When you turn your side hustle into a business, keeping costs under control is essential. This can be a challenge to do if you need somewhere outside of the home to work. Many of us might find it hard to work effectively at home, due to a lack of space or family members distracting you. If you can’t afford to rent or buy an office space yet, there are some options. Why not convert the summer house or garden shed into an outdoor office?
If you’re going to set up a garden office, there are a few essentials you will have to keep in mind.
To get light and power, you’ll need electricity. Hire an electrician to bring electricity into the office. Make sure you put in plenty of sockets so you can run any computers or other electronic equipment you need. For your lighting, make sure you have bright bulbs that will light the office all day, preventing you from getting eye strain from staring at a screen in dim light.
You also need the room to be waterproofed to keep out rain and damp, to protect your electronics.
To keep warm if you’re using your garden office in the Winter, have the shed or summer house fitted with proper insulation and install heating. A plug in heater is affordable and could be enough, or look into tube heaters or electric radiators to keep you snug all year.
Check to see if your WiFi reaches the new office. If not, ask your provider for help; you might need to put in a second router or add a booster to your existing router to help the signal to reach far enough. Most businesses need an internet connection, so make sure it’s a strong enough signal for you to work.
If you will be keeping expensive equipment or electronics in your office, you need to be sure everything is secure. Check the doors and windows are secure and sturdy. Make sure they can’t be opened from the outside. Fit locks, and use sturdy materials that can’t be broken into too easily.
If you’re converting a shed, consider how strong the structure is. You don’t want someone to be able to kick through the wood to get in. Fit curtains in the windows so you can close them to hide your valuables. Check your home insurance to make sure you’ll be covered if anything is stolen.
If you’re worried about keeping your office secure, think about buying a motion sensitive light and fitting it on the front of your office. This is a good deterrent for anyone trespassing, and has the added bonus of lighting you safely back through the garden if you use the office after dark. You could also fit an alarm. A good basic option is a battery alarm fitted on the door which will sound if the door is opened. The loud noise will alert you to a break in and startle a burglar.