If you’re running a business out of your home, you need a workspace. Even if it’s not a traditional home office, you need an area where you can work at maximum productivity while also maintaining a healthy balance between your work and home life. Creating a workspace that meets your daily needs is critical if you want your home business to continue growing.
For some entrepreneurs, creating the ideal workspace is as easy as setting up a desk in the corner of the living room. Others require more extensive labor like renovating. If your type of business puts you in the latter category, then the advice below will help you navigate the challenges of making renovations for your home workspace.
Select a Business Structure
First things first: It’s a best practice to choose a business structure before you get too deep into home renovations. As a COVID-preneur, you could benefit from establishing an LLC, which will provide you with tax benefits, liability protection, and much more. By using an online formation service, you can ensure your LLC is set up correctly, and it’s cheaper than hiring a lawyer. One company that provides these services is Zenbusiness.
Choose the Prime Spot
So, we’ve established that you need more than a corner in the living room for your business. Now, it’s time to decide exactly where your workspace will be located within your home. If you complete most of your daily tasks with minimal equipment needed, such as a computer, then you might be able to get away with setting up shop in a spare bedroom, basement, or garage. Also, consider whether or not you can use a separate area of the home for inventory and other storage needs.
If your workspace will be in the basement, garage, or attic, you should prepare for some moderate to extensive renovations. If none of those spaces are options, you might need to invest in a home addition or an outside structure. Those options won’t be cheap, but if it helps your business reach its potential, it can be well worth the investment.
Whatever area you choose for your workspace, make sure it is separate from the primary living areas of your home and that it minimizes everyday distractions. Also, if you will be having clients over, choose a location with easy access to an outside door.
If renovations will be necessary, then be sure to prepare accordingly and hire qualified contractors. And before you begin loading in your equipment and decorating your workspace, create a detailed floor plan, either by yourself or with a designer (more about that below).
Strategize Your Workspace
Planning out your workspace will take time. But it can save you time in the long run, help you avoid expensive mistakes, and ensure that you create a workspace that provides everything you need. If you conclude that renovations are unnecessary (or once renovations are complete), be sure to schedule time to clean the space from top to bottom. Plan on painting wherever is needed and measure the room. Then, draw a floor plan of the room that includes:
- Electrical outlets
- Phone jacks
- Cable outlets
Consider Hiring a Designer
Designing a home workspace is a lot of work, especially if renovations are involved. While it requires an upfront investment, hiring an interior designer could ultimately save you money. A capable designer with experience in home offices will be able to help you create the ideal workspace, and you’ll have access to their trade discounts and contacts.
If you’ll be producing products, operating a private practice, or simply need a lot of space for storage, then you may need to do some renovations. Prepare yourself for the process. Renovations can be messy and loud, and they can disrupt both your work and home life. They can also take a significant amount of time, and given the costs of materials and skilled contractors, renovations tend to be costly.
Nonetheless, if renovations are necessary, they’re necessary. For a project that is relatively simple and for which you have the skills, tools, and time, consider taking it on yourself. If the renovations will be extensive, or if you simply have no experience or equipment, you’ll want to find the best contractor around to handle your project.
Did you find this article to be helpful and interesting? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!
This guest post was graciously provided by Lisa Walker, who blogs about the joys of homeownership at https://www.neighborhoodsprout.org/. As noted on Neighborhood Sprout, Lisa and her husband Jake “each grew up like nomads, moving frequently and never staying long enough in one place to feel like home was really home or that we were established members of our neighborhoods or communities. It’s the goal of both Jake and I to not only maintain a beautiful home for our growing family (we have two boys), but also to help beautify our neighborhood and support everyone who’s a part of it.”