Take some time to figure out when the time is right
Ever since I went full time with my mobile disc jockey service and Internet business around 10 years ago, I had promoted the fact that I ran a successful profitable home-based business. However, with the expansion of the disc jockey service, the purchase of Mobile Beat Magazine and trade shows, and other business developments, I decided earlier last year that it was time to make the move out of the home office into a separate, dedicated structure.
BC Productions and ProDJ Publishing ran for two years with six full-time employees out of the houses of my employees and out of the 2-1/2 car garages and basement of my home. Over the past 2-3 years, I had been doing casual research as to what we needed and what I could afford. At one point I had even looked into building our own building with 4-5,000 square feet and more, but I’m thrilled that I didn’t do that (more on that later).
Reasons to Move Out
Over time I identified a number of key factors that pointed toward the need to have a physically separate business location:
The need to separate your business life from your personal life. Even though you are an entrepreneur and never completely separate from your business, or have a normal 8-5 business day (especially as a DJ!), you need to have some points where you can be away from things. For the last 10 years having employees coming by my home to get gear, loading their equipment back in at 2 AM in the nice residential neighborhood I live in was starting to stress things out pretty heavily.
The need for professional office space. Immediately upon getting a commercial style office, we made a change from visiting with clients at their homes or the local diner-type chain restaurant, to the professional atmosphere of a professional office. We have plans, when we get a full building of our own, to take this even further into what I have seen some of my friends in larger markets doing, which involves setting up a demo room with a complete wedding-type atmosphere.
Taking it to the next level. Our company has always been at the forefront of the local market, mainly due to the influence of the overall industry that we have gotten involved with so heavily since ProDJ.Com was created back in 1995. We are making the move into other areas of our business that require people to be able to pickup and drop off things to a commercial location.
How to Make Your Move
To put it succinctly, take your time and do thorough research. When all the indicators are in place, be ready to jump. There are a ton of commercial locations that are available for you to lease. A commercial real estate agent told me that at any one time 10% to as much as 15% of commercial space is available and that they always seem to be adding more. I was able to find a simple lease that costs me under 75 cents per square foot of space. Remember also that costs such as garbage collection, additional data and telephone lines, another heating/cooling bill will also need to be figured into the plans.
Decorating is another important item in your budget. We spent an additional $8-10,000 on racks/shelves, desks, plants, flat panel TVs and more to get the place working and feeling just right. In our case, a great thing was that our office was already finished off very nicely by an interior decorator that had the space in the recent past.
The Next Step
Plans for the next BC Productions offices have already been formulated and we continue to refine them based on the learning experience we are getting with leasing our current office space. They include:
Small bedroom with bathroom including a full shower. We have found that when some employees are working late and then having to leave in the morning for other events, it would be helpful to have a better area for them to sleep and for them to clean up in the morning.
Proximity between office space and warehouse space. At our location we are at two ends of the main building with our office on one end and the warehouse at the other end. Two other suites are filling the in between slots. We intend to eliminate the need to go outside to access the other section.
Demo room. As mentioned above, this will be for showcasing our style and the equipment for potential lighting or other upgrades. We plan on having a lot of things set up so people can exactly picture their event and how everything flows. With options like uplighting, additional speakers, ceremony setups, and more, we plan on using this as a showcase and selling area.
Larger kitchen and “chill” space. Right now we use our meeting space for chilling out and relaxing, but really we need to have a family room atmosphere that the staff can truly relax in. Additionally we currently have a dorm-sized refrigerator and a microwave. We plan on expanding that further when we get space that we can customize more to our tastes.
Filed Under: Business, Issues from 2009
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