Office space can be a drain on financial resources for start-up companies; not only is rent expensive, but most landlords and commercial real estate brokers demand at least a three year lease and personal guarantees before they'll consider leasing office space to you. If you're an entrepreneur working in a start-up environment, these requirements aren't ideal as long-term leases can drain your financial resources and limit your ability to grow. Fortunately, there are several office space solutions available to entrepreneurs. Whether you need a distraction-free workplace or a collaborative environment, here are the top office space solutions for start-ups.
Typically considered the “default” start-up office space, many start-ups begin in a home office. Since they offer the lowest possible cost for those who don't have the resources or demand for an external office, home offices allow entrepreneurs to maintain their current lifestyle while trying to grow their new business. Additionally, working in a home office eliminates the stress and financial implications of long commutes. Unfortunately, a home office isn't for everyone. If you'll need to frequently meet with clients or foresee yourself having difficulty separating your office life from your personal life, you may wish to consider another office option from the list.
Ideal for those who would like to interact with like-minded individuals, co-working spaces are known for sparking collaboration. In fact, 71 percent of those who work in a co-working space report a boost in creativity, while 62 percent claim their standard of work has improved. If your company is in its beginning stages and thrives on flexibility, most co-working spaces allow companies to rent by the day, month, or year. Co-working spaces offer benefits to small business owners as well – they can access the company culture of a medium-to-large sized company without having to deal with bureaucracy. While co-working spaces may work for some companies, if you need lots of space and peace and quiet to make phone calls, this isn't the solution for you.
Perfect for companies that would like to maintain a professional presence while skipping out on the long-term leases and skyrocketing rent, executive suites are a flexible, cost-effective solution. Many executive suites are fully staffed office spaces, so the costs of a receptionist, cleaning service, maintenance, and utilities are included in your rent. Whether you're running a start-up or own an already established company, an executive suite can help you avoid the high rent and long-term leases in major metro areas. Although the costs for executive suites can be a bit higher than the alternatives on this list, the short lease terms, flexibility, and privacy more than make up for it.
Community Sponsored Space
Although community sponsored space isn't an option for many, it's still a viable office space solution for those who live in some urban areas. To encourage local economic development, chambers of commerce in some larger cities, such as Durham and Des Moines, have been working with the local government to provide free workspace to entrepreneurs in the area. These programs typically require entrepreneurs to submit a business plan showing its growth potential, so having an established plan is crucial. While community sponsored space is a relatively new concept, entrepreneurs are sure to see an influx in free office spaces in the coming years.
Ideal for those who wish to reduce costs, minimize overhead, and increase sales, virtual office packages give entrepreneurs the unique ability to easily and quickly have access to offices in multiple locations throughout the world. If you're expanding your business into other markets, a virtual office is perfect for you. Depending on the type of virtual office package you choose, start-ups can have access to mail services, furnished meeting rooms, top-of-the-line technology, access to business lounges, and a dedicated receptionist who will answer calls in your company's name. No matter the size of your business, virtual offices give you the freedom to work in the city of your choice – anywhere in the world!