Depending on what your small business provides, an office might be an unnecessary cost. The idea of legitimacy can be overcome with quality product – whatever your product is. Small business owners already have strapped budgets, as a rule. Do you offer something that can be created from your home, and delivered online?
If it is, here are some things to think about:
1. Tax Deductible
Yes, as long as you dedicate space solely for your business in your home, you can deduct this. Ask your CPA – they’ll say the same thing. Why send hard-won money out the door to a landlord when you can pocket a little extra on your next tax return?
If you work out of your house, you’re not contributing to rush hour pollution, and you are creating a lower carbon footprint. If you can possibly ditch your at-home printer and transact electronically, you’re saving energy, paper, toxic and expensive ink, and equipment. Consider chucking it. For a few projects, it may be worth popping down to a FedEx print center, but odds are it will still be much cheaper.
3. Your Valuable Time
Even if you have a 20 minute commute each way, and work five days a week, that is over 7 days’ time just sitting in the car. If you had an extra week to take time off, finish a project or just connect with your customers, would you do it?
The argument to have an office, that is, a place where employees are required to commute to, work in, meet in, and leave at roughly the same time to then choke traffic, that office, is waning. Sure there will be old school conservative folks who might clear their throats a little, but, if it’s all for show, and you have to jack up your rates to cover the overhead, I’m sure those same old timers won’t mind that your prices are more competitive. Suddenly meeting at a coffee shop sounds reasonable!
In today’s connected state, what is the office really for?
I’m convinced there are significant shifts in business, technology and communication. Everything seems to be up for reexamination, including the space many of us work from Monday through Friday. The truth is, the only office we need to go to every day already exists: your mind.
A new generation of leaders all seem to be saying the same things: Polish isn’t substance. Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Jason Fried and Seth Godin have similar views on technology approaches, communications, and even the office. You could save yourself a bundle and lose the good opinion of no one!