Some people dream of opening up a business with offices, employees and conference rooms while some business owners dream of cutting all the overhead of utilities, office space, payroll and doing a virtual agency.
We grew and even outgrew the office space at one point, but then we has a lull in sales and we lost a big project we had already staffed up for (the client got bought out, so they cancelled the project). So I was taking on debt and spending all my time doing sales in an effort to maintain our consulting agency and I was making next to nothing in the process.
This was years ago, keep in mind, and outsourcing was very hard to do. We’d dabbled with it, but without any significant success.
Finally we reduced staff to zero through attrition and I moved into my home office and maintained our client base and began rebuilding by myself.
At the time I started my business, and also because I employed very technical people that loved technology but did not make good business decisions, we developed racks of servers and paid for big bandwidth to host solutions for people as well. I needed engineers to maintain email servers and apply security patches to all our machines and if they went down, we risked losing our clients.
Today I have a successful agency that I run from my home. Yes, people work for me. And Yes, I have servers where I host clients. However, now with improved outsourcing tools and cloud hosting I am able to offer superior services as lower prices. And while I occasionally miss getting together for a strategic staff meeting, I love the freedom, flexibility and savings I realize by having a home agency model of business.
My people are just as good. My business is more sound. And my customers get more services for less costs because I do not have to support an unnecessary overhead.
One very successful business owner I know works out of coffee shops each day to get out of the house. His name is Ryan Lee and his business is big, but he maintains a small staff virtually. It is a smart model.
So if you are dreaming of opening a business, ask yourself if you really need an office and employees of whether you can be more successful with a home office.