writing
Business, Education, Entrepreneurship, Management, Organization, Productivity, Technology

Here Are the Best Tips for Entrepreneurs Designing a Business Plan

For many entrepreneurs, choosing to finally go into business for yourself is an exciting decision that is the first step toward accomplishing a lifelong dream. While many people who choose to establish their own company have likely conceptualized a business idea long before they ultimately choose to go into business, not all are aware of the early steps they must take to set their company successfully in motion.

If you are a new entrepreneur who has recently settled on a business idea, your first order of business is research—entrepreneurs must thoroughly investigate the market they are about to enter to test the viability of their business concept. After this initial research comes the first true step you take toward officially establishing your company: the creation of a business plan. Listed below are eight useful tips to help you write a business plan that successfully serves your new company.

 

  1. Consider your audience.

The first thing to do when developing a business plan is to think about the primary purpose the document will serve. For example, if your main goal is to find funding for your company, you will want to write a business plan that caters to potential investors. Conversely, if you already have the capital you need to get your business started, and instead need to attract a client base, you will want to design a business plan that answers a different set of questions than those investors would ask about your venture. Determine what you want to accomplish before you sit down to write, and then keep your audience in mind as you develop your plan.

client phone call

  1. Start with a vision.

Begin your business plan with an explanation of your company’s values, mission, and short-term goals. A simple outline that demonstrates your overarching vision for your venture will give your readers a succinct idea of the business and set them up to better understand the details you provide further in the document. If you aren’t comfortable expressing a vision for the company and would like to be more direct, start the document with a simple executive summary that explains your company’s basic purpose and achievements to date.

 

  1. Demonstrate your research.

Once you get into the details of your business plan, make sure you demonstrate the extent of the research you conducted prior to writing. What’s most important to convey is that there are people willing to pay for your product or service. Include information about the market size, contrasting its current status and its projected growth for the future. Show that you’ve studied your competition and make it clear how your company will enter the market, what hurdles it may confront, and how it will overcome them. In contrast, if you are pioneering a whole new category of products or services, explain how you’ll be able to successfully create a market for your company.

meeting

  1. Be cautious in your financial projections.

Financial analysis is an important part of creating a well-rounded business plan, especially if your primary use of the document will be to attract investors. When you do assess your budget and create a financial forecast, stay realistic and root every projection you make in reality, rather than your own feelings. You may have high hopes for your enterprise, but those who read your business plan need to see your idea as credible, which can only be done if you back up all of your numbers with facts. No matter how ambitious you are about your company’s potential, try to be conservative with your estimates and realistic about your financing needs. If you’re inexperienced in working with financial data, enlisting the help of an accountant for this aspect of your plan can help immensely.

 

  1. Introduce your team.

If you have brought other management employees on board before your company has been fully established, include their credentials in your business plan. This doesn’t have to be an extensive section of the document, but it should represent the work that each person has done prior to joining your team and what he or she will contribute moving forward. Many investors are keen to see this information; it’s sometimes said that investors invest not so much in ideas, but in people. They have to trust you and your team—your experience, passion, and diligence—before they will give you money.

employees

  1. Use visuals.

Break up walls of text within your business plan by including helpful visuals that illustrate key concepts. Consider using graphs and charts to make a powerful impact on your readers when communicating numbers. Include pictures of products or samples of advertising within your plan to give your audience a better idea of what your business is about and how it will function. These elements can strengthen the overall impression your business plan makes and encourage the audience to feel more confident about your ideas.

 

  1. Get creative.

Though your business plan should demonstrate a commitment to professionalism throughout, don’t be afraid to get creative with elements like template or design. Weed out unnecessary information, but include personal elements that show your readers who you are and what kind of entrepreneur you will be as you lead the company. A few unique elements can go a long way toward grabbing the attention of investors or customers and make your business seem more authentic.

insight

  1. Get an objective opinion.

Once you’ve finished your business plan, make sure you have an objective third party review it before you present it to anyone within your professional network. Even if you feel completely confident about the work you’ve done, having another person with experience look over your work can help identify potential weaknesses and raise questions that end up making the plan even more compelling.

