By Jerry Mooney
Since the explosion of the internet, all bets have been off regarding the way we do business. So much of it used to be face to face. The other bits were over the phone. If you wanted to do business internationally, you'd be getting on a lot of planes. Now, if you want to, you can run a business from your basement. You don't even have to get out of your pajamas or have a shower. Still do, though. Seriously.
We are living in a highly interconnected world. And the thing about us being able to do business via the internet is that it still doesn't mean we always should. If part of your business involves buying resources from another country, it is still worth getting on a plane and checking that place out. And for business, you may no longer NEED an office. But some would argue you should still have one.
Reason #1: It Allows People To Come And See You
For some people, this is actually a reason not to have an office. Just sold thousands of watches which have a design fault? That one that makes them go on fire at 11:15am? Maybe you don't want to be found. But if you're looking to make deals, attract publicity and have a presence, having a business base is a good idea.
Reason #2: Building Your Business Is Easier
The one-man band approach to business has become more and more popular, as has the one-woman band. It allows you to travel light, make decisions fast and take a new direction. But sometimes you need to add staff, and although you can run a business working remotely it's not ideal. If you want to have meetings, interview people and maintain a filing system, it's good to have a physical location.
Reason #3: It Helps To Build An Identity
Businesses that are enduringly successful tend to have one thing in common - they are identifiable. People know who you are, what you do and what your "vibe", for want of a better word, is. Having a "team" ethos, getting on with co-workers and being visible works for you. Having an office allows you to foster this ethos.
Reason #4: It Ends Up Paying For Itself
A lot of money can end up being lost to chasing up work from others, breakdowns in communication and traveling to meetings. If you have an office from which to work, there is an initial outlay but it allows the business to be run more efficiently.
Find the right premises, and get them set up for fast internet. Find a few computer desks for sale, decorate the place and hire your staff. Before you know it, you have a vibrant office atmosphere. That helps drive a business.
After all, having offices doesn't mean you always have to work from them. As your business grows, you'll be in a position to work from home and travel the world making deals. Having offices will certainly help you get to that point, though.