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Perry Hall Photographer Transitions, Home-Based to Office Space

Tracy Dietrich advises business owners to be budget conscious when moving out of the house.

While the Great Recession initially brought an increase in home-based businesses, at least one Perry Hall business owner has transitioned back into an office.

"It was a little crazy with the kids around, and trying to cook dinner. I'm so happy. It's just nice to get out of the house," said Tracy Dietrich, a portrait photographer based at 9419 Belair Road. 

Dietrich moved her business into an office suite over the summer. Previously, she worked with clients on location and handled the editing and accounting end of the business from home. 

"A long time ago, I had a studio in Annapolis because that's where the money was. I loved it but decided to leave because of the cost," she said. 

Her Perry Hall studio suite is filled with props, photography and editing equipment and photographs of clients—all of which used to be stored at her home.  

"For what I do, it's nice to have a special place. I'm still photographing newborn babies, and now I can control the temperature," Dietrich said. 

The Baltimore County Office of Economic Development does not track the percentage of home-based businesses. But according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 52 percent of small businesses across the United States are home-based. The main reason is cost—combining living expenses with business expenses can bring significant savings, the SBA reports.  

Dietrich said her decision to become a brick and mortar business was risky, but is already paying off with an increase in portraits of high school students. 

"It's helping me get my name out there. And for some reason, people are like, 'Oh, you have a studio.' It seems more legitimate," she said. 

Dietrich advised fellow business owners to be prepared for a rise in overhead when transitioning to an office. "I have to be more concious of my numbers. I'm asking myself, 'Am I making enough to make it worth it?'" she said. 

The SBA offered similar advice to those planning to move out of the house, urging them to plan a budget based around their needs. Business owners may also consider renting furniture and even rotating desk space. They should also be aware of changes to their business regulatory paperwork at a new location.

Are businesses moving from home to offices a sign of the economy improving? Do you own a home-based business? Tell us about the pros and cons in the comments. 

Jk November 10, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Hey FIFA, It seems that it is you who launched the first personal attack on poster Ryan, earlier in the thread. That's just like you liberals, you start a fight and then when you get retaliation you claim the moral high ground. The real point is that this lady will sink or swim on her own merits, not because of anything that the govt is going to do for her. I know that sort of individualism and personal responsibility are foreign to your kind who always cast an eye toward Uncle Sam looking for help and guidance but, that's the way business owners like us do it -- while we still can. The only thing that the govt can do is harm her business with burdensome regulations and taxes. As for your snarky recommendation to use spell check, sometimes when I'm typing on my phone I might hit the wrong button or maybe the phone will finish a word for me and I don't catch it but I can assure you that I can out spell or out speak you in such a way that your pointed little head would explode. Maybe I don't catch the typos because I'm busy running MY business, that I built without help from You or your beloved Obama and his minions. You see, unlike you, I don't have time to hang out on the Internet all day, like you, posting on every Patch story as if people are waiting breathlessly to see what FIFA thinks.
FIFA November 10, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Jk, can you read? Poster Ryan did the republican "you didn't build that" talking point which was taken out of context in the first place. That is very clear and I called him out for that petty BS. I have given the woman full credit for attempting to expand her business and have wished her good luck. I am a small business owner and know fully well what the risks are of expanding one's business as well as risking one's home for a business venture. I also recognize that I have not "build it on my own", lots of people helped, but I took the risk. You have not built your business on your own regardless of your statements. The fact that you cannot "hang out" on the Internet all day just means you are not as successful as I am. Good luck. My snarkiness had to do with your tone towards me. You inability to see that you have not built your business on your own is a character trait that will ultimately lead to its failure. Good luck.
Jackie McTear November 12, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Congratulations Tracy! My husband and I are both small business owners and work from home, so I understand all about distractions... Your photos look lovely!
ali berney November 12, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Tracy is FABULOUS! She did newborn photos for me. She's an incredible patient, loving soul! I would recommend her to anyone and everyone. BTW, this article is about Tracy Dietrich. :)
Rose Wilhite November 13, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Tracy - so proud of you. You took such wonderful, beautiful and true pictures of my daughter, Shannon, for her senior portraits. Not only are you a class act, but you are friendly, professional and caring. Your love and passion for photography come through in all that you do. If you want professional photography - Tracy is your photographer! So happy to see your successes in print!

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