Making the move: Growing your Ontario home-based business
For many first-time business owners, starting a business at home is an affordable and simple way to get a business idea off the ground. But when your business is growing, you might wonder if it's time to move to a commercial location. Changes in inventory, staffing needs, or a rise in customer demand can mean that your business has outgrown its home-based operation.
Growing your business can be expensive and requires planning, but don't let that discourage you. In Ontario, Business Advisory Services can help you with your business growth plans. There are also advantages to a commercial space like increased visibility and production capacity that can take your business to the next level. Before you hire the movers, you may want to think about what switching to a commercial location will mean for your business. Ask yourself:
Do I have enough money to move to a commercial location?
A commercial space could mean new expenses that you didn't have when you were operating at home. This can include additional rent and utilities, and furniture or fixtures; in addition, you can no longer claim tax deductions for working from home. Before you move to a commercial space, consider whether your business can cover the expenses.
Do I need more space for inventory or equipment?
As your business grows, new product lines or increasing inventory can quickly take over your home business space. Depending on your business, you may need to upgrade to industrial-size equipment for manufacturing, increase your storage capacity or obtain warehouse space.
Do I want to hire employees?
If you're finding it hard to meet customer demand, you may be thinking about hiring employees. Depending on your industry and location, there may be restrictions on hiring employees to work from your home. You can learn about your obligations as an employer by contacting your municipal licensing office and visiting the Ontario Ministry of Labour website.
To learn more about expanding your business, check out the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade's Your Guide to Small Business. You may also be interested in our blog posts Time to leave home? Moving your business OUT of the house and Financing your growing business.