Many small businesses start off at home in a small corner of the living room or spare bedroom. Your family will put up with it for a short period of time, making an allowance for all the paperwork, conference calls, and other activities included in running a small business from home. But what do you do when you need to have meetings at your office?
Is your home office presentable enough to have visitors? What about the opportunity to network with other small business owners? You certainly don’t get to do a lot of that when working alone from your living room. Here are three solutions that may help you move your business in a whole new direction.
Create a digital office
One thing you can do to manage your home office is to keep it digital. With today’s technology, small business owners should have no problem cutting down on paperwork or connecting with other professionals as needed via the internet. Technologies like the cloud allow you to create, save, and access your business documents stored on a remote server accessible via the internet. The benefit of this is that if your present computer should happen to crash or get stolen, you will be able to access your documents using another computer. A digital office will also make your business portable.
A portable business can mean that you can work anyplace on the planet that has a reliable internet connection. You can work from cafes, beaches, a sunny porch, etc. If you wanted to experiment with location independence, you could do so with a digital business. Have you ever wanted to live several months in Malaysia, China, or India all while making money? You can do that if your business is digital.
Invest in a Serviced Office
If working from home is not for you, a serviced office may prove to be a much better choice. A serviced office is a shared office space where many entrepreneurs come into one space to rent an office and other office tools for anything from a few hours to several months at a time. You can often choose to rent an entire office space which can be useful for those needing space for 2 to 3 people. You can also only rent desk space if you are a solopreneur looking for a quiet place to get your work done. These spaces often come with internet access, access to a meeting space, fax and copy machines, etc.
Aside from the physical benefit of renting a serviced office, there are also many social benefits as well. One of the downsides of being an entrepreneur can be the loneliness. Working in solitude every day of the week can get rather boring. It may help to be in an environment where other entrepreneurs are just as excited about their businesses as you are about yours. You may also find partners who can collaborate on projects with. For example, if you’re a graphic artist you may partner with another company in need of design work for their marketing materials.
Combine the digital and serviced office solution
Not feeling like you want to commit to any one office space solution? You can do a combination of the two if that suits your fancy. You can work from any location, and then choose to work in a serviced office on the days or months you feel is most necessary. That way, you are not stuck to any one location for any longer than you choose to be.