Running a business from home requires space — sometimes, quite a lot of space. The spare bedroom that worked just fine six months ago may now look like a war zone. Have you outgrown your home office? Here are ten warning signs that you may need to find more space.
1. Can you walk to your desk without tripping over something? If you are constantly stepping over boxes, files, and merchandise on the way to your desk, it’s time to find a larger space.
2. Are you hemmed in by filing cabinets and shelving units? They may have started out as a way to make the most out of your limited office space, but if your organizers are taking over, you may need more room.
3. Have you taken over your children’s closets? If you have evicted your children from their closets to make room for your products, you need to find a better place to store your merchandise.
4. Does the living room look like an extension of your office? If you don’t know where your home office ends and your home begins, you have reached the breaking point.
5. Do you have to move a pile of papers off of your printer to use it? If you are starting to use your office equipment as a place to store excess paper, you need more space.
6. When was the last time you saw the surface of your desk? If the answer is more than two months ago, you need a solution quickly.
7. Do you have to move boxes off of chairs when company comes over? This is a sign that your space problems are becoming critical.
8. Does your entire house look like an office building? If you are moving your office equipment, merchandise, or files out of your home office and in to other areas of the house, your house can quickly be swallowed up.
9. Do family members roll their eyes when they see you bringing in more equipment? Businesses need equipment, but they also need space for this equipment. If you are moving the microwave to make room for your new multifunction machine, you need to find a different solution.
10. Do you dread going into the “pit” that has become your office?
If you have answered yes to more than three of these questions, your home office needs more room. It may just be a question of rearranging the rooms of your house. If there is a larger room that can accommodate your office, try switching rooms.
But if you just don’t have the extra space, it may be time to add on to your existing home. An addition may cost less over time than renting office space outside your home. Some business loan programs will help finance additions and expansions. Ask your lender for more information.
One of the perks of running a home-based business is being able to spend time at home. Having to move your office to an outside location may completely negate your entire purpose of working from home. But if your home office makes your home inhospitable, your business and your family will both suffer. Addressing the problem sooner rather than later can help improve your bottom line — and your home life.