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5 Ways to Convert Your Garage Into a Home Office

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | 5 Ways to Convert Your Garage Into a Home Office

If you work from home or if run your own business, a garage conversion could be a great way to add a home office to your property, saving yourself the added expenses of rent or overhead.

Garages are enclosed spaces where cars or other items are stored, so they can be ideally repurposed for other uses. And because you are not actually building from scratch, you may not need to apply for planning permission, but you should confirm with your local council to be safe.

Below are some important tips to keep in mind when creating a home office out of your garage.

1. Clear the space

To create your dream office, clean and remove everything you currently have in the garage.

Find new storage options for bicycles, garden tools, car accessories, and Christmas decorations, or store them carefully in boxes that you can discreetly store elsewhere.

You should also thoroughly clean the garage before you do anything else. Make sure that there are no cobwebs or car lubricants left when setting up your new office space.

2. Be creative with lighting

When you change your garage space into a home office, you should be as creative as possible. Consider your garage a blank canvas to repurpose it as best as possible.

Garages are typically have the worst lighting, so make sure that your new home office is well lit.

I strongly recommend buying inexpensive lighting fixtures if your garage is not exposed to direct sunlight during business hours.

A creative way to add light into your office is to paint it with bright colours and/or use creative bright patterns. This alone gives the office a colourful and uplifting mood.

3. Make it comfortable and secure

As you are repurposing your garage into a home office, remember to make it as comfortable and as secure as possible. This means making it less susceptible to outside weather conditions. For example, you may want to replace the existing garage door with a modern insulated garage door, so that your office remains warm and cosy during cold months.

As an added advantage, a modern insulated garage door will provide extra security for your tools and equipment when you are not at the office. On the plus side, this type of door will be a strong deterrent to thieves.

Finally, you should also invest in a good heater and fan to be comfortable during all seasons.

4. Design your new space

Even though one of the reasons for repurposing a garage into a home office is to reduce the cost of overhead and rent, you still want your new office to be a great space to work in, and to reflect your personal taste.

Of course, you can simply invest in an ergonomic chair and desk, but why not take the opportunity to design a really nice home office?

Personalise your new workspace with a workstation, relaxation sofa, and an entertainment system. You can also add some practical details such as rugs, framed pictures, and throw pillows.

5. Setup and work

Make sure you have reliable and effective technologies that will make it easy to do your work.

Many households now have wireless networks, but often the wireless signal is weak or absent. To solve this problem, buy additional routers or wireless signal amplifiers to boost the network environment in your new home office.

If necessary, invest in higher-quality data storage, processing and printing technologies.

Furthermore, wire everything to keep cables clean and to have minimal interference.

Finally, converting your garage into a home office is both doable and easy. Try the tips in the article and see if you can put your garage to good use.

Ready To Work In Your Own Office?

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting Your Own Business|Ready To Work In Your Own Office?If you feel you’re ready for an office of your own, to take your home business or new business idea into, put a brake on the process for a moment. You need to stop and think a little more about what you’re getting into, and whether or not it makes sense for you and your career goals at this point in time.

So, why not take the questions listed below and apply them to your situation? It’s much better to be cautious when spending capital like this, rather than accept the risk and let things fall through much faster than you ever thought possible.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

The amount of time you’ve been in business is key to knowing whether you’re ready for your own office or not. If you’ve got a business that’s at least a year old, and better yet, you’ve been operating for at least 5 years, you’ll have an advantage over someone just starting out and trying to build their brand. You’ll already have done all of the necessary foundation work, and now you’re simply expanding to something bigger and better.

How Many Offices Are Around You?

The amount of offices in the same area as you is a good indicator of the kind of competition you’ll come up against. It’s one of the main reasons why businesses fail in the first year; if you’ve got an overwhelming amount of competition to try and beat out of the water, you won’t have the time or resources to focus on your customers. You’ll be constantly trying to innovate, and do better than the company just down the road, and who knows if you’ll be able to pull that off?

At the same time, you need to be sure there’s enough office space for you to move into as well. You need to look into private office rentals in your area, if you don’t have the capital to outright buy an office of your own (as many small businesses don’t).

