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I'm really excited but want to be careful that this will really result in increased income.
I do web design/development and it seems that many clients want to meet for the inital consultation and it's getting silly meeting at Starbucks! Also, many ecommerce clients need proudcts photographed and I want to set up a small table top photo studio. I feel like I have a handle on this business, what customers need, some good local contacts, and now, I want the business to be more serious, more "official". I've actually had two prospective clients show up at my PO box not realizing I work from home!
I'm looking at local offices for lease, trying to be careful to find utilities included, common areas to share, good spaces for showing clients ideas and reviewing sites if need be.
Any suggestions? I'm going from working with a handful of freelancers on 1099 status and some are willing to come and work on W-2. What kind of costs am I facing?
Anyone go through this and can give me some advice?
Make sure your lease allows for after hours access and public calling.
That the office is easy to find and has reserved parking for clients, its the first thing they see and first thing they will recall when they see you.
Make sure its in a decent part of town and your neighbouring offices are full of 'that type of business', try and get a transferable purchase option on the building so even if you sell your company you can at some point still buy the office/building or sell teh option on.
Ive done this many a time and can be really worth while.
Buy a bigger and better home instead.....and continue to work from that!
I understand that you may not see your current home as a place to invite clients......but, don't assume an office will fix this.....it probably won't.
Instead invest in a better home/office.
I was lucky, I made the leap from an average home (to which no clients were invited) to an extensive country estate to which any and all clients are invited.
I chose to make my home and business the same thing by investing in property instead of an office. When clients visit they of course realize that I work from home......but, they actually believe I got it right and they got it wrong......they appreciate that so much more than a sterile office environment I could present to them :)
As a bonus you get to live in a great place :)
Here's an interesting article on this subject:
Having a home-cum-office works for some people but it requires some discipline. It also means being able to put up with all sorts of interruptions and disturbances. I wouldn't recommend going for a larger home instead of an office but then to each his own.