5 Ways Small Businesses Can Save on Office Space
There comes a time when that spare bedroom or basement can no longer keep up with your business trajectory. Unfortunately, traditional office space is a significant investment that's unrealistic for many small business owners. If you need to upgrade your office, here are five ways you can do it without dropping major capital.
Share Space: Shared workspaces are becoming increasingly popular among growing businesses that aren't quite ready for long-term leases. Called coworking spaces, these fully furnished office buildings allow you to rent individual offices or cubicles on a monthly basis. Some also include conference rooms, professional boardrooms, business mailboxes, and a seasoned staff of talented assistants that can sign for deliveries and answer incoming calls, using your business name.
Lease, Don’t Buy: Furnishing an office can cost more than the actual office itself. Chairs, desks, computers, phones and copy machines can quickly siphon away thousands of dollars from your limited budget. Instead of buying these items, consider leasing office equipment. This saves you money, while allowing you to trade in equipment every few years for newer models. Just remember, since leasing can actually cost more in the long run, it's best to use it as a temporary solution.
Get Creative: There are a number of ways you can scale your office space up and down according to your evolving needs. You can use partitions to transform open areas into multiple private workspaces. You can then furnish these areas with used office products. Many suppliers offer refurbished office furniture and equipment that looks brand new. Your clients won't know the difference, and you will almost always get more bang for your dollar.
Ditch the Office: A growing number of modern small businesses are going office-free. Thanks to technologies like online collaboration, the cloud, and videoconferencing, it's easy to run a virtual office. Virtual assistants can also help make this more practical and profitable by taking care of your receptionist, administrative, technical and/or personal duties.
Be Opportunistic: A shocking number of startups ultimately have to bail on office leases when they go belly-up. This provides a nice opportunity for you to land prime real estate on the cheap. You can either sublet from the stressed company or try to negotiate a discount from the current leaseholders who may be anxious to get the investment off their books.
When business trends upward, it's easy for entrepreneurs to start making bold plans for the future. Before you commit to an office lease, make sure you will be able to endure potential setbacks and slow spells. Unless they have deep pockets, most budding enterprises are better off opting for shared office space or a virtual office space option, which offers ideal versatility, flexibility and scalability.
Just make sure to choose a provider that offers a range of business-inspired amenities, numerous locations and personalized services from a trained staff of talented professionals. This last characteristic is an especially effective way to differentiate a basic provider from a full-service facility designed to meet the needs of modern business people.