Home Is Where The Home Is

Here’s a story for all the members of the Free Agent Nation among us.

NYT: Millions of Americans operate businesses out of their homes, but the successful ones usually have to move out at some point because they run out of room. As their ranks grow – the number of self-employed people grew to seven million last year from six million in 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – so does the number of them who are abandoning attics, basements and extra bedrooms for offices, warehouses and even factories.
Not surprisingly, lack of space was the main reason that home-based entrepreneurs gave in Small Business Digest’s survey for seeking larger quarters, but several other factors also came into play. For example, 28 percent of those questioned cited the “confusion and noise” in their homes, 26 percent lamented the intrusion on their privacy, 19 percent said they wanted to end conflicts between their business and personal lives, 14 percent mentioned the endless coming and going of delivery trucks and 9 percent invoked their neighbors’ unhappiness at all the activity their businesses generated.
Joan Casey moved her firm, Educational Advocates, out of her home last November and projects sales of $40,000 this year, a 33 percent increase from the $30,000 she took in during the last year she was home. And for 2006, she expects revenue to hit $50,000. She made the transition cautiously, she says, subleasing an office for a few hours a week before renting her own. The office, complete with waiting room, has given her business credibility, she says. “I find that people take you more seriously when you have an office because it isn’t just some mother working out of her house,” she said. “I don’t agree with that, but that’s how it’s perceived.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.