Five Challenges Business Owners Face by not Having a Dedicated Office Space

By Stefanie Neyland,

In a world dominated by smartphones, we may question the need to go to a dedicated workplace to accomplish our daily tasks. Gone are the days where we go to the office to use computers, access the internet and use the telephones; nowadays we can access all of these services from a smartphone the size of our hand — and all from the comfort of our own home. There’s no denying that we’ve come a long way, but whether this evolution is a change for the better remains to be seen.

Today, we explore the challenges business owners may face by not having a dedicated office space to work from, and consider how working in a new setting may spark ideas to improve your business, promote creativity and offer networking opportunities.

1. It’s all about image
The image you convey to your clients is the key to creating a professional persona and solid brand identity. A Google search and a quick glance at Maps is all it takes for customers to see that your company’s headquarters are actually a suburban semi set on a quiet, leafy street — a facade that might not match what’s depicted on your website.

2. Home is where the heart is
Having family around can be one of the many perks of running your business from home, but it can also be one of the biggest distractions. While spending more quality time with the kids may be great fun, consider whether it’s actually conducive to running a successful company.

3. Work-life balance
Any entrepreneur will tell you that it can be hard to switch off your business brain when the working day is done, so avoid making matters worse by doubling up your home as your office space. Make your home environment a place where you can go to relax and leave your worries behind at the office until morning.

4. “Welcome to my humble abode...”
Inviting prospective clients to your home to discuss business isn’t an ideal situation — and neither is taking them to your local coffee shop for that all-important meeting. Take a step back and consider how you’d like others to view your business, then decide whether hosting meetings in your home gives off the impression you want for your company.

5. Community breeds creativity
It’s easy to forget how inspiring working around others can be. Business owners tend to be inherently creative people, so throwing several of them together in one space is a recipe for innovation. Feed off others’ ideas and use them to improve your own business.

Whether you enjoy working from home or want to separate your business from your personal life, it’s important to conduct thorough research before taking the plunge and renting a dedicated office space.

Before leasing, be sure to ask the following questions:

• Are utilities included?
• How about telecommunications, security and parking?
• What notice period is required to cancel?
• How is mail delivered?

You may find that the answers to these questions make or break your decision.

Alternatively, if the risks associated with renting a traditional office premises are too high there are other options to consider. Intelligent Office provides access to flexible and affordable business spaces and services – and they’ve just teamed up with Staples to offer Canadian small businesses the resources they need to work easily and effectively without steep overhead costs. On May 1st 2013 they’ll be launching an actual office space, boasting meeting rooms, mailboxes and reception services – right inside Staples’ Stone Road West store in Guelph, Ontario.

By Adam

April 29, 2013