March 27, 2011
by Kris Simmons
If you run your video business out of your home, how do you know when it’s time to move out into a commercial office?
To Rent or Not to Rent? The Videographer’s Dilemma
When deciding to move out of your home office and into an office space, it first has to make sense financially. If you can’t afford it, you absolutely can’t take on the risk of signing a lease for any period of time.
Too many videographers (and business owners as a whole) think that if they simply make the jump, things will work themselves out. Unfortunately, a lot of these people don’t make it.
You probably won’t either if you’re numbers don’t support the move.
How do you know if you can afford it?
For starters, if you are having trouble paying your bills every month now, you can’t afford an office space.
If your revenues are up and down, and you never know at the beginning of each month how much money you will generate in the next 30 days, you probably can’t afford an office space.
On the contrary, if your revenues are stable each month and have been for a while, moving into an affordable office space is most likely within your reach.
If you believe you are ready, I suggest that you figure out what range you are comfortable paying for rent each month, and save 3 to 6 months in rent before signing a lease. This way, you’ll already have the money in an account to help out if there is ever a period of time when business is slow.
What type and how big of an office should you rent?
Only you can decide what’s best but I suggest you look at the way you currently run your business before making a decision.
For instance, if all your sales meetings take place at the prospect’s location or at a neutral place like a coffee shop or restaurant, consider whether renting a place that has a nice conference room is necessary.
Would people come to your office more if you had the space? Would you be able to rent a nice enough office so that you’d feel comfortable inviting new prospects to meet you there for the first time?
I believe that it’s better to meet first time prospects at their place of business anyway. They are more comfortable there and all they can use to judge you by is your work, you as a person and your references. Then, after they become a client, you can invite them to your office space for follow up meetings, review sessions, etc.
Having a conference room as well as an office where you will work can add several hundred dollars to your monthly rent. In selecting my office space, I elected to go without the conference room at this time. My suite is large enough to conduct small meetings but I will continue to schedule sales meetings at my prospects’ place of business.
If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
I had no trouble closing deals this way out of my home office, so why should I change my business model just because I have a new commercial office? I shouldn’t and it’s much cheaper not to.
In my opinion, the best way to move out of your home office and into a commercial space is to start small with a short term lease. No more than a year. Rent an office that is just large enough for you to work out of and keep all your gear in your garage.
On days when you have a shoot, you can load up at your house and leave from there instead of having to drive to your office first.
As with the conference room, renting extra space just so you can store your equipment can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly expenses. (Additional rent, insurance, etc.)
After you’ve successfully rented a small space for a year or two, determine once again if you can afford an upgrade or if you even need to. Some videographers prefer to have everything under one roof such as equipment, studio, employees, etc.
In a great economy, this can make sense but in a shaky one, it’s dangerous to take on that much in fixed overhead. A small office space with a short term lease and independent contractors instead of full-time employees will help you stabilize profits over the next couple of years.
That’s been my experience anyway.
For more ideas on how to prosper as a video business owner or freelance videographer, check out these resource >>>
Thanks for reading and have a profitable week!
To your success,
To Rent or Not to Rent? The Videographer's Dilemma