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Shared Offices / small business advice / Virtual Office

When does a home-based business need a location?

If you have to work for 80 hours a week just to keep your business afloat, then you are not profitable. Some entrepreneurs blow through the earliest stages of their company’s growth by putting all their energy and time into their businesses at the expense of their own health and personal relationships. Part of the reason for this is that they are working from home – and the line between home time and work time often becomes blurred.

The fact remains that two out of three companies begin in a spare bedroom, garage, basement or sometimes even a bathroom (we did not ask about this one when we were told about it). Sometimes the choice of operating your business from home is taken away from you by zoning bylaws. Many cities and many counties have zoning ordinances that limit, to one degree or another, whether you can operate a business from home. This is why you need to do your ‘homework’ so to speak, before you start your business from home.

So when does a home-based business need a location? From the very beginning of the business! Regardless of what type of business you start, you need to register it. Having a business address will give you some flexibility if the address is not your home address. This is especially true if you plan to move a few months, or perhaps even years, after starting out. A virtual-office mail service can give you a professional business address that remains constant, even when you want to stop working from your home. Having your business registered at an address that is professional, will not only help your image, it can also help you with establishing and maintaining an address on your Google My Business account.

Office business centres that offer virtual office solutions can be a great place to give you an address to register your business. But these centres can also be a great place to grow your business. When it comes time for your business to take actual physical office space, you can move into an office at the same business centre you currently use as your business address – without having to change that address.

As your business grows and you need more office space, a business centre can help to accommodate your growing needs by offering more space within the same facility. Even if your organization outgrows what the business centre can offer, you can still have the continuity of the same business address without needing physical office space at that location. Telsec Business Centres has several clients that started off as home-based businesses utilizing the virtual-office package, and grew into office space at Telsec, only to find they needed their own office space. Instead of changing their address or phone numbers, they kept their address at 1 Yonge Street (again utilizing virtual office services) and moved their physical offices and staff to a non-downtown facility. All their mail and telephone reception is still handled at Telsec and forwarded to their new location.

Let us show you an example of a home-based business that needed a location:

Dave (not his real name) had a somewhat successful home-based business in the import industry that did not require him to handle physical products, as they were drop-shipped to his customers. One day while trying to acquire the exclusive Canadian rights to distribute a certain product, the product manufacturer would not acknowledge him because he was not a federally registered business entity. In order to get a federal business license, Dave would need a business address.

While visiting a friend at their business (located within Telsec), Dave found out that he could register his business at 1 Yonge street by signing up for virtual-office mail service. He signed up for a virtual-office solution and then registered his business at his new business address.

Fast forward a few years. Today, Dave not only acquired the Canadian rights to many products, but his staff increased and he needed office space that was not in his home and took additional office space at Telsec. As his sales and distribution staff grew, he realized that he needed a site that would accommodate an office and a small warehouse. Not wanting to change his address or phone numbers, Dave went back to being a virtual-office client at Telsec and kept his head office address at 1 Yonge Street.

Dave is only one example of how a home-based business that needed a location worked. There are other similar situations. Take Rita (again not her real name) for example. She was running a small business tax consulting service from her home. For self security and meeting clients in a professional environment, she came to Telsec for shared offices that also gave her access to meeting rooms in a downtown location. This allowed her to do most of her work out of her home office, but also gave her a location to expand her client base.

If you are running a home-based business, consider growing your business at a professional office business centre like Telsec. Even if you are not located in Toronto, our staff are more than willing to help you find a business centre close to where you are.

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