4 Signs It’s Time To Expand Your Home-Based Business
Did you know that an astonishing 52% of small businesses in the United States are home-based? Of course running a small business from your home has many advantages – among them, it is a low-cost, low risk way to get started; it offers a convenient way for you to put in ‘extra hours’ when you need to, while still handling the ‘business’ of the rest of your life.
There comes a time when you realize your business has outgrown the home and you need more space. But when is that time and is a steel building the solution?
1. You want to become more visible in the community. According to AdAge, the industry leader in advertising, for 4 out of 5 types of businesses, as much as 67% of all traffic comes from outdoor signage and drive-by traffic. Unless you live in an industrial area, it’s likely your residential zoning laws will not allow you to put signage on your front porch. And who would want to anyway?
If you want more customers, you need to have signage, and that will mean you need to move your business to a location where that is permissible.
2. It’s time to put more skin in the game. I would never say that a home based business lacks credibility. I will say that, eventually, it will lack credibility. Your customers expect to see you growing, and that means that, someday, you will need to move to a dedicated business space. Customers are more likely to do repeat business or offer business referrals when they have confidence in your company.
Andrew Duguay, a senior economist at the Institute for Trend Research (ITR) says that a space outside the home such as a commercial steel building for your business, “leaves the themes of ‘stability’ and ‘long-term,’ two critical components to customer retention and establishing a steady pace of incremental customer achievement.” In simple terms, it means you will keep your customers and get new ones when they think you’re healthy enough to move to a dedicated structure. It sends the message that other people are doing business with you. People tend to infer that you are worthy of their business when they realize others are already doing business with you.
3. You’re ready to hire new employees and don’t want these people in and out of your home. Although you hired your new employees because you have a level of trust, you don’t necessarily want them to have become part of your life at home. Your home is your sanctuary, it’s the place you unwind; sometimes it’s messy, sometimes there are dishes left in the sink. It’s a constant distraction to have to have your home always ‘business ready,’ and you shouldn’t have to remain at DefCon 5 with house-keeping and privacy.
4. Your growth might be violating local zoning laws. Small business owners get away with a lot when you’re working in the privacy of your own homes. Most cities and counties have fairly strict laws about what sorts of businesses can operate and where. These laws almost certainly cover your home. Signage, the percentage of your home used for business, the materials that you store in your home and many other factors can impact whether you’re in compliance with local zoning laws. It becomes more of a priority to find space outside of your home if you’re doing anything that could irritate your neighbors, like increased customer traffic or noise— these are the people who are most likely to report any zoning violations.
There are other reasons you should consider moving your business into a pre-engineered steel building including: you are beginning to stagnate; you aren’t in the ‘business mood’ anymore; and your children or spouse have not realized that your business is ‘work,’ even when you’re at home; it’s best not to wait until your home is bursting at the seams before you consider a move.
Before you invest in a contractor or architect, consider a customizable steel building – you’ll be extremely pleased to see that not only is it time to move, but you can afford it.
I want to hear from small business owners who decided it was time to move to a new location! What were some of the reasons you moved? What are some tips you can give, and how did you recognize you were ready to move? Your experiences and insights will be invaluable to the 52% of small business owners still operating out of their home.