Dear Aunty B,
I am currently running a small business from home. I am finding it hard to stay focused, as there are constant distractions.
I find I can work well when no one else is in the house, however living in a house with three other people means there are frequently others around to distract me.
I have found an office space for rent which seems ideal. I am currently trying to make the decision whether or not to take it. My dilemma is, do the costs of having an office outweigh the cost of lost productivity. I have worked out that it will cost me around $12,000 to run the office. Your advice would be appreciated.
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You must move and you have two options.
1. Move house. Either find someone to share with who is out all day or live on your own. Starting from the spare room keeps your costs down. About half the successful entrepreneurs that we interview start their businesses from home and stay there for a few years, usually employing one or two people (sometimes illegally) on a part-time basis before moving into an office.
2. Move into the office. While I planned my business from a spare room on the weekends while I was employed, the second I resigned to start my business I moved into an office. It was a dingy office next to a methadone clinic but it was an office!
Our big important clients used to come and visit our start up and have a Friday snag on the barbie in our “board-yard”.
You would take option one if you have “bought yourself” a job. If you intend to stay very small and run at a loss or breakeven or have no idea what you are doing, then this is a good option for you.
You would take option two if you plan to grow, have a great business plan and have some market validity (ie. a contract and have a clear direction of where you are going). By taking an office you are backing yourself and your future.
Your Aunty B
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