When you are starting a consulting business, choosing a location for your business is one of the major steps. If you are on a budget, as most new businesses are, a home office will be your first choice. Here are some hints and tips to make working from home a little easier.
- Choose an isolated area. A desk in the kitchen is not going to cut it – distractions abound, and while some people may be able to work in chaos, it’s not conducive to good concentration, so rather avoid it!
- If you are working from home, look out for facilities in your area that offer boardrooms or meeting rooms to rent per hour. These facilities are invaluable to a home based business owner.
- Make sure your office is well equipped. Even though you work from home, you still need to be organized. Getting the necessary filing equipment, stationery, computers, printers and a to do board, along with other office essentials, will help.
The benefits of working from home abound – very little extra overheads, no traveling to work, and being able to set a flexible schedule.
On the other hand though, working from home requires a level of discipline some people may lack. Distractions are commonplace, privacy may be restricted, and, if you cannot get yourself out of bed on time in the mornings, an unstructured arrangement such as this may be to temptation laden.
If a home office is not for you, or you simply do not have the space, there are other options you could look into, for example, renting an office in an office suite, with or without administrative support.
On the other hand, if your budget allows, look for reasonably priced office space to rent in your area, you might even enter into an office sharing arrangement with another consultant, or a different business altogether.
Low cost office solutions abound, but, if you have the budget to, you may consider hiring a suite of several offices, or even purchasing commercial property, or property zoned for commercial purposes, right off the bat. This would allow you flexibility to grow, space for storage and other needs, and, if an additional income stream is required, the option to sublet some of your own office space.
Later, of course, there will be more location questions that you will need to answer. Opening satellite offices or branches in other parts of the state or even the country may be required, to cope with demand from customers in the area.
You may of course find that many of your clients come from a particular part of the country, and might want to consider relocating your office.
Another solution may be to simply place consultants in various centers around the country, and communicate electronically with them. Modern technology has made it possible to do business from literally anywhere in the world, as if you were in your office.
Taking advantage of technology, assessing your needs, and making shrewd choices with regards to positioning your business all go a long way towards building a successful consulting business.
No matter what your choice, or the reason behind it when you start out, remember that your consulting business is built around you, and your skills. Not a flashy office. You will get there, but do not overextend yourself to begin with!