to find a place where you can sense success — the next level of opportunity for your home business.
*Tina Martin stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance. She started Ideaspired as a side project to reach as many people as possible, and encourage them to put their dreams first."