Entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners often don’t have the working capital to afford a dedicated office. In fact, many businesses may only need an actual office space for occasional meetings or presentations. Still to maintain a professional appearance, many of these same businesses still rent office space, despite the costs of the lease and staff overhead.
An alternative to the traditional office space that is rapidly gaining popularity is a virtual office. A relatively new concept, the virtual office space has all the amenities of a regular office – WiFi, landlines, conference rooms and even staff. The difference, however, is that you are renting the whole kit and caboodle for a set price from a virtual office space provider. For a low cost, you can use the space for an hour or two, or on daily or weekly basis.
Many entrepreneurs must travel around the country to meet new clients, visit current ones or even connect with colleagues and employees. When you’re in another city, however, it can be difficult to find adequate office space that doesn’t involve hotel lounges or coffeehouses.
In the previous post, we mentioned that office space and support staff are typically among the biggest overhead costs for solo attorneys and micro-boutique law firms (SAMB). Attorneys have a wide spectrum of office space options depending on their work styles and budget. Many options exist between a home-based office and a full-scale traditional office facility. The key to selecting the right option is to know the office requirements of the attorney(s), the tradeoffs among the different options, and ways to overcome the disadvantages.
Managing expenses is a special challenge for sole practitioners and small law firms. Overhead expenses can account for about 35% of gross revenues for sole practitioners, and according to a Survey of Law Firm Economics by Altman Weil Publications, Inc., they average 44% for small law firms. See parts 1 and 2 for various virtual office strategies solo attorneys and micro-boutiques (SAMBs) can deploy to enhance their professional image, improve client acquisition, and increase productivity.