Growing an eCommerce business is a lot like nurturing a child: You give it endless attention. You obsess over its development. You perform a thousand thankless tasks in the hope that it will grow.
Another thing new businesses have in common with new humans? They generally spend their early years at home—and for good reason: Entrepreneurs, especially those whose new ventures are side hustles, often find working from home both cost-effective and convenient. But just as kids must one day leave the nest, so too must a growing eCommerce business.
Indeed, if your ecommerce business has outgrown your home workspace, that’s a solid indicator that it’s very much on the right track. But in the event you’re not sure, here are five signs your business has outgrown your home:
- You’re on a first-name basis with the staff at your local post office. For entrepreneurs who create and sell physical goods, delivering products to consumers is at the crux of their operations. And if your business is headquartered at home, that means standing in line at the post office or UPS store—cumbersome packages in tow—for hours every week. It might also mean driving to the airport to pick up imported materials, or waiting around at home to receive scheduled deliveries. When shipping logistics consume a fair portion of your headspace and daily routine, it’s time to consider workspace options that can alleviate such headaches.
- You’re no longer sure where work ends and life begins. When your growing eCommerce business is based at home, it’s harder to compartmentalize your job and your personal life. For example, meaningful conversations with a spouse get derailed by an urgent need to pack 10 more boxes before bedtime—or they never happen at all. Much as you love your work, it’s unhealthy for it to roll through your home and home life unchecked. If this is happening, it may be time to reclaim your space—both physical and mental.
- You could use another pair of hands—or several. At a certain point in the evolution of your business, you'll want to enlist another person or two to help with the everyday running of things. On the one hand, that mostly likely means business is on the upswing! On the other hand, if you're based at home you might feel funny about having your new employees traipse through your abode (sidestepping Lego blocks and the family cat). If you can relate, consider exploring more professional workspace settings that may even have staff on-site for ad hoc hire.
- You feel lonesome. The pandemic taught us that many people love working from home—but also that others find it deeply isolating. That’s especially true for creative types, whose work is often quite solitary as it is. Face-to-face interactions (both the useful and time-wasting kind) can be enormously healthy (both creatively and personally). So if you’re finding life increasingly lonely—or you simply want someone with whom to hash out your latest designs—try finding a workspace populated by more humans.
- You’re making business decisions based on your home’s square footage. When you run a business out of your spare bedroom, you may make choices based more on your space constraints than on financial best practices. You might, for instance, avoid hosting business meetings because your kitchen just doesn’t seem corporate. Or you might be placing frequent orders for small shipments of materials instead of doing one bulk order every few months. The former might make more sense for your storage capacity, but the latter is likely more cost-effective. If you find your space limitations dictating your business behaviors, it’s time to find a new arrangement that won’t hamper the growth of your venture.
If one or more of these indicators resonate with you, it’s probably time to consider taking your business out of your home and into its own. The good news? There’s no need to decamp to a self-storage unit or some other unpalatable workspace option. There are terrific warehouse and industrial space solutions—with supporting amenities—for even the smallest entrepreneurs on the tightest of budgets.
Saltbox is the leading logistics solutions for growing digital commerce companies. With our purpose-built network of flexible warehouses in major metropolitan areas across the country, we are powering the ecommerce economy and the next generation of entrepreneurs by democratizing access to essential operations and logistics infrastructure. From flexible and smartly designed warehouse and office suites to on-demand services like our Elastic Workforce, Fulfillment, and even photography studios Saltbox solves some of the most critical challenges ecommerce entrepreneurs face when starting, growing, and scaling their businesses.