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entrepreneur
Business, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Management, Organization, Productivity, Success

4 Challenges You Learn to Overcome as an Entrepreneur

Choosing to pursue a career in entrepreneurship is a decision that today’s professionals may make for any number of reasons. Some are drawn to it when they find themselves in awe of the incredible accomplishments of other entrepreneurs, some find that the typical 9-to-5 job doesn’t inspire them, and some are drawn to the risky adventurousness of creating a business from the ground up.

No matter their reasoning, entrepreneurs have one undeniable thing in common with each other: they all tend to face a similar set of struggles as they attempt to build a successful company. Listed below are four of the most common challenges that new entrepreneurs must overcome on the path to success.

  1. Finding funding.

Though entrepreneurs of all experience levels may find it challenging to finance their venture, first-time entrepreneurs can find it especially difficult. New founders often lack the professional connections of their more experienced counterparts, and may have a more difficult time finding investors or other forms of financing for building a business.

funding

The first step that first-time entrepreneurs must take in securing the necessary capital is to evaluate the options available to them. Common ways that small business owners choose to finance their companies include taking out bank loans, long-term work at a typical job to build savings, attracting an angel investor, or seeking out investments from friends and family members. Venture capital may be an avenue for some entrepreneurs. Yet another form of financing that has gained popularity in recent years is crowdfunding through websites like kickstarter.com. Through these types of websites, entrepreneurs can lay out their business plan and solicit donations from anyone on the Internet. Once an entrepreneur manages to raise enough capital through any of these methods, they must create and operate within a responsible budget to avoid problems with cash management.

  1. Hiring and developing a cohesive team.

Having the right team of professionals to run an enterprise is key to driving growth, and hiring the best talent to fill positions can be a daunting task for a new business owner. Not only do employees need to have the right skillsets to perform well, but entrepreneurs need to hire them at a cost that is affordable to the new business. It is also important for entrepreneurs to consider a candidate’s personality and work style to ensure that he or she will work well with other members of the team.

To build a great staff, entrepreneurs should think comprehensively about the specifications of the position they are hiring for, considering what they truly need from the person who will fill it. They should come up with a list of the nonnegotiable skills and attributes that are needed for the role, and think carefully about the ways they want the employee to impact their business. Doing so will help entrepreneurs develop criteria to evaluate candidates.

Additionally, entrepreneurs need to keep their company’s mission and core values in mind so that they can seek out candidates with similar perspectives. Entrepreneurs should also use a consistent interview process—for example, by asking the same questions in the same order, or administering the same test under the same conditions. A standardized process will allow entrepreneurs to more easily and objectively compare applicants to determine who will be the best fit overall.

  1. Finding the courage to leave a full-time job.

Many entrepreneurs start their business while still holding down their full-time job in order to provide themselves with a bit of security. Though this is a good decision for people who lack the savings or support in the early phases of growing a company, there comes a point in a successful business’s growth when it will demand the majority of the entrepreneur’s time, beyond just nights and weekends. This can be an especially difficult challenge to overcome for first-time entrepreneurs who have only ever known the security of the typical 9-to-5 job.

business suit

While different people choose different times to leave their full-time job and focus on their new company, there will come a pivotal moment when every entrepreneur must find the courage to do so. Entrepreneurs should think carefully about the right time to leave, making sure that they have a financial plan in place. Health insurance and debt can be big factors in this decision. Entrepreneurs should also be comfortable with the fact that, going forward, they’ll need to plan for life with a higher degree of flexibility and stick to a stringent budget until the business takes off.

  1. Grappling with self-doubt.

To enjoy life as an entrepreneur, you must be tenacious and able to move past doubt and negativity. Starting your own company is a gamble, and it is easy in the early phases of business development to succumb to fearful thoughts that leave you questioning your abilities as a business leader. Self-doubt is common among first-time entrepreneurs, but those who are successful in their endeavors are the ones who learn to mitigate the inevitable, stress-induced uncertainty.

