There are a lot of good reasons for renting an office for your new business. It gives you a sense of ‘making it,’ of course, and it also provides you with a professional image that your clients will respect. But let’s face the facts – it’s not all sweetness and light. Given the enormous costs of renting space – and everything you have to buy to put in it – renting an office might not be justifiable when you are just starting out on your new enterprise. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives. Let’s take a look at those right now, and see if you can find a better option for your business.
The most common option for brand new startups is to work from home. Many successful companies start out this way – Steve Jobs in his garage is the perfect example. The great thing about setting up at home is that it saves you a lot of money which you can use to grow your business instead. There will be some distractions to deal with, of course. But ultimately it gives you a shot at developing the foundations of your business at super low cost.
Small business incubators
Working from home isn’t for everyone, of course. There are lots of issues that can affect you, from a lack of professional image through to being lonely and feeling remote from the world. If this sounds familiar, you might want to try to find a small business incubator in your locale. There are a growing number of these facilities, and they can be excellent choices for those looking not just for desk space, but also for mentorship, ideas, and low prices.
Coworking spaces are another flexible option for startup owners who want to keep costs down. You can use them in a couple of different ways. Some will allow you to rent a desk next to other startups and small business owners. Others, such as hoxtonmix.com, give you the chance to rent out office space as well as meeting rooms for one-off events and professional, virtual addresses. You could even find another business locally who have space in their room and will be happy to rent it out to you below market prices.
The local library/coffee shop/retail park
As smallbusiness.co.uk point out, you can start a business anywhere. And if you suffer from lots of distractions at home or can’t quite afford the rates for coworking, why not take a look at your local community? Libraries offer free Wi-Fi – as do coffee shops. And whether you need to get your head down and work or go to a client meeting, there are plenty of places you can use. As long as you are capable of blocking out some of the background noises and distractions, you’ll find that you can still be very productive.
A garden pod
Finally, for those that still like the idea of working from home by can’t get away from the distractions, why not build a garden pod and use it as an office? Doing this will enable you to ’go to work’ each day, and take you away from all the hustle and bustle of family and household life.