Starting a business in your garage

The garage where Apple was founded in 1976The garage where Apple was founded in 1976

These days people are finding more and more creative uses for their garage space. Instead of using their extra room for storage or parking their car, people all over the world have turned their garages into everything from man caves, to spare rooms, to offices. In the last few decades, a number of high profile businesses have sprung up from a humble garage beginning. Amazon, Apple, Google, and even Disney started out in a garage, proving that success really can come from anywhere.

If you are looking to start up a business from your garage, or are looking to turn your garage into a new work space, there are a number of things you should consider before you start.

Make sure you have enough room

In the case of Amazon and Google, all it took was a few computers, hard work and clever minds. In terms of physical space, that is relatively undemanding. Other businesses that require physical products or facilities may need to plan their space more efficiently when deciding if their garage is the perfect starting point.

Prepare your garage

In order to truly focus in your garage and get in the mindset of someone starting an exciting business venture, you need to prepare, rather than being someone speaking to potential clients surrounded by cars and old storage. Take time to make plans for your space and personalise it to suit your ambitions and ideal work environment. Lots of people enjoy turning their garage into a separate work environment because the physical distance between a main property, coupled with the specialised work environment, can be a good way of finding the mindspace you need to be most productive.

Plan for the future…but not too much

It always helps to visualise your garage work space in terms of the short and long term goals you aim to achieve, and how you will get there. Some businesses are fine with just one person working to reach goals, but many require an extra pair of hands, or a couple of equally prospective minds to aid you in your business venture.

If you envision needing this kind of team work somewhere down the line then you may need to make space for them, or decide when it is time to make the jump to somewhere bigger if there just isn’t enough room. Companies like Disney and Amazon are some of the biggest in the world, but they didn’t start off that way. It’s okay to dream big, but understand the merits of working in a small garage until your company grows enough to need the extra room.

Budget

When you have a great business idea, or are feeling a strong dose of inspiration coming on, it is all too easy to let your dreams control your planning, and more importantly your budget. Before you start stocking up on the most expensive computers on the market, or buying up supplies for the inevitable storm of customers you expect to see queuing up round the block, think logically about what you realistically need to operate. If your product is as good as you think it is, there will be plenty of opportunities to buy more expensive supplies at the speed your company grows.

Realise you aren’t Apple, and that is okay

Apple and Google and plenty of other companies started because a group of people enjoyed doing what they were doing, and persevered with their ideas until they found success. Steve Jobs failed numerous times before Apple eventually found its footing and succeeded. There are thousands of different types of businesses in the world today and not every company needs to have the same goals.

Rather than concentrating on instant success, enjoy working in your own personal environment on whatever you enjoy. If you get to enjoy that with a group of likeminded friends then that is a reward in itself. Whatever you hope to achieve from your garage business, make sure you have the space and the freedom to enjoy what you do, and make the most of it.

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