The best ways to overcome self-doubt as an entrepreneur are to remember your past accomplishments and have an excellent support system in the form of family, friends, and business mentors. Additionally, learn how to gracefully accept and move past the mistakes you will inevitably make in the process of establishing your company. An entrepreneur who cannot accept his or her failures will be plagued by anxiety, which can lead to crippling indecisiveness. You can overcome self-doubt by acknowledging mistakes when they happen and applying the lessons you learn from the experience to avoid similar missteps in the future.

entrepreneur
Business, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Management, Productivity, Success

10 Important Habits that All Entrepreneurs Should Have

Entrepreneurs are a unique cohort. Though they share no particular age, gender, or nationality, these individuals do tend to have a few things in common, including certain personal characteristics like curiosity, passion, and the ability to see the big picture.

While most people have no control over their inborn personality traits, anyone interested in entrepreneurship can adopt a number of tried-and-true beneficial habits. Listed here are 10 things that successful entrepreneurs do:

  1. They plan everything.

planning

No matter what kind of business they are trying to build, entrepreneurs have long to-do lists that require effective planning to complete. They plan their workdays in advance, blocking out specific time for priority tasks and sticking to a schedule to avoid letting themselves be pulled in too many directions at once. They also look beyond day-to-day activities to plan out weekly and monthly tasks in an effort to keep their operations moving forward.

  1. They know the value of goal-setting.

Talented entrepreneurs understand that they can only make an effective plan if they have established goals to work toward. Goal-setting is a habit that helps entrepreneurs work more effectively, preventing them from wasting time on tasks that won’t necessarily improve a company’s likelihood of success. Further, as leaders, they communicate these goals clearly to the people they are working with to make sure that everyone works cohesively toward the same objective.

  1. They get up early.

wall clock

Though there is no indication that late-night workers can’t become successful business professionals, research shows that most successful entrepreneurs are early risers, whether naturally or by choice. The early morning hours can be extremely valuable for organization, productivity, and preparation. So, entrepreneurs should use this time of day to their advantage.

  1. They hire intelligently.

Successful business owners select great employees. These leaders are good at assessing people’s skills and bringing individuals on board who are a good fit with company culture. Additionally, they are not intimidated by the professional abilities of others and are willing to put together good offers that attract top talent. Great entrepreneurs make a habit of hiring strategically because they know that they will not succeed without the support of a competent team.

  1. They keep the right people in the loop.

mentorship

Entrepreneurs who manage to build successful companies are good at keeping those involved in their business updated on its progress. This includes their own staff as well as financial backers. These professionals keep an accurate measure of the results of their work and are open about achievements as well as setbacks. This habit can help investors feel more confident in their decision to financially support a fledgling company. Additionally, it helps create a greater sense of job satisfaction among employees, who are better able to understand the value of their work when they have a clear vision of the company’s growth.

  1. They recognize their limits.

Entrepreneurs must be self-aware enough to honestly evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses; therefore regular self-reflection is valuable. Many successful entrepreneurs have “type-A” personalities, which make them feel like they need to push themselves to their limits and do as much as possible without any help. However, great entrepreneurs know their limits and delegate where they can in order to work more effectively. They also recognize when another person on their team could perform a task better and faster than they can, and they aren’t afraid to admit it. This helps entrepreneurs save time and direct their talents toward other areas where they can contribute in a more meaningful way.

  1. They stay healthy.

healthy food

Starting a company is a labor of love, but it still causes ample stress. Consequently, many successful entrepreneurs practice good diet and exercise habits in order to combat stress and fatigue. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and taking the time to exercise regularly helps these professionals maintain a healthy mind and body, which helps them perform to the best of their abilities every day.

  1. They actively network.

Networking is second nature to a talented entrepreneur. Even if social skills do not come naturally to them, smart entrepreneurs leverage good communication tactics to establish meaningful professional relationships with other people. Entrepreneurs who underestimate the power of networking rarely find the kind of success they imagine for their companies. Those who do ultimately build a strong business tend to be those who are willing to help out fellow entrepreneurs through collaboration or by facilitating new networking connections between previously unacquainted members of their professional community.

