Nearly every small business owner needs a workspace in their home. If you have a basement, you may already have the perfect spot to set up your own office. Basements tend to be quiet and underused, and a home office is a great way to take advantage of some extra home space. But before you start building your own home office, you’ll want to take care of these basic steps to ensure success:
Plan Your Renovations
Before you start knocking out walls, you should sit down and determine what your home office needs are and how much space you will need to work. Depending on your basement and your business needs, you may want to convert the entire space into just an office, or maybe you’d like to add some other rooms as well. If you are concerned at all with taking the home office tax deduction in the future, be careful with how you arrange your home workspace. Your home office needs to be clearly defined to pull off this tax break.
Find Some Funding Options
As you plan your home office, you may begin noticing costs adding up. You could use your savings to cover the costs of your home office build, but it may also surprise you to know that you can use a small business loan to cover the expenses of your new workspace, too. There are many options available, including short-term loans, where you are given the loan pretty quickly but must pay it back in a short amount of time. The maximum amount of short-term loans is about $500,000, and they have good interest rates.
Hire the Right Contractors
Because basements can house water heaters, wiring, structural beams and pipes, a major renovation is best left up to the pros. There are also a few other basement basics to consider. You may need to meet local codes, or electrical work may be needed. A contractor will be able to complete your project so that it is up to local code and doesn’t create hazards for your family. Getting a contractor who has experience overhauling basements is also the best way to make sure your home office and equipment are protected from excess moisture and other potential issues that can arise from DIY basement renovations.
Buy Quality Furnishings
When you are working from home, it’s essential to have a quality, comfortable space to work. If you need to sit for extended periods of time, look for an office chair with ergonomic support for your back. You should also select a desk that encourages proper alignment while typing, and preferably one that has enough storage to hold any paper or accessories you need for your small business. Lighting is another essential element of a home office. The right light can increase your productivity and help you stay focused. Pick up a few lamps so you can adjust your lighting needs throughout the workday.
Update Office Technology
Another way a small business loan will come in handy is helping you purchase the technology your small business needs. Having an efficient laptop and smartphone is pretty much essential for any business these days. Smartphones can be especially helpful, since you can store your calendar, contacts and tasks all in one place. You can even download productivity apps to keep you focused on your daily business goals. If you are selling to customers, you may also need to pick up a powerhouse printer to churn out shipping labels and other paperwork. Finally, do not forget to factor in high-speed internet in your basement.
If you have some extra room in your basement, you could have the perfect spot to meet your home workspace needs. Building an office or work area in your basement is a great use of this extra space, and can even add some value to your home. Just make sure you follow some home office and building basics to ensure that your renovations don’t end up causing you more stress.
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