Starting your own business can be a challenging yet exhilarating experience, but for many people, taking that first step is the hardest.
Once you have decided that you are cut out for a life of entrepreneurship, the next step is to consider your starting point. While it is okay to invest a lot of money in big spaces and an impressive office environment, remember that most of the successful businesses you know today started from humble beginnings. In fact, notable names like Apple, Google, and Amazon, all big businesses today started in a garage, so if you don’t have the finances to pay for a big office space yet, you can always borrow a leaf from their books and start off your business from the comfort of your garage.
But before you start clearing out all the old stuff from your garage, first read this essential guide on starting a business from your garage.
Choose the Right Business
First of all, it is not every business that can be operated successfully from a garage. For example, you will lose credibility as a lawyer if clients come to meet you for legal advice and find you running your practice from inside your garage. The same thing applies to an accountant, doctor, and dentist.
Therefore, if you intend to start your business in your garage, you should be in a line of business where operating out of a garage will not look weird. Some of the businesses that fit this location include computer and phone repair, graphics design, virtual assistant, social media management, and an online retail outlet.
If you are unsure of how people will receive your new business, talk with friends and family members about your intention to run your company from your garage and see how they will accept the concept.
Confirm the Local Laws
Every city and locality have laws that govern how people do business in that area, therefore, you want to make sure that you are not doing anything that runs afoul of the local laws by running a business from your garage.
These laws, known as zoning ordinances in some cities define the type of property you can run a business from and the building regulations you should meet before starting any business activity in the property.
Before starting a business, you should first be familiar with the zoning ordinances in your area, and you can get the information you need by visiting the local council or municipal office in your locality.
Understand the Risks Involved
Running a business from your garage means that a lot of people, most of them strangers will be coming into your property to do business with you. This opens you up to a lot of risks. For example, should someone get hurt on your property, you may be at the wrong end of a personal injury lawsuit, costing you money that should be used to grow your business. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people also take advantage of this system and prey on small businesses, injuring themselves intentionally and suing the business to cover injuries and lost income.
Therefore, if you intend to run a business from your garage, you should know that your normal homeowner’s insurance will not cover your business and that you need separate and relevant insurances to run a business from your home.
Be Serious About Security
Another danger is the risk of break-ins. People who come during the day as customers may be there to scope the layout of your garage, so that they can come at night to burglarise not just your business but your home.
It is therefore important that you take extra steps to secure your home-based business, such as by reinforcing your garage door and installing a security system. Find a garage door service around and do this before setting up your garage business so that you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is safe from intruders.
Be Clean and Organized
Now that you have gotten the legal and security aspect of running a business out of the way, it is now time to prepare your new office for customers.
Even if your office is located inside your garage, it should not be the typical oil-stained, grease-filled garage. No one will want to do business in an environment that does not look at least a little bit business-like; therefore putting your garage in shape is a vital part of your business process.
Your garage should be clean, presentable and even comfortable, and if this means investing in a professional cleaning service, so be it. A good and clean business environment is vital to the reputation of your new business.
Prepare for Long Hours
Every business owner will tell you that one of the main characteristics of running a business is the lack of personal time. While you should definitely find a way to strike the right work-personal life balance, the truth is that you will likely spend a lot of your time growing your new business.
In fact, whether you are running a business from your garage or a highrise business complex, be prepared to spend long hours nurturing your start-up to success.
garage shelves -DepositPhotos