  1. They listen instinctively.

listening

Those who achieve success as entrepreneurs tend to be constant learners who are naturally curious. As such, they make a habit of listening to others. They welcome outside input and keep an open mind when they hear new ideas. Moreover, they know the importance of adapting quickly to changing circumstances and are always looking for ways to evolve. They also recognize that listening to other people can help them achieve these goals.

  1. They ask for help.

The last habit that entrepreneurs have is a lack of ego: they put aside feelings of pride and reach out to people for assistance when they need it, even when it’s hard to ask. They also may enlist the help of a mentor to coach them through the stages of building a business. A large number of famously successful startup founders have relied on the support of mentors to build their companies, and many among the next generation of successful entrepreneurs are sure to do the same thing.

time
Business, Entrepreneurship, Management, Organization, Productivity, Success, Work at Home

5 of the Best Time Management Tips for Home Business Owners

Time – it’s one commodity that all professionals want to have more of, and yet always seem to be chasing. For the home-based business owner, time can be doubly elusive. While home-based business owners actually have many opportunities to recoup time in a way that traditional workers may not, it can be easy to manage time poorly and allow the day to get away from you.

If you want to be a successful home-based business owner, time management is one of the most important skills that you will need to cultivate. Listed below are five useful tips to help you develop the time management skills that will allow you maintain control over your schedule.

 

  1. Be a list-maker.

to do list

To-do lists can help you manage your work tasks on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, but it’s important to use them correctly. Don’t overload yourself by making long lists of tasks that you cannot feasibly accomplish in the time you’ve set for them.

Professionals suggest keeping to-do lists as simple as possible, and some even promote the idea that there should be no more than three things on your list each day. However you choose to organize your list, set aside a few minutes to write the next day’s list out the night before. This will help you streamline the next workday before it even begins.

Similarly, when you sit down to tackle your to-do list, do not attempt to multitask. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can actually waste more time than it saves by requiring you to switch mental gears more often, which breaks concentration. Putting your focus on one task until you’ve seen it through can increase your performance level as well as your productivity, saving you more time overall.

 

  1. Don’t co-mingle your home and work life.

Establish a daily routine and set work schedule to keep your home and work life separate when they occupy the same space. During your workday, make a concentrated effort to keep your mind focused on professional tasks. Save your personal responsibilities for after work hours. Failing to keep personal projects out of your workday can lead to serious time loss and leave you struggling to get important tasks accomplished.

 

  1. Take up time-logging.

notes

Identify the areas where you might be wasting time during the workday by recording a daily log of your professional activities. The log should be recorded for at least one day, but the longer the period of time you record your activities, the greater point of reference you will have.

Go about your daily schedule and write down everything that you do on paper or in a spreadsheet. Once you’ve logged your activities for a designated period of at least one day, review your log in order to determine where you’re spending time unnecessarily.

Areas where entrepreneurs may find themselves wasting valuable hours include running errands, taking calls, holding meetings, personal breaks, or responding to emails. Reduce these activities where possible in order to engage in better time management and a more efficient workday.

 

  1. Engage in popular time management techniques.

If you’ve already cut the major time-draining activities from your day, you may benefit from looking into popular management techniques that can help you conduct your necessary, day-to-day tasks more effectively. One such method is the Pomodoro technique, in which you accomplish tasks in 25-minute bursts of concentration, followed by five-minute breaks.

This can be especially helpful for people who struggle with focus, and can be an efficient unit of measurement when it comes to devoting time to long-term projects. For example, you could set a goal of spending 8 “Pomodoros” on your social media marketing campaign each week.

Another useful time management technique is “blocking” your time. Sitting down with your monthly calendar and dividing it into blocks of time devoted to specific tasks can help you stick to a schedule and leave you with few unallocated hours. This helps some entrepreneurs maintain a tidy, efficient agenda.

For example, you can block out the same hours each week for working on making sales calls, updating your website, or taking meetings. This keeps you in a routine that can help you to regularly accomplish tasks each month. Whichever time management methods you use to get more things done, make sure to remember that methods should be modified to meet your personal business needs.

