The largest percentage of growth is in home run or small businesses but when planing your office it is important to make choices that let you run more efficiently then a large business. This means you must know the demands of your customer and structure your business to meet all their needs. Think about it if you want a job done you want it done right and and price and performance are a big issue. With proper planing you can give your customer everything they desire and walk away feeling proud of your work.
The first consideration when planning a home office is whether you will have customers come to your home. If you will have customers come to your home you will defiantly want to separate your work space from your personal space. Doing business at your kitchen table is probably not the best idea and inviting customers into your home during sponge bob is not going to work out well for anyone.
If you happen to have a large detached garage it may be worth your time and investment to turn it into a dedicated office space. The improvements that you will need to do will depend on your business type.
Crafts, automobile repair or lawn services do not carry a large demand. Customers will be happy if you section a space with a desk and chair with office equipment for transacting purchases and paperwork.
Professional services are a different matter if you provide Drafting, Architectural Design, Accounting or other services then you should most likely plan for a total remodel.
Basements are another option and work well if they have been upgraded. If you have an exterior entrance to your basement this is even better however check with code because converting residential space into business space may require that you install basement steps if you don’t have them now. The processes is pretty simple as the stairs come precast and cutting a hole in the wall and installing everything for the door can be done the same day.
Heating and Cooling Demands
Heating and cooling demands are about the same if you have your office inside your home but if you are working in a detached garage you will probably want to look at oil electric heaters. This type of heater is usually a stand alone device that heats an oil filled radiator and gives off heat to the room. It does not have exposed elements or flame so they are safer choices. Stand alone air conditioners are also available but a window unit would work well in most situations.
You should dedicate at least one 15 amp circuit to your office space and if you are a light commercial business you will want to make sure that any electronics and computers are protected with a UPS battery backup.
Highspeed internet access is very important if your company works in the area of technology but it is also important for research and ordering products.
If you have a connection that is shared by your home for personal use you can dedicate more bandwith to your office with the use of routers and switches. You should check with an accountant on how to write the cost off because shared assets are more difficult to write off in a home business.
Computer and Electronic Equipment
You will definitely want to dedicate a business telephone line for your customers to contact you. You have the option of having a separate cell phone, getting another line from the phone company or buying a VOIP internet phone service.
If you are not on the road that often VOIP Services are reasonable and will reduce your wiring costs if you have Internet access to your office.
Which ever service you choose you should separate it from your personal use for better quality and tax reasons.
Building a professional looking work area doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Most local auction house have desks, chairs, tables, filing cabinets at 20% of the cost of new items.
With paint or fabric you can make old items look as good or better then new with your own style.
This is not to say that you can get everything you need used but some things if taken care of can last decades and still offer good service.
Sites like Ebay are another option and larger items are usually sold for local pickup so you can save yourself shipping. Always know what you are buying before you make payment.
Remember that there are tax deductions that can help you build a better home business. Take advantage of any help you can find and visit people that run similar businesses when you are on the road to get ideas.
Putting a professional foot forward will bring assurance to your customers.
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