This week we want to remove ourselves away from trade shows just a little and delve into a subject of great importance to small businesses – renting office space. Not every business starts off strong and with the finances to fund an office. More often than not you don’t even have the staff numbers to warrant an office. In the digital century, you can start a business on your own in your own home. But as many have learned, the home is no suitable space to conduct business, especially when you have an active family life.
To be effective, you have to escape the noise, the distractions and the sheer fact that the home isn’t a workplace and you might have a hard time shifting gears. This brings us to the decision to rent a space for your business needs. If you’ve relied on the fact that you don’t have to pay a second rent, this expense might seem extravagant, but it’s necessary. This is why we want to walk you through the process and offer advice. The first question you have to answer is…
If you’re absolutely sure that you have the potential to grow and the market is responsive to your brand and products, having your own dedicated space is the way to go. Leasing an office for your team comes with added expenses as you’re responsible for furniture, Wi-Fi, equipment, amenities and snacks. But you have the greater freedom to do with space what you want and bring your vision to life. It also goes without saying that businesses that rely on meeting clients face to face for consultations or sales pitches, then it’s best to create the proper impression.
On the other hand, coworking spaces present a much lower initial investment and a lot of the purely logistical aspects pertaining to Wi-Fi and furniture have been solved for you. These spaces are a great starter office for when you have a very small team or are just working by yourself. They get the job done – you’re outside the house and have your team together to strategize. In addition to the lower costs, you have several options as to how secluded you want to be from others. There are also private rooms to take calls and lead occasional meetings.
Those heavily involved with entrepreneurship have big ambitions that their company is going to take off immediately from the get-go and swell in size, which is why they’ll search for office space outside their financial reach and actual physical need. Still – answering the question of size and layout is a difficult one. Depending on what industry you’re in and what you’re actually offering, think about what rooms your office needs to have – dedicated rooms, break room, separate meeting rooms, telephone booths. Where you should focus on is the official capacity to accommodate your staff during the end of the lease. Ideally, you should have some extra space for new hires, but sometimes an office will become tighter before you can move. In these cases, employers have ways to work around restrictions with home-office positions and flexible schedules. Or you can look into letting someone go…
Congratulations! Your business is big enough to move outside your home, but with that move, you have to contend with a whole new subset of expenses. Coworking spaces employ flat fees, which not only cover the cost of the lease but utilities as well. What’s more, some coworking spaces will even include free parking spot – a limited number, but that’s one less expense to think about when you should be figuring how to increase your revenue.
Budgeting for a whole office can often be challenging. You have monthly costs that come in from utilities like power, heating, Wi-Fi and consumables like office supplies, mineral water and snacks in vending machines. However, you also have the one-time purchases that pertain to the furniture, equipment and decorative items you need to make the office into a functional and welcoming space to work in. As a sole leaseholder, there are many variables that can affect your monthly expenses like unexpected repairs that have to be made or how a heatwave can increase your AC usage and result in a higher power bill.