 

  1. Work with a mentor.

employees

Sometimes, applying time management best practices is easier to conceptualize than to actually do for yourself. If you find yourself trying to practice good time management but are unable to do so effectively, consider enlisting the help of a mentor to set you on the right path. A professional mentor may be able to provide an objective eye and identify the areas in which you can up your productivity at work without pushing yourself too far.

As an added bonus, an effective mentor will have personal experience with many of the same struggles that you experience as a home-based entrepreneur. He or she may offer a wide range of advice to make you a more efficient business leader all around.

work from home
Business, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Organization, Productivity, Success

5 of the Best Home-Based Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Parents

FinTech executive Don Gayhardt is CEO of CURO Financial Technologies Corp, a firm that manages over 5,000 employees internationally. Focused on providing leadership that inspires his employees to innovate, contribute, and grow, Don Gayhardt has experience furthering business growth in companies that emphasize strong connections between colleagues and the importance of work-life balance.

While work-life balance is important to all career-oriented professionals, it can be an especially critical factor for workers who are also parents. One way that some parents try to establish better work-life balance is by embracing entrepreneurship and running their own businesses from home.

If you are a parent who would like to start a home-based business to generate extra income while still spending plenty of time with your children, listed below are five excellent home-business ideas to get you thinking about the right kind of business for you.

  1. Offer childcare services.

child care

Research indicates that sales growth within the childcare services industry has risen steadily in recent years, even in the face of economic challenges. Additionally, statistics suggest that the demand for childcare will continue to climb over the next three years, giving in-home childcare serious potential for profit.

If you think that the daycare service industry may suit you, make sure that you conduct the necessary research before establishing your business. Look up the city, county, and state licensing requirements as well as zoning laws to make sure that you set up your home daycare legally.

Additionally, make sure to visit other established daycare centers ahead of time. This will help you ensure that you are asking the right questions about the way that childcare and early childhood education will be handled within your own location.

  1. Give music lessons.

If you are musically inclined, consider giving lessons on a particular instrument, such as piano or voice. To establish yourself as a music teacher, you will need a dedicated studio space in your home where students will not be distracted or interrupted by any personal activities occurring within the house.

A music business will also require an initial investment in equipment. These include purchasing the instrument you will be teaching, a computer or tablet to demonstrate videos and songs through the internet, and other supportive equipment, like music stands and note charts.

It’s also important to come up with firm payment terms and a cancellation policy so that you don’t encounter difficulties when it comes to receiving payment. Set your rates for lessons based on the number of years that you’ve played an instrument, your teaching experience, and your background in music education. Rates can always be adjusted as your music teaching business grows in popularity and becomes more established.

  1. Become a virtual assistant.

assistant

Modern technology allows companies of all sizes to outsource a wide range of tasks. If you previously held a job related to administrative or accounting services before becoming a stay-at-home parent, you may enjoy a home-based career providing virtual assistant services.

A virtual assistant works with established businesses to complete a variety of tasks, including taking calls, making bookings, organizing calendars, responding to emails, or even working on payroll. Determine what your administrative, secretarial, technical, or creative skillsets are and market yourself as a virtual assistant to companies on websites such as UpWork, Task Rabbit, or PeoplePerHour.

  1. Sell plants from a garden.

Your whole family can participate in this home business. If you have a talent for gardening and own a home with sufficient outdoor space, consider selling plants, herbs, or fresh produce from a garden that you tend on your property. Fresh, organic food and plants are more popular than they have ever been, and the appeal of products purchased locally can be a particularly effective selling point.

To get started, research which plants are most popular in your area and which grow best in that particular climate. Herb gardens may be an especially good choice for your business as a stay-at-home parent. This is because herbs are used in cooking, aromatherapy, tea-making, naturopathic medicines, and candle-making. Additionally, herbs are relatively easy to grow compared to other plants.

Involving your children in the gardening process is another benefit to this form of home-based business. This is because it can give you an opportunity to spend more quality time with your family while also generating income.

