How to Start a Business out of Your Garage

So, you've got the skills and the business know-how, and the location is the final piece of the entrepreneurship puzzle. If you need space for a home workshop, the garage is the easy answer. But won't it be difficult using your family's garage to operate a business?

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The garage that Apple started in

Lots of people do it every day. Not every business lends itself well to operating from a garage. However, if you're a craftsman or woman who needs a place to get something started, and you want to avoid throwing down for a dedicated studio space, your garage is calling!

Jobs You Can Do From a Garage

While it might be difficult to open a boutique storefront from your garage, depending on the neighborhood, many excellent business models lend themselves well to running out of a small space in your home.

The most common approach you'll see is to offer some type of handmade good. If, for example, you come from a long line of clockmakers and know how to craft attractive handmade pieces in your garage, set up shop and go to work. A quick webpage is all you need to begin advertising your goods, and this model works just as well for any number of mechanical disciplines, including bike or even automotive repair. Make sure to check the laws in your area if you're going to be working with harmful chemicals, however.

You could also choose to go freelance. As a writer, artist or software developer, you won't have any trouble finding work if you're skilled. Doing these jobs from your garage will likely require you to do some converting to create a home office space.

You might find yourself spending more time there than you had planned because it's so easy to "go to work," so be sure to set boundaries for yourself. Conversely, you might need to build some good habits to ensure you do get the job done. It can be easy to get distracted when working from home.

photo: lifehacker

photo: lifehacker

Arranging Your Space

Just because you plan to have an office in your garage doesn't mean you can't use it for other things. By managing your space well, you should still be able to use your garage as a parking spot, storage space and more.

See if you can install or purchase a desk or workbench to run along one side of the garage. If your seating solution cuts into car space, have a way to move it aside when you're not working. You might also invest in some amenities such as a smart garage door that allows you to access your space from your phone, air conditioning, a stereo or upgraded floors for your garage to make it more comfortable for you to spend time there.

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No Shame in Working From the Garage

Many of today's leading companies, including Amazon and Apple, started in a garage. If you have an idea that makes sense, don't stress over the aesthetics just yet. With a little luck, you'll find the garage is just the right solution for getting your operation off the ground. With more luck, you'll outgrow it, have to rent a space and have bigger problems to think about. So don't hold yourself back!

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