shedquartersFor many years, small businesses have been started and run from home, but then there comes a time when that business outgrows the home office or finds it too distracting, so owners seek out office space for rent. But now there is a relatively new trend, “Shedquarters”, that allows small businesses (especially those with more than one employee) to have a home-base office without actually being in the home.

The concept of using a converted shed as a place to work is not new to handymen, artists and musicians – but they are now becoming popular with home-based businesses who want to separate their home from their office. The size of the Shedquarters is only limited by the amount of backyard space the home/business owner is willing to give up, as well as any local building variances and codes. If you do a Google Image search on Shedquarters, you will see a great deal of things people have done.

The idea of having a space-efficient work area is great for the small business owner who wants uninterrupted workflow and privacy maintained. It is also more economical that renovating your home or building an addition. A basic 8×8-foot shed can start at around $6,000 – and you can add on a bathroom, kitchenette or even a front porch if you can afford them.

This set-up is ideal for small business owners who do not know how long they will be residing at the same address. Some prefabricated Shedquarters are self-supporting, non-permanent structures that can be moved almost anywhere. Being non-permanent also means that in some areas, no building permits are required! They can be placed on a few patio stones or a crushed gravel base, and do not require a concrete pad.

Shedquares may be great places to work, but how do they reflect on your business image and affect the privacy of your home address? And what are the the alternatives? Having your business listed as a P.O. Box is also not good for your image – or in building your reputation as an established business. However, having a mail service from an office business centre that offers virtual office services as well as handling of your business packages may be ideal.

Some small business owners also look at having Shedquarters not as an alternative to having office space, but as an alternate place to go when they want to work away from their main office. They look at their Shedquarters as a cottage or retreat-like work space – or a place they can work on special projects or things not immediately involving their primary business. If the small business owner has an office at an office business centre, their business calls can be easily forwarded to their Shedquarters, without their client or customers knowing exactly where they are working from.