  1. Work in graphic design.

graphic design

If you have an education in – or professional experience with – graphic design, that may be a talent that you can leverage to establish a successful home business. Companies of all sizes and locations are in need of graphic design services, which include the creation of items like flyers, logos, websites, pamphlets, advertisements, and product catalogues.

To start a home-based freelance graphic design firm, make sure that you have up-to-date software and equipment so that you can create the highest quality products. If it’s been some time since you’ve worked in graphic design, you may also want to consider taking a refresher course online or looking for recent books on the subject to get an idea of current industry trends.

Additionally, make sure that you set up an efficient marketing plan for your business and develop professional samples to send to local companies, advertising agencies, and small publications. You can also find freelance graphic design work on websites like 99Designs, UpWork, and Authentic Jobs.

cyber security
Business, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Management, Organization, Success

6 of the Best Basic Cyber Security Tips for Small Business Owners

Technology has given small business owners countless advantages, from the ability to sell to customers around the world to software that streamlines bookkeeping, inventory management, and other processes. However, the benefits that modern technology has to offer are accompanied by an increase in security risks for business owners, especially for home-based companies and other small businesses. According to recent data, over 70 percent of cyberattacks are focused on small businesses, and many attacks occur within the company’s first half-year in operation.

While larger corporations have bigger budgets for cybersecurity, there are still plenty of actions that small business owners can take in order to protect themselves and their customers from data theft and exposure. Six of these helpful tips are listed below.

  1. Invest in reputable anti-virus software.

anti-virusThe first step in protecting a small business from cybersecurity threats is to choose reliable, high quality anti-virus software to protect your PCs. Choosing a paid security program for the computers you use is a simple yet effective way to prevent exposure to malware and other malicious programs. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent, affordable options to choose from. According to the website TechRadar, some of the most highly recommended security programs for small businesses in 2017 include Symantec Endpoint Protection, Avast Endpoint Protection Advanced, and Avira Antivirus for Endpoint. Once you’ve chosen and installed security software, make sure to always install updates and patches as they become available to minimize weaknesses or gaps in protection.

  1. Create strong passwords.

While it can be tempting for the sake of simplicity to use an easy, universal password to gain access to all devices and accounts you use for your business, doing so poses a significant security risk. To create a strong password, professionals suggest phrases that are 10 characters long at minimum and incorporate a series of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The more complicated, the better.

In addition, try to use different password for different accounts. This way, if a hacker uncovers one of your passwords, the discovery will not compromise your other accounts. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, consider using a password management app to store them. Remember to change passwords regularly as well, as often as once every three months.

  1. Establish protocols for the use of personal devices at work.

smartphoneDue to budget constraints, many small business owners choose to have employees use their personal devices to do work. If you’ve chosen to implement this approach at your company, make sure you’ve created security protocols for employees and taken measures to protect company data in the event that an employee leaves the company or has his or her device stolen. Consider instating a policy that requires employees to use a specific security system and participate in routine password changes in order to help keep your business’ information safe.

It can also be helpful to use mobile device management (MDM) software in order to separate company data from an employee’s personal data on a device. MDM solutions make it easy for all company information to be wiped from the hard drive of a personal computer in the event that an employee leaves the company.

  1. Keep access to sensitive information limited.

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s generally best to limit access to your company’s data, network, and financial information. This means controlling which aspects of your business’ programs and data that your staff can access. Give employees permissions only for the software and systems they need to do their jobs, and make sure that you approve of any new software before it is installed. This is important because studies show that a company’s employees are statistically more likely to be at the root of a data breach than outsiders, whether they mean to cause harm or not.

  1. Make sure your employees are trained in basic security protocols.

securityTo prevent well-meaning employees from accidentally opening your company up to cybersecurity threats, it’s important that every member of your staff be trained in basic online safety. At minimum, employees should know how to securely store passwords, connect to protected Wi-Fi networks, and safely transfer files. They should also be familiar with the common signs of a cyber security threat and know how to report a potential threat to management.

