Running a business from home is hard. Making it a success, on a financial and a personal front, is harder still.
No matter what your business model is, from offering a service to creating or selling a physical product, having the right working environment gives you a firm foundation for future success.
Figuring Out Your Ideal Workspace
If everything else was equal, from space available to funds to pay for it, what would your ideal workspace look like?
You might not be able to provide everything immediately, but you’ll cement your thoughts, take a deep dive into your real needs for the business, and give yourself a few goals to work towards.
In the meantime, you can figure out some workarounds to overcome any shortfalls.
Workspace considerations include:
- Stock storage
- Fast Internet
- Time management
- Professional appearance
They’re all important, but some may be more important than others depending on your business type. You can get away with working in your kitchen when you’re working at home by yourself.
As your business grows, though, you may find a home office becomes untenable. When meeting clients face to face or hosting meetings, for instance, renting a nearby office can help raise your profile and community standing.
Conventional offices tend to be on the pricey side and come with long contracts that you may not wish to commit to. If you’re at the stage in your business where a dedicated office would boost your business success rate and standing in the community, you could look for modern, flexible office rentals.
They are purpose built and designed for those looking to move up from a home office as well as established companies. From Newcastle offices up north to Portsmouth offices down south, flexible rented offices solve many business problems all over the UK, with many in London.
Flexible Storage for Physical Stock
If your business depends on actual objects rather than services rendered, you need somewhere to store them.
But more than just storage, you need a system that lets you locate items quickly, offers space for efficient packing and receiving deliveries, and that maintains the condition of articles without creating trip or topple hazards for the rest of the family.
Considerations here include having a dedicated room for stock storage, good access so you can safely get into your loft, security locks on the garage if you’re keeping items outside the house, and easy access for van or lorries if you’re taking regular deliveries.
When you’re struggling to meet the basic requirements from home, self storage units can come to the rescue as many facilities welcome business users. In fact, they’ll often go the extra mile by accepting deliveries for you if you can’t be there when boxes arrive. Other advantages to keeping stock in self storage rather than at home as your business grows include:
- Easy parking – Especially important these days, particularly if you’re constantly loading and unloading items
- Long opening hours – Not everyone wants to, or is able, to work traditional hours
- Choice of room sizes, from lockers up. Pick the size that meets your needs, then upgrade when you need to.
- Short contracts – Makes adding a bit of extra storage to take advantage of seasonal fluctuations and demand amazingly easy.
You can still carry on doing your admin and promotions from home as before but have a dedicated place for stock storage. Better time management, faster turnover, and a better work/life balance soon offset the slight increase in overheads for the room rental.
Organising Your Storage Space
Whether you stick with home storage, opt for self storage rooms or decide you’re ready to move up to a dedicated office space, organising your room is vital.
In the office, whether it’s your spare room or your rented office:
- Install cabinets or shelves for office equipment such as printers and stationery items.
- Arrange desks for optimal comfort such as allowing privacy, natural light, power and telecoms
- Bear in mind current restrictions, such as social distancing when you’re considering size and layout.
In the stock room:
- Have fast sellers nearest the door.
- Have dedicated places on shelves for items or categories of item, and label them as such
- Use transparent tubs so you can see what’s inside.
- Avoid obstacle courses or mazes by arranging shelves in rows you can walk between, if you have room and an extensive stock range.
- Do a regular stock take to keep track of numbers and avoid overselling.
If you’re also packing and dispatching, have a little table or workstation right in the stock room so you can make up parcels on the spot rather than carrying them elsewhere. You’ll save loads of time doing this.
Given all the challenges of running a business, it makes sense to investigate all your options and make day to day activities as streamlined and stress-free as possible. It all puts you in the best place possible for business success, whatever your location
*this is a collaborative post