For many people who have all sorts of home-based businesses, the idea is that you are able to work from home and have more flexibility. This is all fine and dandy until your business grows to a point where you just can't run it from your home anymore (at least not all the time).
Sometimes it's because you need to meet more people in person and you simply don't want them coming to your home. Other times it's because you're just tired of it. Working from home is great for some, but if you have constant distractions at home then you need to find somewhere else to conduct your work.
Fortunately, there are now several alternatives for people who need to find a place to work.
Before joining a coworking space or signing an office lease (more on those later), many home-based business owners who've outgrown their homes simply try working from different coffee shops. Just walk into any coffee shop and you can spot them with their mocha chai lattes and Macbook Pros.
If you're starting to take more in-person meetings, but it's not a whole lot of them, you may be fine with just taking meetings at a coffee shop. This way you can at least save yourself some money.
However, the downside to this is you don't have a whole lot of privacy at a coffee shop. If that is an issue for you then you may need to seek other alternatives.
Coworking spaces are popping up all over the country. They are similar to the more traditional corporate offices, but they tend to attract startups and small business owners who work from home. They also tend to attract a lot of creative folk.
The upside of a coworking space is you pay a monthly membership fee that is usually far cheaper than leasing an actual office (most also have daily and weekly rates available). How much you pay depends on whether or not you want to work at community desks, have your own designated desk, or work from a private office.
If you find yourself spending a lot of time and money at coffee shops, you may be better off upgrading to a coworking space for just a few dollars more. Sometimes a coworking space membership is even cheaper than a daily latte and lunch.
You also have a little bit more privacy at coworking spaces thanks to phone booths and conference rooms you can use. And, if you're taking lots of in-person meetings, it may be better to take them in a place that at least somewhat resembles a professional environment.
The downside is coworking spaces can be noisy depending on which ones you go to. It's a different kind of distraction than the kind you get at home, but a distraction none the less. They may also not be a good idea if you have a home-based business that requires you to store inventory or if you have several employees.
Lease an Office
If coffee shops and coworking spaces aren't cutting it for your home-based business, you may just want to go ahead and lease an office. This is especially good if you need the space that comes with having an entire unit, such as when you are starting to hire employees who need their own offices or need a place to store inventory that is not your home.
This is the most expensive option, so make sure your home-based business has grown or is rapidly growing to the point where all that space may be necessary.
Having your home-based business outgrow your home is something worth celebrating! Sure, you may not be working from home anymore (although you still can sometimes), but this usually means things are going quite well. The next step is to simply figure out what you actually need so you can choose the appropriate place to work.