By Tina Martin
Launching a new business is an exciting adventure, but when your new business outgrows your home, the entire venture takes on a new element of challenge. Ultimately, you need a home that supports your business with considerations such as location and space.
Choose a Great Location
Location is one of the most important factors when establishing a business. Unless you plan to operate entirely online, your target community must have a need for the goods and services you’re offering without being saturated with the same. Other considerations for your location include cost, proximity to customers and competition, easy access for deliveries or foot traffic, space for client parking, and appearance. In fact, location can even impact an online business if your internet connection isn’t stable or strong enough.
Research Laws and Restrictions
Today, more than half of the businesses in the United States are started in the owner’s home, so many houses and communities can accommodate your needs. As you research your options, keep potential restrictions in mind. Some counties, cities, or neighborhoods prohibit certain aspects of business:
- Changes to the outside appearance of the home for business
- Business signs on the home
- An overabundance of traffic, noise, odors, or commotion
- The use of hazardous materials
As you work with a realtor or research possibilities on your own, check in with municipal authorities to be sure the scope of your business won’t be limited.
Begin the Home Buying Process
Once you’ve identified communities that are supportive of home-based businesses, it’s time to enter the home-buying process. Experts recommend giving yourself about six months from start to finish. This process includes working through financing, such as obtaining loans, as well as finding an appropriate house, and completing the closing process. There are several steps involved:
- Determine how much home you can afford, including mortgage payments, insurance, and ongoing maintenance
- Get pre-approved for a loan, prepared with factors such as your credit score and your down payment amount.
- Decide whether to work with a real estate agent and connect with an agent.
- Visit potential homes with your business requirements in mind, such as room for a home office, space for inventory, and client parking.
- Submit your offer with the option of having an independent home inspection.
- Finalize your financing for the mortgage.
- Close on the house with your insurance policy in place.
As you work through this process, don’t forget to pack your belongings and prepare your existing house for sale. Your preparation throughout the home-buying process smooths the way for an easier move.
Solidify Your Business Plan
The work involved in finding a new home and working through the buying and moving process can be distracting. A solid business plan may help you keep your enterprise on track. This document provides structure for your goals and solutions to potential challenges. It provides a clear strategy and priorities to keep you focused, even during a move. An effective business plan includes many details, such as how you intend to operate and how you’ll obtain consistent profits. This plan is crucial in obtaining funding from a bank. A start-up checklist is also useful for tasks such as registering your business in your new location and obtaining necessary permits and licenses.
While starting a business can be challenging, planning ahead and working through each step with your goals in mind can result in a satisfying and fulfilling end. The work you put in now will establish a strong foundation for your growing company.
Tina Martin stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance. She is also working on her first book, Ideaspired: Put Your Ideas, Your Inspiration, and Yourself First to Make Your Dreams Come True. She also started ideaspired.com as a side project to reach as many people as possible, and encourage them to put their dreams first.