For many new companies, renting office space puts a serious dent in resources. The average landlord for commercial properties often requires you to sign a lease for a minimum of three years. For a new business, this commitment may be severe and is often not ideal in terms of future growth and expansion. It may be wise to consider shared office space.
Determine Your Needs
Before you consider shared office space, determine whether your company really needs office space in the first place. The type of business you run, as well as the number of employees you have and the way in which you interact with clients, are the foremost factors to use to determine whether a brick-and-mortar office space is necessary. If you operate almost or entirely online, and if you interact with clients and customers through email, renting office space may not be necessary. One option to consider in lieu of physical office space is virtual office space. There are platforms that can help you launch a virtual office, complete with a post office address for shipping and receiving goods.
The Up Side
Shared office space lets you skip the costly commitment of leasing your own work space, providing you with a work space you can pay for on a month-by-month basis. Shared space also saves you time and hassle. These spaces are, essentially, ready-made, work-friendly areas you can move into and begin operating in immediately. You don’t have to worry about paying for or connecting power, heating, cable or internet the shared office space already has all of this up and running. There’s also the potential for communication, collaboration, and relationship building that shared office space creates. Working alongside other small businesses, you and your employees have an opportunity to work in conjunction with other entrepreneurs and potentially create new and fruitful products and services. This can benefit your bottom line and also puts your foot in the door with contacts you may not have had access to before.
The Down Side
Building relationships with other small businesses is great, but working in such close quarters with these other companies can become problematic. You and your employees, in a shared office space, are in the same general room with people working on different tasks. Though private conference rooms are sometimes available, their use must be determined and divvied up between all of the companies and workers using the space. No two companies or employees work in exactly the same way, and noise and potential distractions could become a serious problem, depending on the types of companies involved in the shared space. Shared office space presents a great opportunity for many small businesses, but it isn’t free from negative aspects. You must decide whether shared office space is right for your business and if the positive aspects outweigh the negative.