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Posted By: Jps1006 Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 03:42 AM
My next wish list item is to move the business out of the garage and basement (which works pretty well on a raised ranch) and into a shop. I'm a one man, one van show at the time but ultimately I want to grow. I've had employees in the past when in business with my brother. Since splitting I've had one long term employee who I got rid of a couple years ago, and lost money.

But I feel so hindered working out of my garage. right now I have the whole thing to the business except for some toddler toys, bike, and whatever left over mess from the last home improvement project. Also having the office at home kills productivity if mama and the kids are home.

I imagine increased productivity and efficiency would offset the increased expense, but I don't know if that is just imagination. The one thing I long for most is to have enough shelf space that parts piles for specific jobs can get set off to the side without getting picked through before it is time to go back. Also I'd like to sort the parts I do have. Then alot of my over buying that, and under buying this would also get under control. As it is now, I'm too unorganized to hire again.

Am I being realistic? Anyone else have any input who has made the leap? Am I thinking about doing this in the right order, or should I hire first?
Posted By: Joey D Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 12:21 PM
Sounds like you need to organize 1st. How big of a garage do you work out of? Can the office move out there? I think you need to make it work as the overhead for an office with storage for your stock would cost far more than doing this. Mazimize what you have then when you move into the bigger shop as you grow you will have a good system of operating to use
Posted By: Edward Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 05:26 PM
I thought about renting a garge,office or other rooms besides the home office,but i have to pay extra rent.
What i did and am going to do once i move into my new house is dedicate one room or the garage to my business only.and only to my business. Make it into an office enviorment. Do not allow any toys,pots,pans, T.V remote, clothing anything that is related to the business get into that office.

And if you need help hire a proffesional organizer.

Good luck and keep that extra $500-$1000 rental money to yourself. Be organized and use part of your house as your office.

Posted By: George Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 06:39 PM
Rent and utilities are a big part of a "real" office.

If you can work out of your garage, you save a lot of money. You might want to rent some small (5'x10') storage space for inventory.

You should see your tax advisor.
Posted By: MONOLITH Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 06:51 PM
Jps1006, don't you get to deduct a portion of your home rent/mortgage as a business expense, since you have a room dedicated as an 'office'?

As a one man shop, it would seem that the cost benefits of working out of the home would outweigh the expenses of supporting a seperate office infrastructure.

I agree with Joey D.; First learning to organize and make the most out of where you are would be the best move.

I wouldnt make the leap to supporting a seperate office until the demands of a secretary and employees etc required it.

Just my thoughts. No real useful advice is actually intended or implied. [Linked Image]
Posted By: Active 1 Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 07:03 PM
I too would like to get my business stuff out of the garage. But I do like having the office at home. I don't have to drive anywhere to do paper work. With extra tools and supplies in the garage it saves me an extra trip to pick up or drop off something. Maybe in the fucture I'll build a storage shed in the back yard for the big ladders, pipe, tools, and supplies. I can't see spending the money for a shop right now. Then I would have more utilities to pay. My house is more secure then a rental shop because someone is almost always around.

The only people that come to my office work for me or want to sell me something. I don't see haveing a shop as increasing any sales. I had a few customers ask if I had a showroom. Even if you had an office with lighting, device, and other desplays I can't see it even paying for the desplays. I seen maybe 2 places around here that have an old store front on a busy street. I wonder what they get as far as walk in traffic. I knew at least one place that would list there shop and home as 2 different locations in 2 towns to get more phone book listings.

Posted By: MONOLITH Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 07:07 PM
"I knew at least one place that would list there shop and home as 2 different locations in 2 towns to get more phone book listings."

I was recently associated with a company that placed full page ads in phone books from 5 different neighboring counties. Each one said "serving your area", but gave no specific company address. With the line "30 minute emergency service", everyone assumes they are 'local'.

The advertising cost is staggering to most, but they get a large volume of calls and it's how they survived.
Posted By: Dave55 Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 10:23 PM
I've been doing business out of my home for twenty years now. I have my office in a bedroom, and a one car garage. I have many shelves and a workbench in the garage. Consider having minimal stock on hand and ordering materials for the contracts you get. Having extremely low overhead is great during the slow times, and when it's busy the money goes in your pocket, not the overhead.

I haven't advertised in years, but I felt I needed to in the beginning to build a customer base. As in any business, treat your customers right and they'll tell their friends.

Posted By: Dave55 Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/11/04 10:24 PM
By the way, from your first post....Did you lose money when you had a guy, or because you got rid of him???

Posted By: Jps1006 Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/12/04 04:02 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I was losing money with the employee so I got rid of him. My biggest mistake was keeping him busy 40 hrs even if it wasn't productive. Also, I should have had another truck for him to work out of, that would have helped.

For the tax deduction, it works out great. The whole lower level of the house is the business. It might sound hard to believe, but if you saw the house you'd understand. The garage is 2-car.

I kind of need the other half of my house back. Girl # 2 arrived last month, and it won't be long until I wish my office was a playroom.

I value the responses so far, but I'd be curious to hear from someone who once had the shop at home, and then moved it. What were you're curcumstances and how did you know it was time?

Thanks guys
Posted By: Fred Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/12/04 06:26 PM
I had my ofice in the house for years until last fall. My wife went back to college full-time and needed her own study room. I have a 24x36 unattached, unheated garage so I did some re-arranging out there and built a 10x12 free-standing room. I insulated it, put plywood on the outside, drywall on the inside, wired it for bb heat, lights, plenty of receptacles, phone lines and cable and put a window in it for an A/C unit. I jacked it up and set it on 1' pieces of 3/4" conduit and rolled it into the corner and set it down. Painted the floor w/epoxy inside the office and hooked up my wiring. It's not real spacious but there's plenty of room for my computer desk, bookshelf, print rack, drafting table and filing cabinets. I plan to build a 40x90 building in the next year or 2 so I didn't want to do anything too permanent in the garage. I love it out here! I can work late on bookwork with out bothering the wife & kids. I can also practice my trombone and no one can hear me. If I had a microwave and fridge out here I'd be set.
Posted By: Electric Eagle Re: Moving business out of house? - 09/12/04 07:16 PM
I had my office at home until a few years ago. I only moved it out when I had 3 employees and 2 vans on top of my truck. The main reason I moved out was the 2 vans. My house was getting too much traffic for a residential subdivision and I was parking too many vehicles in my driveway. If I was still working alone or with 1 helper I would still be in the house.

As far as organization goes, if you are busy with actual work 8-12 hours a day, you won't be able to stay perfectly organized without help. We didn't get organized well until I hired a guy to answer the phone, order materials, keep inventory straight and help organize jobs.

If you do move the office, I suggest you move it to somewhere very close to home (2-4 miles). Otherwise, once the novelty wears off, you will find it hard to make yourself go there when you need to do paper work and "stuff".
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