If you’re a small business or start up it can be hard to see the benefits of renting office space, especially from a cost effectiveness perspective. But if you’re shrewd, you can end up with your business in impressive new premises while still pushing forward towards your financial goals.
The latest trend is shared offices – taking part of an office that is managed by another firm on monthly running contract, rather than the old leasing model that sees all the responsibility and admin heaped on your company. Of course, desk rental isn’t for everyone. But have a read through this short office space rental guide to see if either renting, or renting out, desk space might be viable for your business.
1) The office gives you the edge
If you’re not already in an office – perhaps working from home – there is a lot to be said fro renting office space. First, there is professionalism – depending on the business and the type of clients you may have, simply having an office address, being in the town centre or regular access a meeting room can raise your businesses stakes. If you’re a start-up looking to spread your base, nothing says you mean business like moving into a quality commercial unit.
2) Contacts and inspiration
When you rent desk space in a shared office, you get the benefit of being in an environment with other small businesses. You tend to find many small businesses and freelancers who take advantage of serviced or shared office space are from creative professions such as writers, designers and web developers. This can create a great office buzz, where like minded people can share ideas and ask advice, as well as offering up opportunities not only for business deals but also friendships.
3) Spend a little more, get a little more
If you’ve looked at moving into office space, but found you can’t get what you need for the money, try looking at somewhere a little bigger. Sounds crazy, but if you can agree with whoever you’re leasing from to sub-let some of the space you can recoup the extra space, or more, by getting others in to share your offices with you. You may find you can get into a slightly nicer area, or a better looking building, by taking on a little more space.
4) Downsized? Claw that money back
The recession has hit us all, some worse than others. If you’ve found you had to lay off staff and are now rattling round in a half empty office, why not let that space out to other small businesses that are looking for a break and will appreciate cheap serviced offices or shared offices? The new influx of people can give your office a new lease of life, while you’re already heating and lighting that room – you may as well let someone make use of it and pay you for the privilege.
There are of course some possible downsides. If you are looking to rent office space you may not be happy that you’re relinquishing so many decisions – from decoration to choosing a broadband supplier or security firm. But remember, it will be on a short term lease – you can move on easily if things don’t work out.
Security can be an issue, of course. For some businesses it simply won’t be appropriate to have people not connected directly to your company having open access to your building. Some may even find the extra staff a distraction, rather than a positive addition to the work environment. But for many, renting office space provides the perfect answer to their problems.
About the author: Chris Marling writes on behalf of Office Genie, the UK’s first proper online marketplace for desk space and shared office space.