Many small businesses start at home or in a shared office incubator. Even some big names you know now started this way such as Microsoft (started in Bill Gates’ father’s garage) and Facebook (started in a dorm room). In the early stages for a business startup this makes sense to keep costs to the bare minimum while testing the waters and building up sales. Operating a business from your home offers flexibility with your work schedule and also keeps costs down so that you don’t incur too much debt when your revenue is low. As a result, a home office offers a lot of convenience in the early stages.

As your business grows and acquires more clients, you will be facing new issues that a professional office space or dedicated retail space can provide. Of course this means you will be taking on the additional expense of an office space in Ottawa, however your business can become much more streamlined and organized while providing the opportunity to increase your revenue at a faster pace than if you continue to operate out of your home base. A professional office can land you bigger deals from clients with deeper pockets that are seeking to build a relationship with a company that has solid roots and stability with a professional image. This is a major advantage of an office space in Ottawa as your clients will now have a professional place to meet with you to conduct business and prospective leads will be more easily swayed in their decision making to choose your company because of the professional image and the peace-of-mind that your business is here to stay rather than some fly-by-night operation running out of a home that could disappear tomorrow.

Another very important aspect of renting an office space is that you will have a central hub for your employees. While you may be a single person operation at the moment or only have 2-3 people working under you but from remote locations, the need will arise to have a central hub where you and your team can get things done. Your team work will improve from the face-to-face interactions and discussions and you will be able to have as a team working together. Additionally, remote staff can seem a bit “sketchy” to some clients and partners and when it comes to choosing your business over your competitors, your customers may opt for those that have on-site staff because it projects an image of stability and permanence.

Another issue you will face with a home office is distractions. You may have a dedicated space in your home to run your business but even then there will surely be home-related distractions that popup frequently and it can become challenging for you and your family to separate work time from non-work time.

So the big question is, how do you know when it is the right time to get a office space in Ottawa?

Well, there is no clear cut answer to this as it depends on the individual business, industry, ability to scale and of course your faith in the business. On the plus side, there are many different options and nothing says you have to start off in the most elaborate top floor office with thousands of square feet. You can always upgrade your office space and scale your space with your business and the growth you experience. It’s far better off to scale up rather than bite off more than you can chew and have to fold up shop because you over-extended yourself. There are many affordable office spaces in Ottawa and we have dedicated commercial & retail office space reps that can help you find the perfect office space for your business.

It’s important to not get comfortable for too long in your home office if it has the potential to slow your growth and cause you to lose or not land new clients. Every month or so you should be evaluating your business and the potential for growth to see if it is time to make the leap out of your home office and into a much more professional and respectable office for your business in Ottawa.