Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When Should I Move From My Home Office to a Commercial Space?

When Should I Move From My Home Office to a Commercial Space?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
This blog post is geared towards small businesses that are unsure as to whether they are ready to move from their home office space into a commercial space. 

Our company offers office spaces as small as 600 square feet and warehouse spaces as small as 1,500 square feet.

Because of this, we often talk with prospects who currently work out of their homes.  More often than not, these prospects have a difficult time deciding whether they are actually ready to move into a commercial office space or warehouse space.

This clouds their judgment and prevents prospects from asking the right questions (like "What Should for When I Tour an Office Space for Rent").

This post should help businesses make a firm decision as to whether they are ready to pull the trigger and move into a commercial office space or warehouse space.

As a landlord of office and warehouse space, we obviously have every incentive to persuade you to get out of your home office ASAP.

However, we tell all of our tenants that if a deal is not right for them in the long term, it is not right for us in the short term.

We’d rather pass on a prospect who will move right back to their home office after the initial lease term because we might have leased that same space to a long term tenant.

So, with that in mind, you will need to consider the following:

Type of Business

First of all, we cannot stress enough that your decision will depend greatly on the type of business you are running.

Take a look at your target market and customer.  If you have a product that is designed for retail that cannot be accomplished solely online, you should get out of your home office, like right now (as in stop reading this post and search for available retail space).

If you are a consultant who always travels to the client and will never have a need for a large staff, you can probably stay in your home office indefinitely.

Once your business is starting to grow and you are taking on employees, you are getting into that gray area in which case…keep reading.

Space Constraints

Home Offices

Home offices tend to be cramped.

You’ve taken a space that wasn’t designed to be a commercial office, and you’ve converted that space to make it such.

This works for a startup and is a great way to explore whether your business plan will work and to test your local market.

But you will eventually want more space because a cramped workspace can (and will) hinder your productivity.  Once you talk more about your limited space and less about your business, it’s time to move out.

Home Warehouses

Home warehouses are typically sheds/garages.

You are storing household items alongside your commercial inventory.

As you grow, you will run out of space.

You might be able to use mini-storage unit(s) as an alternative to a commercial warehouse space.  In time though, you will want everything under one roof, including office and storage.  Once you get there, it’s time to move into a commercial space.


It takes dedication to work out of a home office.

You have all the comforts of home (literally) combined with a home office.

You have countless distractions, some that cannot be avoided (like if your doorbell rings) and some that can be avoided (like wanting to see highlights of last night's game on ESPN).

Either way, some people are just not wired to work out of a home office.

Be honest with yourself.  If you can’t handle the distractions, convert your home office back to the bedroom or sitting room that it was and move into a commercial space.


Having an address at a commercial location legitimizes your business.

If you think people aren’t Googling your office’s address to see where you are located, you’re fooling yourself.

A commercial office or warehouse also tells your customers that your business has stability.

Plus, there’s nothing worse than making a phone call to a client or prospective client and your baby starts yelling in the background or your dog starts barking uncontrollably (has happened several times when a prospect calls our office).

And a commercial space will tell your clients that you are here to stay because you have spent the time and resources to open a commercial location.  And speaking of spending resources…


Okay, so we know this is the largest factor.  But it’s definitely not the only factor.

If you work out of your home office, you might be able to expense some items (like phone and internet) that could end up saving you some money that you’d be paying for anyways in your house.

You’re also saving on the rental fees that you’ll have to pay a landlord.  You might even save on some items that you never dreamed of paying (pro-rata share of landscaping services).

However, your move into a commercial office or warehouse might make your business even more profitable (cha-ching!).

If you stock inventory, you will have more merchandise to sell (and receive bulk discounts when you purchase), and if you sell products or services, you will have greater visibility to the public. 

Even if you don’t think it’s time to move into a commercial office, you should still check prices in your local market on an annual basis (at a minimum).  Prices fluctuate from year to year and you might find a landlord who is looking to lease a space at whatever price is necessary (particularly in a down market).


There are several benefits (too many to include in this post) to working out of a commercial office or warehouse.

However, your business must be ready.  Your business has to grow at its natural pace.

Moving into a commercial space is not going to magically increase your revenues, and you don’t want to bankrupt your business by leasing a commercial space too quickly.

Whether this means having revenues above X dollars, a customer base of at least X people or a geographic reach of X miles is for you to determine.

We hope this list provides you with some factors other than the bottom dollar to consider.

Please feel free to leave comments.  We promise to read them all.  You can also email us with any questions/comments at  As a reminder, we provide office space for rent and warehouse space for rent in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Please keep us in mind if you are looking for a space in our area.  If you want more information about our available office space or warehouse space, visit our website at or give us a call at (228) 575-7731.