For many entrepreneurs, your first office is often your home office. And while you can't beat the rent, every successful entrepreneur eventually outgrows their humble beginnings. (Steve Jobs didn't work out of his parents' garage forever.)
But how do you know when it's time to make the move to an office outside your home, like a shared office space? Here are the five tell-tale signs:
1.) Your professional image is being compromised.
If there is the sound of a barking dog, child or lawnmower in the background of a client call, it can affect the way you're perceived and make it difficult to focus. If working from home is keeping you from putting your best foot forward, it could be better for your business to office elsewhere.
2.) You want your business to grow.
If your business growth seems to have plateaued, working from home might be to blame. A change of scenery and a dedicated, private office space could be just what you need to spark creativity and take your business to the next level. Plus, if you opt for an office at a shared office center, you'll find the added benefit of built-in networking opportunities, too.
3.) It's not just you.
Do you often meet with clients, or do you have employees or freelancers who come to your office? Rather than shuttle them past your pile of dishes in the sink, or have to offer access to your private bathroom, leasing office space, like that at a shared office center, gives you a professional environment for meetings - and lets you keep your private space private.
4.) The lines are blurred between home and work.
Maintaining separation between your business and personal life is one of the biggest stresses of working from home, according to many home office workers. So, if you're finding the lines are blurring, it may be time to consider leasing space elsewhere.
5.) You want to reward yourself!
After years building your business, the move into professional office space is a very exciting milestone. As a small business owner, nothing is quite as exciting as seeing your name on the office door or building directory. So if you're ready to reward yourself while investing in the future of your business, finding the right office space might be the perfect way to do both.