Office Space for Entrepreneurs
Finding the best office space for entrepreneurs is an important decision that can have a profound effect on one’s ability to work most effectively. There are several factors to consider, including price, location and size. Here is a rundown of some of the most common office space options for entrepreneurs:
The home office could probably be considered the “default” office space for entrepreneurs. Many startups begin in a home office. The first incarnation of many of the world’s largest and most successful companies were found in home offices.
Pros: Home offices offer the lowest possible cost for people who don’t have the money or need for an external office space. The home office allows people who are starting a business to keep their current lifestyle, while trying to grow their new business. Another important consideration is that eliminating the commute. A home office saves valuable time that can be spent on the business.
Cons: Running a business from your home can make it difficult to separate your work and home life. Commitment and long hours are a way of life for entrepreneurial ventures, but sometimes having a home office can cause unnecessary stress that would be avoided by an external office space. There is also an aspect of legitimacy that comes with having an office outside of one’s home. Your home is generally not an ideal setting for meetings with clients, business partners, or prospective customers.
Traditional Office Space
Most businesses are located in some form of a traditional office space. A traditional office space is generally a relatively open, unfurnished “blank slate” that can be adapted for the needs of a startup office. They are often located in commercial areas and surrounded by other businesses in similarly constructed office spaces.
Pros: Because the traditional office space is the most abundant type of commercial rental property, it is likely that you can find something close to what you are looking for in terms of physical space for your startup office. You can meet people in a more professional setting than a home office.
Cons: The leases for traditional offices are generally for longer terms than many entrepreneurs who are looking for a startup office space would prefer. The commitment and potentially high overhead cost of a traditional office space can be a serious drawback to an entrepreneur. What if your company grows beyond what the office can currently accommodate? You must also remember that traditional office spaces are also basically…just space. You still need to consider the costs of furnishing the office with the basic office necessities like land line phones, chairs, desks, office Wi-Fi, etc.
A furnished office is a completely furnished space with chairs, desks, meeting rooms, and everything else that a startup office should need. Many furnished offices are fully staffed office spaces, so the costs of a receptionist, secretary, cleaning services, maintenance, etc. are often included in the monthly rental price.
Pros: A furnished office space for entrepreneurs can take a lot of the hassle out of setting up an external office space. The transition from your current startup space can be much faster and easier than moving into and furnishing a traditional office space. There is no real need for downtime when moving into a furnished office. A furnished office can also be a great place to meet clients.
Terms for furnished offices are also much more ideal for a startup company. Short-term and month-to-month rates are commonly available with furnished offices. You can also pay for only what you need, rather than getting a space that is too large. If you need a conference room, you can use them by the hour or day.
Cons: The costs for furnished and fully staffed offices are generally higher than other office space alternatives. Shorter terms, flexibility, and office furnishings come with higher prices. However, they also eliminate the hidden expenses of a traditional office space.
The latest trend in office space for entrepreneurs is called a co-working space. These are furnished spaces that anyone who wants to work in an external work environment can come and work. The space is generally an open area where people can come and use the resources and workstations available by paying a monthly fee or by the visit.
Pros: The collaborative and forward thinking atmosphere of a co-working space is especially attractive to entrepreneurs. There are great opportunities to network with people who have similar interests and get feedback on your ideas. It allows people to interact in a laid-back startup office space environment and avoid the isolation that can be felt in a home office setting.
Cons: Working in an open office environment can make it hard to work without interruption. People talking around you while you are on the phone may be counterproductive for some people. Co-working spaces also lack the comfort of having your very own office space to meet with clients.
Are you an entrepreneur? What is your preferred office environment?