When Your Small Business Is Also Your Home
By Amy Collett
Congratulations and thank you, small business owner. You are the force that keeps our country’s economy, and by extension, its very well-being, strong. Yours is one of 32 million small businesses in the U.S. and you account for over 65% of job growth. Small businesses generate a whopping 44% of economic activity in America. You are the very backbone of the U.S. economy, the largest on earth.
The real estate professionals of The Shinabarger Team at HomeSmart Elite Brokerage value your hard work, ingenuity, and resourcefulness, and so they bring you these thoughts on how to make your home office inviting, practical, and safe for your most important asset, you.
If you operate your small business from home, chances are your clients, vendors, and associates will need to meet with you in your home office. Here are some things you’ll want to make sure you have in place to make those visits safe, comfortable, and productive.
- Make your business a clean and healthy environment by leaving windows open when possible, having hand sanitizer available, and cleaning all the surfaces your visitor comes in contact with using disposable disinfectant wipes before and after each visit. Call a local HVAC professional to install UV filters to add an extra layer of protection, killing both bacteria and pollutants.
- Keep the floor clear of hazards. Tack down area rugs using things like no-slip pads or even velcro. Office electronics can create a nest of cords and wires and, besides being unsightly, can become tripping hazards. Hide them away in things like an under-desk basket and secure them with zip ties. Having them out of sight makes your office safer and more aesthetically pleasing.
- You’ll want to have your office as separate from your living space as possible. Installing a door with access to the outside can keep clients from feeling as though they’re intruding on your family. But if that’s not possible, try to place your office as close to an outside doorway as is possible. And make sure that entry is inviting by having a professional landscaper who will also know how to make it safer and more accessible by eliminating hazards like places where standing water can pool.
- When decorating your office, a small number of plants can combine comfort with elegance. Take care that the plants are healthy and do not show brown or drooping leaves that indicate neglect, which sends a negative message about you and your attention to detail.
- Display your products and/or marketing materials in an organized and visually pleasing way for both your in-house and video conferencing guests. Ensure your product labels suit your own taste and reflect your vision and brand. Take advantage of free software that gives you all the options you need with templates and easily navigable tools. With a label maker, you can make branding your business with custom labels something you can do from the comfort of your own office.
- Use natural lighting whenever possible, not just for your guests but for yourself. Natural lighting is better than artificial in appearance and is the ideal light source for our eyes, lessening eye strain and headache. If window light isn’t possible because your office is in a basement, you can replace your standard or LED bulbs with daylight bulbs that mimic the kind of light you get from the sun. This can make a huge difference in the lighting inside your business or office.
- When possible, take advantage of software that allows you to do your own tasks like invoicing and collections. You avoid the extra cost of outsourcing those.
- If you’ve outgrown your home office or find that access isn’t as easy for clients as you’d like it to be, speak to The Shinabarger Team about options. They’re the first to know when properties come on the market, and discussing with them your financial and location concerns can help you make the best decision when you’re ready to make a move.
You, small business owners, create jobs, invest in your communities, and add flavor and richness to your neighborhoods, making them unique and attractive to investors and those wishing to make your community their own. We wish you all well because your success is our success. And finally, thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do every day to make living in our towns that much nicer.