It all started because I was pregnant and needed to make a few more dollars on a schedule that worked for my new bundle of joy. I had success in the past with picking up bookkeeping work as a way to pull in money quickly.
By the time the 4rth little sweetie was ready for school, I was working enough to make the extra we needed and within a schedule that worked well for me. But with the kids gone most of the day, the business could expand to fill the extra time. But something had changed. My early clients were comfortable with a self-employed bookkeeper working from home, mostly because they came from referrals from existing clients. Now as I added more clients than I was getting from referrals these new clients had different expectations: expectations of a more professional kind of service.
The other difference I noticed was that I wasn’t always ready to finish work when the kids got home. More clients meant that my schedule wasn’t as fully under my control as it had been. This was not an unwelcome change, but it did have an effect. It was getting harder to mix work and home life.
These two pressures; need for professionalism and a need to make a clearer separation between home and business; brought me to the decision to get an office. As in a real office, in a building, away from the house, with posted hours and a place to meet clients. I still wanted things my way which meant I wanted to be able to walk to the office and I wanted it to have at least a semblance of welcome and dare I say it, hominess.
I found the perfect lace about a kilometer from home. It used to be the manager’s office in a historic former hotel in the professional centre of our community. Tall windows, fireplace (non-working, but you get the idea) and big and bright.
It cost more than I would have advised a client to pay, but within 3 months it was paying for itself in increased business and productivity.