Is working from a shopfront likely to be better for your business than a home office?
One of the pluses of a service-based business like mortgage broking is that you can run your business from a home office requiring next to nothing in terms of capital outlay and ongoing running expenses. But despite the cost savings, is a home office the best option for your broking business? Let's weigh up the pros and cons.
Shopfronts offer greater exposure
Perhaps the biggest plus of having a shopfront is the prime exposure it gives your mortgage broking business – especially if your premises is located in a high traffic, highly visible area. So whatever you are paying in rent and signage, the cost can be viewed as a form of marketing in its own right.
Operating from a home office may be cheaper but you're going to have work a lot harder promoting your business to achieve the same level of customer recognition.
Increased foot traffic
A shopfront provides the opportunity for walk-in customers. This means increased lead generation, more business and more referrals. It's a fair bet that running your business from home will mean virtually zero walk-in customers, and this brings us back to the need to invest heavily in other means of marketing.
A shopfront can give your small business the same degree of professionalism as big business. The premises, you and your business merge into a single professional package that says you are a Mortgage Choice broker. This sense of professionalism filters into other areas and is valuable when it comes to building network partnerships and attracting quality talent if you are hiring new staff.
From your customers' perspective, bear in mind that people don't always feel comfortable entering a stranger's home – even if it for business-related matters. And no matter how neat and tidy your home, it simply doesn't have the same professional clout as a separate shopfront.
More convenient for your customers
Having a shopfront makes it easier for customers to find you, grab a parking spot or arrive via public transport, and probably achieve a number of other goals like a spot of shopping before or after meeting with you.
Establish your business as part of the community
A shopfront gives your business street presence, and with this you establish your business as part of the local community. This can pay dividends when it comes to fostering a spirit of involvement by sponsoring or supporting local events or sporting teams.
The bottom line is that while a shopfront is going to cost more in terms of rent, fit out and possibly insurance premiums, it is likely to be an excellent investment. Many Mortgage Choice brokers start out with a home office but as your business expands and matures, it is good business sense to plan the transition to a shop front.
If you are planning to run your mortgage broking business from a home office, be sure to check local council regulations as there may be guidelines you need to follow in regards to customer parking and signage.
Discover how a Mortgage Choice franchise can help you achieve your goals. Call us today on 1300 650 330.