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    7 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2009 6:21 PM by matthew2009

    Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?

    jasbur Newbie
      I have a now established computer repair company. I have, so far, managed to run things from a home office. All the computer service performed is on-site, so there's no need to accommodate for walk-ins.

      That being said, my dilemma is this. Customer demand has outstretched my current capacity and I will be hiring my first employee in the near future. My intuition (Which has gotten me this far) tells me that I should lease some office space to consolidate things, provide some consistency and a provide some grounding for an employee. Not to mention room to grow into.

      However, all the advice I have received to this point (albeit none of it from business owners) has been to the contrary. I have taken great effort to untether myself from an office and could extend the logistics to cover an employee.

      Does anyone have any experience on this decision to offer? Should I lease office space to give some "structure" to the business and for an employee, or should I save the money and keeps things decentralized?
        • Re: Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized??

          Good question and welcome. It would be good to know more about you. Go to Members page and share more info.

          Lets start at the beginning. It is great to work from home (for a while). Money and Cash Flow also play an important roll.

          In Suburban America many businesses are run from home. Develop a Business Plan and put in Projections of Sales , Income and Expenses
          for the next year or two.. If you hire an employee , do it correctly and put the person on Payroll (another expense)

          Do you have an Accountant?? SCORE would also be of GREAT help. SCORE is FREE both in person and online.

          Hope this helps, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?
            MTurk72 Newbie
            I don't think that leasing space is a bad idea, especially if it is to balance costs and allow you to hire on an employee. No one benefits from overtaxing yourself, and if you need another person to help you, that's all there is to it. Besides, you don't have to make it a permanent thing, you can always offer a shorter term lease, which many new businesses would take, to allow yourself security and a chance to see if it will improve your business.

            In any case, it's a good sign that this is becoming a valid problem for you. It shows your business is growing, and your intution has gotten you this far. I would trust it, over the advice of those who don't own a business themselves.

            Hope this helps!

            • Re: Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?
              DomainDiva Ranger
              Why not let a web app such as BaseCamp be your online office? Our technology startup is managed this way since we are spread out from Texas to California. If you don't have to be brick and mortar then don't, use the money to improve the business. Offices are nice, but why have one if you don't need one?
              • Re: Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?
                Lighthouse24 Ranger

                This question was posted four months ago and the individual who posted it hasn't signed on since (I'm guessing it came to the top today because it provided another new member with an opportunity to promote his business).

                Anyway, since it's on the table again, I'll concur with Diva, but also add that in many areas there are out-of-the-way business office parks (sometimes integrated with storage facilities) that provide short term and very affordable office, work, and warehouse space. These are not generally located in what would be considered good retail locations, but they can be a great interim solution for a home-based operation that has physically grown to the point of taking over your house (i.e., technology alone doesn't solve the problem), yet still isn't quite big enough (or stable enough) to justify a three-year lease on commercial space.
                • Re: Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?
                  djryan Newbie
                  We have a forensic services company where our clients have already retained us based on our reputation and not on our office space. Occasionally, we do get clients coming to the home office, but is only once every other month or so. I have worked for five (5) years in a home office in my basement. I have two (2) part timers who are family and friends. I am in need of a full time admin person and will hire someone who breaks the mold of family and friends. I can't ask someone to come to my basement to do admin, answer phones etc....who I don't know.

                  As a result, we are looking for office space and it is in my opinion the best time to be doing so. The rates are extremely low and the owners/building management are willing to negotiate. Since I don't have a lot of people coming to the office, I can look for class B space that works for us.

                  I am looking to "step up" and relocate to office space. I feel it is a natural progression for my business.

                  Thanks. This topic is being discussed at the right time for me.

                  Dennis Ryan
                  • Re: Should I lease office space or keep things decentralized?
                    Ribosi Newbie
                    If you're serious about growing your business, then yes.

                    Quite some time ago, I hit my max profit potential in the very same way. While I wasn't really concerned about walk in traffic either, the addition of the office space allowed me to not only hire counter techs, but field techs as well, which freed up my very most important commodity, my time, to grow my business further. On top of that, I started getting walk ins for things you just wouldn't expect - like complete call center IT restructuring projects.

                    At some point, you have to realize that you, yourself, won't be able to constantly go on computer repair calls. At some point you're going to want to retire. If your business is dependent on you, yourself, you're never going to be able to do that.