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“Okay, I’m getting out of Corporate America and we’re going to do things the right way. I’m going to work when I want, how I want, and deliver incredible value to my clients. Instead of wasting time and energy moving into a stuffy office, we’ll either go onsite with our clients, hang out in a cool coffee shop (I mean, right?), or we can all chill in my cool, intown crib. This is going to be AWESOME!!!!”
Actually, a lot of that is really true and can work for you if you are seeking a kind of business that will stay at a certain size and not really need to scale—after all, if you aren’t growing, your infrastructure doesn’t need to increase and you are fine with what you have.
However, there reaches a certain point in a company’s development where the owner needs to explicitly determine, “Am I staying this size or am I growing?” This week’s blog post is directed to those folks.
Knowing when to get into your own space depends on a variety of factors:
Image: How important is it that your clients see where you work? What is your industry? If you are an attorney, for example, it’s important to get your own space in order to project an image of stability and permanence. Similarly, an interior designer can use their office as a means to demonstrate the canvas of their possibilities. On the other hand, other businesses may have little to no need for clients to come and visit them. For them, a sparse, utilitarian structure will be enough.
Need: Some business owners, as they begin to hire staff, realize that the need to draw a line between work and life becomes important. As an entrepreneur, you will be working a lot…but at some point it is essential to be able to turn off work. Having your main staff congregation place be outside of your home helps out a lot.
Feasibility: Let’s call it what it is—overhead. Don’t sign up for something you can’t afford! In addition to signing a lease for X months, you will also have to think about furniture, utilities, parking (if it’s paid), etc. Nothing says “Not Ready For Primetime” like a company that expands and contracts based on its fortunes and ability to keep a roof over its head. It’s better to contemplate a hybrid (such as business clubs that allow access to services, rooms, dining, etc.) as an intermediate step.
When it’s finally time, take full advantage of the benefits to having your own place. Getting your own space, done correctly, can be a game changer and should be considered in the same light as any other tool or resource that you pay for in order to accomplish the company’s mission.