You don’t need a lot of space to start a home-based business. Some of the most successful businesses have started in living rooms, but when your business begins to boom, you may find yourself in need of a dedicated workspace or home office. That may mean finding a new home or finding room in your current one, but these tips can help you make the best decision.

Research Home Prices Before You Buy a New Home

If you’re looking around your current digs and wondering where you will fit your new workspace, you may need to upgrade your home. Research local home prices, to get a feel for whether this will be a feasible move for your small business, and your budget. In the Dallas area, you may be surprised at what current homes are selling for — the average home sells for approximately $72,000 — and you may even be able to score a home below the actual listing price. If you want to buy a new home now, to get access to extra space and extra storage, you should also use online tools to determine how much you can afford to spend on a new home. Many of these online calculators also provide links to mortgage lenders so that you can find the best interest rate on your new home purchase for your home-based business.

Get Recommendations Before You Hire Contractors

After reviewing your space and budget, it may make more sense to build a new workspace in your current home. For simple home office spaces, you may be able to get by with some DIY handiwork but more complex projects may require the help of licensed contractors. For example, converting a garage into a workable home office space or studio can involve hanging sheetrock, installing electrical wiring, and other similar tasks that are best left up to experienced professionals. You may also need to secure permits before you turn your garage into a workspace, and contractors will be able to work through this process with less hassle. To find reliable contractors in your area, start by asking friends and neighbors for recommendations, but know that online home improvement sites also offer valuable resources and connections.

Plan Out Your Workspace Before You Begin Your Project

Whether you buy a new home or add onto your existing home, creating a functional workspace can require some careful planning. You need a space that will be free from distractions and you also need to make sure that the design of that space ensures maximum productivity. Including windows can improve your productivity by increasing your exposure to natural light but you should also consider adding alternate lighting sources to your workspace. In addition to sufficient lighting and minimal distractions, it can also be helpful to add a few stress-relieving touches to your new home office. For example, you could include low-maintenance plants or even an essential oil diffuser — you can find diffusers at retailers like Walmart for around $10 and up — to make it easier to work through those insanely busy days.

Consider Alternative Workspaces Before You Make a Decision

Think that converting an existing room or buying a bigger home is your only option for creating a workspace for your home-based business? Well you may be surprised to know that there are a couple more ways that you can fit a workable home office or studio into your home, without sacrificing a lot of space or time. For instance, if you have an old shed in your backyard, you can turn it into a workspace. Converting a shed into functional living space can be fairly simple, but you may want to consult with a handyman service or contractors for this project as well. With the right tools and know-how, all of that unused space in your shed can be transformed into the studio, workspace or home office of your dreams, without the need for pricey home additions.

Having ample workspace can help your business reach the next level of success. So, decide what makes the most sense for your home-based business so that you can continue to thrive.

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With NTTA, Team Member Pat Parrish was hired to create a best in class contract compliance tracking and monitoring system, a comprehensive platform system that included a single point of information necessary to obtain required procurement information from the financial system of record, design an automated mode of transferring all required data identified by the business owner from a system of record to a third party software application with minimum risk involved .Establish data integrity performance standards; Incorporate best practice recommendations presented by Executive Staff of NTTA Business Diversity Partner to enhance NTTA’s Business Diversity Program; Minimize data enhancements needed for upcoming Availability and Disparity Study and to migrate from paper to a paperless real time reporting system.

The current process was labor intensive and prong to risk due to the manual entries into compliance system used to generate metrics, required information to generate metrics was not maintained in the NTTA Master Vendor file or Financial System of Record. The master vendor file used to generate official financial and state and federal mandated reports was required to be manually validated and updated before metrics could be generated and published to the public and stakeholders.

We evaluated the current system, policy and procedures, state and federal procurement laws, Board policy and internal processes supporting existing procurement spend analysis. We build a system that enable NTTA to generate business metrics for presentation to NTTA Executive Leadership, NTTA Board Members and elected officials. Once the system was implemented, performance metrics were available in real time, was web-based, allowed the required data fields needed to generate contractor commitment to business diversity, monitor their commitment and provide reports that enabled the Business Diversity Leadership to generate ad hoc reports associated with Business Diversity throughout the North Texas Region. We conducted a Gap analysis that resulted in a need to modify vendor/contract modules in the Financial System of Record and an update to the interface that allowed the Financial System of Record to communicate with the third-party compliance tracking and reporting application. Worked closely with a wide variety of constituents to assess programmatic needs that support diversity issues throughout the organizations. We conducted a risk assessment and determined that reports manually may result in inaccurate business diversity and metrics published to the stakeholders and the public thus jeopardizing public trust. Our assessment also disclosed an inflated or higher risk of reporting on the accomplishments of NTTA Business Diversity Program.

The project reduced the level of manual effort and time needed to create various metrics, reports, including the annual diversity spend attainment reports provided to the board, elected officials and the public on NTTA’s procurement practices and its impact on economic development in the small business and diversity communities.

Over a two-year period, we worked with managers, administrators, directors, assistant directors, leadership team, internal audit, legal two hundred 240 prime contractors and subcontractors and outside consultants appointed by the Board to ensure transparency and governance.,. This team was responsible for promoting; monitoring and evaluating quality-related activities by promoting involvement and participation from all levels of the client and vendor organization.

System resulted in contract compliance across the entire organization, it introduced automation where there were no processes. Our process implemented were a collection of interrelated tasks in response to a stimulus or input. Each process designed and implemented consisted of a stimuli/input, tasks, roles, deliverable and completion criteria. System designed and implemented was an automated contract compliance tracking and reporting systems, resulting in a timely and accurate reporting for over $425M spend and preventing duplicate and erroneous payment to vendors.

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