Amanda Gome

Amanda Gome

Wednesday, 06 October 2010 14:52

I have been running my business from my spare bedroom. When should I leave it for an office?

I have been running my business from my spare bedroom. When should I leave it for an office?

 

This depends what your long-term goals are. I wanted to build a fast growing business, I wanted to hire staff from the beginning and I also competed with very large established businesses (Fairfax and News) with my clients being large advertisers. So I wanted to start in an office from day one.

 

The office could not be described as fancy. It was in a housing commission next to a methadone clinic and was a converted old factory with no air conditioning. We used to hold board meetings in the “board yard”, a tiny garden out the back because we could all fit around the garden table.

 

But it was an office and I could hire staff. I also discovered that clients enjoyed coming to our start-up hovel.

 

It had other benefits. I was sharing it with another online publication (not a competitor) which was great as we could share costs, swap information and eventually share staff.

 

This was four years ago and these days you could probably stay home longer as you can use serviced offices to meet with clients, suppliers and train staff. But I still recommend getting into an office as early as possible if you want to employ staff and grow the business. Yes it costs more but then it is like a mortgage. You work harder and you earn more to pay for it.

 

If you are running your business as a hobby or a sole trader, and you don't intend to hire full-time staff, then home business can be a great solution.

Amanda Gome is the CEO of online media company Private Media, which owns SmartCompany, StartupSmart, Crikey, The Power Index. Property Observer and Women's Agenda. She is also an adjunct professor of business at RMIT University.

 

Ask Amanda or any other StartupSmart mentor a question here.


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