Every business owner welcomes growth, but for the small-business owner working from home it can come at a price. There may be too much overlap between your home and work life or you need to start seeing clients in a more professional setting. Perhaps the business has grown so much you need to hire employees. Congratulations on the success! Now what?
Find a Great Location
Define your needs. Would you benefit from physical proximity to clients and vendors, do you need easy access to the freeway, or is your priority a prestigious address? Naturally cost will be a major consideration now that you are suddenly paying for the space, so consider sharing office space with others or leasing only part of a building. Many legal, accounting and consulting firms find former residential properties suit their business needs and their budgets; just be sure to check zoning laws before making a purchase.
Make the Space Your Own
Unless you build from scratch, few locations will provide a blank slate so you may need to be flexible. Make as few modifications as possible to the building’s layout and use existing plumbing and electrical systems if they are adequate. Then change cosmetic features like flooring and paint colors so the space suits your brand. Furnish with quality inexpensive pieces by buying used, everything from pre owned cubicles to office desks to production equipment. Acquire refurbished computer and VOIP phone systems but only from reputable companies—for these items, training and service will make the biggest difference.
Create a Company Culture
Some firms are formal and conservative, others more casual and flexible. Communicate the appropriate culture from the first step with your décor. Client spaces such as the reception area should make your customers comfortable and energized so hang tasteful artwork and consider providing a coffee station or water cooler. Employee spaces like breakrooms and bathrooms should inspire productivity and morale so install bright full-spectrum lights and decorate with cheery colors.