  1. Make a plan ahead of time.

Because the threat of breaches only grows as technology develops, one of the most helpful things that a small business owner can do is to create a contingency plan for the best course of action if your company’s cybersecurity is compromised. Consider hiring an IT consultant to help you understand what to do in the event of a cybersecurity emergency. If you don’t have enough room in your budget to bring in an IT professional, there are many online tools to help you develop a comprehensive cyber security plan, including the Cyberplanner tool provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The planner can be found here.

small business
Business, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Management, Organization, Productivity, Success

7 Signs that You Need to Move Your Business Out of Your Home

The internet is full of articles declaring the benefits of running a business out of your own home. From the monthly amount that you can save on rent to the time-saving advantage of not having a commute, there are many reasons why entrepreneurs may choose to host their business operations conveniently within their own homes.

While certain small businesses will arguably operate best from a home-based environment, others may be better served by an eventual move to a commercial office space. To know if your home-based business should be considering a move to a public location, look for the following seven signs.

  1. You’re hiring employees who aren’t family members.

The first sign that your business may be ready for the move to a commercial office space is that its operations have grown to a point where you need to bring non-family employees on board to share the workload. A business operating out of a house may not appeal to the type of talent you need. Additionally, it can also be disruptive to your personal environment to have employees join you in your home office every work day.

employees

Hiring remote employees is an option for some small businesses. However, your company may be successful enough to merit moving out of the house if you’re at a point where you have both the need and the financial ability to make room for additional staff members.

  1. You’re running out of space.

Even if you are comfortable with additional employees working from your home-based office, the amount of space that you have to run your business should be taken into consideration. As you add technology, inventory, and more staff members, quarters may become cramped. This reduces your company’s ability to stay organized and remain functional.

Additionally, your business’s growth may at some point come into conflict with local zoning laws. This is because cities have regulations that dictate the size and type of businesses that are permitted to operate within residential areas.

  1. You routinely bring clients, vendors, and business partners to your office.

Residing in a corporate space does not necessarily reflect a business’s commitment to professionalism. On the other hand, having a location outside of your home may help enhance your credibility in the minds of customers, vendors, and other relevant business professionals.

business

If your growing operations require you to routinely meet with people from these groups, a rented space may have a strong, positive impact on the confidence that they feel in the decision to work with, hire, or buy from your company.

  1. Your company could use a culture boost.

As your business grows in terms of both sales and the number of staff members, it’s important to make sure that you have a company culture that helps retain valued employees, generates a positive reputation in your community, and maintains a high level of productivity.

Moving your business out of the house and into a formal office can be an important component of creating and perpetuating a healthy corporate culture. The right office layout may be more conducive to open communication, efficiency, and an overall feeling of professionalism among your employees than an office based out of your home.

  1. You’re finding it difficult to stay on task.

No matter how secluded your workspace is from the rest of your house, working from home can be full of small distractions that eat away at your workday. This may leave you feeling like you can never get enough accomplished. Family members and pets have a tendency to disrupt one’s concentration, and the more relaxed domestic environment may leave you open to procrastination that needlessly extends your workday. Moving your home-based operations into a corporate office may help you improve your work-life balance and give you the space you need to focus.

  1. Your isolation is reducing your motivation and productivity.

Even if your home office provides you with enough seclusion to focus, some company owners simply don’t work as well in isolation as they do in a corporate workspace among colleagues. Attempting to work long term from home without socialization during the workday can leave you feeling unmotivated and lonely, leading to reduced productivity.

employee

Further, some entrepreneurs simply function better when they are engaged in work outside of their homes, feeling greater drive and inspiration when they formally separate their personal and professional spaces.

  1. Your company is financially stable enough to move.

Though this rule does not apply to every entrepreneur, if your home-based business has found enough success to comfortably afford the move to a commercial space, it may be time for you to seriously consider the option. In spite of the added expense, having an office space for your company to grow into comes with countless small benefits that may help you take your operations to the next level.

Ultimately, you will know when and if the time is right for your company to move. When you do, be sure to do your research and find a space that both suits your budget and makes you feel excited about the future.