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Location, Location, Location

10th Mar 2017
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We have started the move into a local office. Nothing too fancy. Two largish rooms enough for a meeting space, desks and storage. But rent is agreeable and the location is good, being 5 mins from home in the centre of our local market town and handy for parking. My wife had previously commandeered one of the bedrooms in the house, which has worked well at first, especially when the kids were pre-school. But recently it had begun to really encroach on our family life both physically and mentally. We will still offer client meetings at home in the evening as they seem to be popular, but it will be a blessing to convert the office back to a spare bedroom or even a hobby room. There had been some mutterings of the possibility of a third baby by my wife, reinvigorated when one of the teachers at the local primary on parent's evening this week begged us to have more children because "they are a joy to teach".  I'm not sure that's in the plan or budget....  

A couple of things I've noticed during the move. First is the abundance of good quality second-hand office furniture available at very reasonable prices. I've managed to kit out the entire office for the price of a couple of new desks we saw online. It involved a little bit of leg work around the local industrial estates and storage units, but it's been well worth it. The second is how easy it is to move office. We have a VOIP system so the telephones are unplugged and plugged back in at the new office.  Same with the server and IT. All our files in our paperless office are cloud based and synced between multiple physical and virtual machines, so we can work anywhere off or on-line. Simple.

So why have an office at all?  To me it's all about having a separate physical location that's dedicated to work and distinct from home.   A mental oasis. Yes, I will still work from home occasionally. But long-term for me, I'm not sure it's healthy or feasible.

Replies (7)

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FT
By FirstTab
10th Mar 2017 22:31

Thumbs up blog.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
11th Mar 2017 14:45

I agree with you and think you made the right choice.

I started off from home and lasted maybe 6 months before I changed. After 25 years off getting up and going to work I just struggled working from home and was not very productive. I also did not like the fact that clients would drop in "as they were passing" which I found quite intrusive.

Also I found it harder agreeing decent fees for work as a lot of people perceive that you should be cheap as you are working from home with minimal costs.

As a stop gap a client I was doing some work for allowed me an office to work from which was a good stepping stone and got me more productive, before I took the office I am in now.

Now that I have a decent office it has helped with website stuff now have a proper address and also clients you meet have a better impression of you and you look more professional. My client sign up improved massively nice I took up my current office.

Many AWEB posters have successfully built home based businesses but it's not for me. I have an office in my spare room where I might do a few hours here and there but that's it. I don't have any signage up as in a shared building but your location may also improve your sign up rate nice people know you are there.

Good luck it's good to read your blog.

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avatar
By Sj keates
16th Mar 2017 14:31

Finding the right office isn't easy, I'm looking at the moment and it is proving more difficult than I imagined.

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Replying to Sj keates:
Neophyte
By Neophyte
16th Mar 2017 17:31

I know that feeling. Ther's plenty in our nearest city including office shares and funky co-working spaces galore. However it's a 40 minute each way commute and not really the location we wanted for our day to day business. There really does seem to be a dearth of good quality, reasonably priced office space in provincial small towns.

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
16th Mar 2017 14:44

Office at home in converted barn - separate from the house.

Occasional use (3-4 times a month) of co-working office space in a local town - good for google and meeting clients.

No need for a proper office - never had any issues with being perceived as cheap. I have the separation of work/home and the benefits of being 'at home' if I'm needed.

In fact most clients have never been to my office and there are a few I've never met. With the increased use of cloud software/technology I can see the latter category increasing disproportionately.

My (p/time) staff do most of their work remotely with one half day a week in the office to catch up/review/plan/train.

Most of the time its just me and the dogs

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Replying to Kent accountant:
Neophyte
By Neophyte
16th Mar 2017 17:35

It's great that you've got a separate barn office to give that clear division of space between home and office. We considered building a garden office, but ultimately decided against it. I'm interested in perhaps taking a desk at one of the co-working spaces in out nearest city if it can provide enough new business \ marketing growth to warrant it, but that's a little way off at the moment.

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Replying to Neophyte:
Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
20th Mar 2017 23:12

£60 a month for a desk for me. Exposure to around 50 small businesses.

No other accountants there.

Its a slow burn but an excellent opportunity to pick up new clients.

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