Making Shared Workspaces & Shared Services Work
During the first part of our blog series, we listed the reasons why buying your own office space is not ideal. Today, let’s look at how you can set up an office from which to run your business without breaking the bank.
Just because buying an office space of your own may not be ideal right now does not mean that you should give up entirely on having a physical space to conduct your business. You still have two options worth considering: to share or to rent a space on your own. Consider these factors to determine which option is best for your business situation:
Funds. Renting an office space costs considerably less than buying one, but it still costs more than sharing one. If you do not think your funds can tide you over a month-to-month contract, consider splitting the bill with another company. Better yet, look for providers who offer both a “shared” physical space, with existing amenities, and a suite of services that you can choose from. Having a provider that can cover all your basic services at a fraction of the what it would cost you to hire someone permanently for a specific job sounds pretty smart, doesn’t it?
Working setup. Do you need high-powered printing machines? A state-of-the-art video conferencing system? A comprehensive IT environment? You can have all these and more by finding an established company that was set up specifically to offer these as shared services. You cut overhead significantly by buying into a concept similar to one long used in the stock market – the concept of mutual funds. Except in this case, a provider puts together everything you and other like-minded companies can possibly need, then charges your company a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee to cover whichever services you decide to use.
Networking needs. If you are looking to grow your business contacts and relationships, working out of a single office together with another company or several other companies could be the way to go. Sharing the same space with other businesses may open up new connections or opportunities to find affiliates. For startups that need all the help they can get, networking is particularly important.
Easy collaboration. Sharing an office space with other companies – regardless of whether they occupy different niches in the market – is a good way to bounce ideas off of other people. “Water cooler conversations” present great opportunities to make casual connections that may turn helpful, later on. For all you know, with a partner or two who sells products or services that are compatible with, or complementary to yours, you can more easily grow your business.
Facilities and amenities. While some office spaces for rent may have the facilities that’ll allow you to hold regular meetings or conferences – virtual or otherwise – not all of them will. Finding a company that can provide you with or share what you need in terms of space and functionality requirements – to hold routine meetings and conduct similarly important business transactions on-site – can help you minimize the hassle and stress of setting up a suitable area meant for this purpose all on your own.
Without a doubt, finding someone to share a space with, or hiring a provider that can custom-fit space and service requirements based on your current needs – with the ability to keep pace with your own business growth – can spur bigger opportunities that could ultimately lead to phenomenal business success.
Ask yourself now: exactly what kind of office do you need? We cover the essential requirements in the final installment of our series, up next.