Why Would You Need an Office?

And of course, ask yourself why you’d be in need of an office for the future. How many bullet points can you jot down on paper to answer this question? You’ll need at least 3 to ensure you’ve got a viable strategy to work off of in order to pay for your expansion; you may need an office to house more employees, which means you have more customers to service, which means you’re making more profit overall.

And do these kind of profits outweigh the costs of moving into a commercial space? If not, your expansion plans may need a bit of refining before you go any further.

Your own office is something you often dream of, of course. But you need to be sure you’re ready to take it on; you need to ensure that you’ve got the funds and the need behind you for such a space. Don’t rush your expansion process.

How To Run A Business From Home

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | How To Run A Business From Home | Home Business | Home OfficeRunning a business from home can be incredibly beneficial for those that want to set up a business alongside other priorities such as children and family, or if they would like to start up a business with limited funding. To find out whether your home is appropriate to run your business from, this article will guide you as to what you need to do to make your home suitable for a business.

Create a Better Business Space

The first thing that you need to do to run a business from home is to turn your home into a better space for business. Although homes make better places for working than offices due to the limitation of distractions and noise levels, you should ensure that your home is suitable to run a business from. For instance, you need to create an office or workshop space in your home that is separate from the main body of your house to limit the disruption to both you and your family and give you space to work and store equipment.

One of the ways that you can do this is to renovate an existing room, build an extension to your house, or look around for a bigger house that can match your needs. In order to make this financially viable, The Money Hub can help you to get the bad credit mortgage that you need through loans, whether you need to extend your mortgage for expansion or get a mortgage for a bigger house.

You should also make sure that your office is a welcoming and relaxing space. When renovating your home office, you should try to access as much natural light as possible to boost your mood, personalize the décor as much as possible to help you to stay engaged with your work and remain inspired, have enough storage to ensure that your workspace is not cluttered. You also need to make sure that you have an office chair and layout that can limit back pain and eye strain and allow you to keep working for longer periods without discomfort.

Invest in the Right Equipment

You also need to make sure that you equip your office with all the items that you need to succeed, such as the latest gadgets like laptops and printers that can help you to perform your work to the best of your ability. You should also invest in the software that you need. For instance, it is also important that you are able to establish reliable communication channels to allow your clients and any employees to contact you at all times. If you fail to get a secure WiFi connection or mobile signal, this can lead to your business losing trust with its customers. One of the best communication methods for small businesses at home includes Skype, which can allow you to video chat with contacts for business conferences and networking purposes, needing only an email address to do so.

Create a Timetable or Work Plan

It is difficult when running a business from home not to let your family and other commitments impact on your workload. Therefore, you should make sure that you are able to create a plan to help you to schedule your workday. Then you can prioritize your most important work and ensure that you are able to stay on track amid the chaos of a family home. There are many paper organizers, and even online software applications that you can download to keep you on track too.

4 Tips for Running a Home-Based Business from a Rented Apartment

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Home-Based Business|4 Tips for Running a Home-Based Business from a Rented ApartmentYou hear of home-based businesses all the time and, of course, you usually don’t think of them being run from a rented apartment. If you are honest, you think of a home that has a spare room in which to set up shop and perhaps even a nice area where you can meet and greet customers or clients if the need should arise.

Actually, a huge number of home-based businesses are run from rented apartments, but there are a few challenges that are a bit different than what you’d experience when running a business from a home you own. If you are considering going into business for yourself from home in an apartment, here are some tips you might otherwise overlook.

1. Check Zoning Codes in Your Area

Zoning codes are of vital importance if you are going to operate a business. To do it right, you’ll want to register it as a business, but some areas of the country are zoned for residential only. You’ll want to check this out before you take another step.

2. Talk to Your Landlord

If you can’t see anything in your lease that would prohibit you from running a home-based business, then it’s probably safe to assume that it should not be a problem. This just may be the case but if you are going to be seeing a lot of foot traffic, so it’s a good idea to get the property manager’s approval before advertising you are “Open for Business.”

