Running a business from home is a great idea when you’re starting out. Depending on the type of business you’re running, it can carry on being great for many years. You may need to look at scaling up though. So with that in mind, today I’m discussing some ideas on how to scale up your home-based business. Read on for my ideas.
How to Scale Up Your Home-Based Business
Services like virtual assistants, often depend on little more than a good computer and Internet connection. But, if you’re involved in selling items or you need to host meetings with clients… There will come a time when continuing from home isn’t really viable.
When that happens, if you want to stay in business or expand your current operations, there are a few options to consider.
The Risk Factor
While it’s exciting to contemplate expanding… That natural excitement is often tempered with an underlying fear of taking on more financial responsibility and accompanying risk.
You can maybe minimise the risk by tailoring your expansion according to your real needs. Basic options include:
- Flexible Office Spaces – When you’re expanding to show a more professional face to the world, this new way of renting an office opens new doors to business owners. No long contracts, unfurnished and ready to move into, private and secure, flexible office rental terms are extremely expansion-friendly for young businesses.
- Warehouse space – for a first expansion, this might be too big a bite. Warehouses are large, and you’d need a lot of stock to fill it. Maybe you could partner with another retailer and share space. But this also has pitfalls in the form of shared liability, who pays for what, and how equally you share responsibility. You’ll also have business rates, utilities, and VAT on top of your rental.
- Self Storage Units – Many facilities welcome business users, as the secure spaces are ideal for stock storage. If you’re just looking for somewhere safe to store the items you sell, this is well worth considering. You won’t pay extras on top of your rental, and the locations are handy and numerous. Additionally, there are other little perks like staff who will take deliveries for you when you’re not there.
Reorganising Your Home
If moving premises is a stretch too far at the moment, but you still need somewhere more professional or organised, it’s time for a fresh look at your home surroundings.
Make an office or personal stock room. If you have a spare bedroom, think about putting the bedroom furniture into storage units to clear the space.
You can make perfectly professional and functional business rooms for lots of different uses. Whether it’s your private office, nail studio bar or physiotherapy treatment room. Just be aware that clients will have to walk through the house, so you’ll need to keep those areas up to date and spotlessly clean and tidy. But it can work very well for some business models, if you’re upfront with clients that you work from home so they know what to expect.
Alternatively, you can use the freshly cleared space as your stock room. Fit some shelving or cabinets, and label everything accordingly, and you can work very efficiently to package up sold stock ready for postage.
When Neither of Those Solutions Work
Sometimes you just need to figure out a way of being more productive with what you have. A new method that doesn’t involve lots of home reorganising or additional expenses.
- If you spend too much time searching for certain items of stock… Maybe you need better labels, or switching to transparent boxes so you can see the contents.
- When you’re forever carrying things upstairs only to bring them back down for packing… Maybe you just need a packing station closer to your stock. A small table with space underneath for all the packing materials would save heaps of time.
- If business is brisk and you’re always fielding calls on your personal phone after hours… Think about getting a dedicated business mobile.
Sometimes the phrase, “scale up your home-based business,” means no more than working more efficiently so you can get more done. Maybe outsourcing some admin or bookkeeping tasks would free up more time. Alternatively, maybe it’s time to think about actual employees and office premises.
Try to be as clear as possible about what you’re trying to achieve, then weigh up the best pathway to get there. Finally, remember there are lots of ways to scale up your home-based business. As long as you remember to keep an eye on overheads and make sure they don’t undermine your profit and income.