Dream Believe Create is an online magazine for women entrepreneurs, creatives and change-makers. It’s for women who want to start sustainable, mission-driven businesses or creative practices without sacrificing their principles and avoiding the profit-at-any-cost / business-as-usual model that we’re all so tired of.

It's Time for Your Business to Move out of Home. Where to Now?

It's Time for Your Business to Move out of Home. Where to Now?

{3 minute read}

Do you work from home? It can be great, no office rent to pay, no time-wasting commute, you can indulge in a snack whenever you like, and best of all you can work in your PJs as the mood takes you!

So yes, there are undoubtedly many benefits to a having a home work space, but it can have its downsides too.

Some days it’s downright lonely, and you miss being around other people - someone to bounce ideas off or share a laugh with over a coffee. Sometimes you need your business to look more professional, and unfortunately, there are some meetings you just can’t have at home or in your local café. However, if you’re not yet ready to commit to an expensive, rigid commercial lease, what are the options?

There are a couple of possibilities. For some self-employed people, a co-working hub is the answer. Typically, you’ll be able to rent a desk and have access to a meeting room while enjoying the benefits of having other people around in a shared office environment. It’s usually pretty affordable, and flexible too.

However, a coworking space is not the ideal solution for everyone. This is especially so if you’re someone who needs a dedicated area such as consulting rooms to see clients, or if you use specialised equipment or tools of trade. If that’s you, then perhaps now is the time to consider a co-sharing arrangement.

So, what’s the difference between co-sharing and coworking? Well, while it offers all the benefits of having other people around as well as a more professional environment in which to conduct your business, what makes co-sharing unique, and different to coworking, is that it’s suitable for a much wider array of businesses. An important difference is that it emphasises compatibility, not just space-sharing.

Below are some examples of businesses and potentially compatible co-share partners:

  • Architect and engineer

  • Copywriter and illustrator

  • Florist and event planner

  • Personal trainer and a gym

  • Psychologist and life coach

  • Hairstylist and beauty therapist

Each of these businesses works with similar markets, but significantly, they offer different services. That's the key to a successful co-share.

How do you know when you’re ready to fly the coop and transition from your home base to a co-sharing arrangement? 

Here are a few hints that it’s probably time to move on:

Boundaries have blurred:

We hear all the time that it's essential to have a work-life balance. We need to maintain a healthy state of mind as well as a healthy physical state in order to be at our best.  Sometimes working from home can get in the way of that. For some people, not physically leaving the place where they work makes it difficult to relax, focus on other things and leave the cares of work behind at the end of the day.  While it’s great to have a have a career that you’re passionate about, it’s still essential to have dedicated time for yourself and your loved ones, and setting up shop outside the home is a great way to keep work at work.

Perhaps equally as important, working away from home base means you’re less likely to be interrupted by family distractions and household chores during the time you’ve allocated for your business.  Plus, for the safety conscious or those who like to keep their private lives private, it means you won't have new clients (i.e. strangers!) coming into your house.

And on that note, you actually have clients (or customers)!

You have people who need to meet with you on a regular basis. Often a home environment is not the best location to interact with the folks who pay you. They may feel uncomfortable intruding into your personal space, your family may resent the inconvenience, or the available space may be just not right for a whole variety of reasons. If this sounds familiar, then it’s probably time to think about moving to a more appropriate workplace setting, so that everyone is more comfortable with where you conduct your business.

You need someone to talk to:

On the other hand, if you don’t have clients to visit regularly, and the only person you talk to all day is the cat {and that’s starting to feel completely normal!} then working at least part of the time in a co-share environment could be a good idea.

Sharing a space with a compatible business means you’ll have someone to test out your ideas on, someone to turn to for help when you’re stuck or stumped creatively, or when you're having technical problems. And it's always nice to have someone to share your latest exciting news with too!

Moving your business out of home is a serious decision, and it can be a daunting one too. It’s also exciting and very doable. Coworking or co-sharing can make it easier.

Sharing space and resources can make the transition more financially viable, plus if you choose the co-sharing route, then having a like-minded {but non-competitive} business partner means you’re more likely to expand your client base organically.

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