3. Licenses and Insurance

This is something else many apartment dwellers don’t think of when running a business from home. You will want to get the appropriate business licenses and occupational permits if required in your city/county. Also, you should get the best renters insurance coverage you can find. When seeking a renters insurance quote, ask about the various kinds of coverage. For example, you’ll probably need liability if anyone is going to come to your ‘place of business’ and you’ll want contents insurance because of theft and loss due to natural disasters or fire. Obviously the amount of coverage you purchase will have an impact on renters insurance cost, but by comparing renters insurance online you will be able to find the most inclusive policy for the lowest amount of money.

4. Keep Work and Play Separate

Finally, even though you might be limited on space, always keep work areas and living areas separate if at all possible. Some people move their television and games systems to their bedroom and use the front room as their office space – or vice versa. It really isn’t quite that important how you do it, as long as you set aside an area to work so that when you are working you are in the right frame of mind.

It really isn’t that much different than setting up a home-based business in a family home, but the major differences will be that you have a landlord involved when you are renting. If you get permission to work from your apartment, it can be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

If You Want to Work From Home, These Things Will Help You

If you’re about to embark on a home working adventure, you need to be sure to think about the challenges you’ll face and how you’ll deal with them. It might seem like a great way to get away from your dour office and skip that morning commute, and that’s all great. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that working from home is all fun and games because that’s definitely not the case.

There are many of ways in which working from home can become unworkable for you if you fail to approach it correctly. We’re now going to delve into some of the things that will help you to get your home working experience right the first time.

Ergonomically Designed Office Furniture

The furniture that you use every day of the week in your home office is clearly going to have an impact on how you experience your. If you don’t feel at all comfortable when you’re working at home, you’ll feel annoyed and your work will ultimately suffer. That’s why you need good office furniture that has been ergonomically designed to fit the needs of your body each day.

A Dedicated Work Area

A home office is going to be essential because without a dedicated working area, you’ll really struggle to get your head down and focus on your work when you’re at home. That’s clearly a pretty big issue and it’s not something you can ignore. Your workspace should be apart from the rest of your home if possible. It’s not a good idea to just work on your laptop on the sofa or at the kitchen dining table. You’ll quickly realise why those arrangements are bad.

Strict Rules for Yourself

When you don’t have a boss looming over your shoulder and getting you do to all the things that need to be done, the task falls to you. Without proper structure, you’ll just get distracted and you’ll end up failing. That’s why you should set strict rules for yourself that you can follow each day. It’s entirely up to you to decide on those rules but it’s definitely worth giving some thought to.

Locks on Your Office Door

If you’re trying to work from home and you have a family to think about too, you’ll have to find a way of shutting them out and making sure that you don’t get distracted by them. Something as simple as putting a lock on your office door in order to shut people out while you work might not be such a bad idea. There tend to be more distractions for home workers than office workers, so bear that in mind.

Some Form of Financial Security

There are many ways to become financially secure, and that security will be really important if your home working is tied to a new freelance or sole trader career. This is the case for many people who work from home, but it can be risky and precarious if you’re not careful. You might want to save before starting on this path, or you could turn to investing. AlgoTerminal’s backtesting software can help you plan your investments and see good returns. It’s definitely an option to consider.

Time Away From the Home When Work is Done

When you spend your work time at home and you spend your spare time at home, your home can start to feel like a bit of a prison for you. Having time away from your home is definitely important so make sure you do try to get out of your house when your work is done and you have some spare time on your hands. Otherwise, you’ll get sick of the site of those four walls.

A Plan B

Working from home is one of those things that always seems like a great idea, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it works out that way. It’s certainly not an arrangement that works for everyone who tries it, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that it’s not right for you. If that’s the conclusion you arrive at, you need to have a plan B. So make sure you think about that now rather than leaving it until later.

Working from home can be really positive for you if you approach it in the right kind of way. Approach it incorrectly and it can quickly become a real nightmare for you, so make sure you think carefully about all the topics covered here. They might really help you make a success of your home working future.