Tuesday, December 25, 2007


If you can't face the prospect of giving up the convenience and comforts of working from home, but you don't want to miss out on your chance to grow to the next level, here are the solutions.

Rent a professional suite.
If you find you need a place where you can create a serious business image, hold conferences, or get more extensive office services, consider renting a professional suite. Such suites are part of a complex that includes small offices, central conference facilities, and a full range of secretarial services available to anyone subleasing space from the complex.

Rent private office space.
Renting an office doesn't necessarily mean you have to say good-bye to working from home. Some people have rented a second office for certain activities (receiving mail or phone calls, working on large equipment, holding meetings) while still maintaining a home office where they can do creative or detail work. And you need not rent such space full-time. You can rent space part-time or by the day. In renting part-time space, you arrange for the hours you need the space each week and pay a flat monthly fee which can include some additional services like mailing, addressing, answering service, name on building directory, etc. Such rental arrangements are usually advertised in the Yellow Pages as "Business Identity Programs" under Office Rentals.

Contract work with other businesses.
Instead of moving his business to a warehouse, Bob Baxter hired a company to bottle and package his pet health-care products, jobs he once handled in his garage. When developing a large marketing program for a customer, consultant James McClaren subcontracted with several small businesses rather than renting office space and hiring employees for the duration of the contract. Using a free-lance writer, a packager, and an office-services company, he got the program done without leaving home.

Move to a bigger home.
Whether you buy, lease, or build, a new and larger home may provide the added or specialized space you need to continue living and working under one roof. What may have started out as the perfect home office may not meet your needs at another stage in your life.

Hire employees who will work from their homes.
Some home-based companies, like MicroGraphic Images, a software firm, and Escrow Overload, a temporary help agency for escrow personnel, have expanded by adding staff who work from their own homes. Commercial artist Diane Wessling Blake of MicroGraphic Images says, "By having our employees work at home, we can expand as rapidly as we need to and keep our costs to a minimum. In a fast-growing industry like ours, this is very important." The founders and chief executive officers of these companies all still work from home, too.

Rent storage or warehouse space.
When potter June Wright had the chance to fill an order for over two thousand goblets for a special benefit, she knew she'd have to hire helpers. She also knew they wouldn't all fit in her studio behind the house, so she found a warehouse to rent and hired ten students, part-time, for one month. This arrangement worked so well that if she can get more orders on such a grand scale, she wants to keep it up. She will continue running the business and creating pots from her own home but will have a supervisor overseeing operations at the warehouse.

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