How To Save On Office Space For Your Small Business

There comes a time when that basement or spare
bedroom you’ve converted into an office just
doesn’t cut it anymore. You need real office space
— a place where you can meet clients without your
3-year-old squawking in the background, a place
where your filing cabinet doesn’t double as a sock
drawer.
But unless you’ve hit the venture capital jackpot, a
proper workspace will be a significant investment.
Here are five ways to set up an office without
putting a big dent in your bottom line.
Share Space
Shared workspaces or coworking spaces are
popular among growing businesses that aren’t quite
developed enough to sign a long-term lease. These
are fully furnished office buildings that let you rent
individual desks or offices on a monthly basis.
Some of the spaces come decked out with the
latest techno-wizardry, including ultra-high-speed
Internet connections and conference rooms with HD
audiovisual systems. Others are more spare,
offering little more than basic wi-fi and a coffee
maker. At the lower end, expect to pay about $100
to $200 per employee per month. At the higher end,
coworking spaces can run between $500 and $1,000
per employee per month, depending on the
amenities.
You can find a coworking space in practically any
large city. Examples include Sandbox Suites in the
San Francisco Bay Area, Cambridge Coworking
Center in Boston, the Coop in Chicago, Sunshine
Suites in New York City and 200 Office in Atlanta.
Lease, Don’t Buy
Furnishing an office can be more expensive than
the office itself. Desks, chairs, phones, computers,
copy machines — the list goes on.
The good news is that you don’t have to buy
everything you need. Instead, you can lease it. Most
equipment leases don’t require a down payment, so
you can get lots of equipment without crimping
your cash flow. Leasing also lets you trade in
equipment every few years for the latest and
greatest models, ensuring that you’re always up to
date.
The major downside to leasing is that you’ll pay
more in the long run. Also, you can’t deduct as
much: In a lease, you can only deduct your monthly
payments. When you purchase equipment outright,
you can deduct the full cost almost immediately.
Leaders in office equipment leasing include Direct
Capital Corp., Tiger Leasing, Taycor Financial and
Innovative Lease Services.
Be Opportunistic
One of the upsides of an uncertain economy is
plenty of empty office space. Often those spaces
belong to companies that are in the process of
downsizing but still have a few years left on their
lease. That’s your opportunity to get prime real
estate on the cheap, by subletting from the
stressed company. Savvy business owners can
negotiate rents at a discount of 25% or more with
current leaseholders anxious to get the property off
their books.
There are a number of matchmaking services that
connect tenants with companies looking to rent out
their unused space. Check out Shared Business
Space, Shared Offices or Open Office Space for
starters.
Bring Your Own Device
You’ve finally hired employees and moved into
your new digs. But now you have to pay for
everything they need. Well, maybe not everything.
These days, most employees are happy to bring
their own devices to work. It’s an irresistible option
for small firms, which can save a lot of money
because they don’t have to pay for computers that
break down or go out of date every several years.
Employees like it too, because they’re more
comfortable with their own smartphones, laptops
and tablets. Plus they have a vested interest in
taking care of their own devices.
The downside is security. Just one-fifth of small
firms have a plan for managing and securing
employees’ personal devices.
Get Rid of the Office
A lot of small businesses these days are going
office-free. Thanks to technologies like
videoconferencing and online collaboration, it’s
easier than ever to operate a virtual office. And
with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile
devices, employees can work from anywhere. As a
small-business owner, the benefit is obvious. You
get to eliminate your biggest expense — the cost of
an office.

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8 thoughts on “How To Save On Office Space For Your Small Business

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