When you first think of starting a business, your thoughts are probably stuck on the financial aspect of it. You are trying to raise capital, research how to get a personal loan or get bank financing for buying equipment or being able to market your business. In the meantime, it’s important to have a permanent location for your business. You’ll need to have an address, and, in some cases, a physical office or store so that your business can be officially registered and have a place it identifies with. However, leasing full office space may not always be the best first choice.
There are a lot of different office solutions that can give your business financial flexibility when you’re just starting out:
Starting Your Business from Home
Many people who’ve built great companies have started by growing them from their kitchen or garage, and depending on the kind of business you’re running, this might be the perfect option for you.
Usually, you can build up savings by doing this, which can help you move to a more formal office setting in the future. But as pointed out by Mitchell Khosrova, local zoning laws can still sometimes restrict what you can do with a home-based business, and if you’re renting an apartment, your lease may or may not permit running a business.
Another thing to be aware of is if business insurance is necessary for what you do, you’ll usually need to get a separate plan in addition to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Renting a Coworking Space
If you can’t afford all the initial fees for leasing either office or retail space, you might want to look at a coworking space. These are shared workspaces that are usually common with millennial workers, but according to Habu, even other corporations who’ve been around longer are starting to see the value of coworking spaces. Usually, they are much cheaper to rent than regular offices, and they don’t have early termination fees if you want to move out.
However, since you’ll be doing work around others who are also engaged in many business activities, coworking spaces may not be the best choice if your business requires a quiet and distraction-free workspace.
Renting a Virtual Office
A virtual office is a rental service where you can have a physical address listed for your business, have phone answering service, and in some cases, even have a conference room reserved for meetings as you would at a coworking space. Davinci Virtual points out the advantages for renting a virtual office: “Having a business address gives your business a sense of legitimacy in the eyes of others, and after all, you don’t necessarily want to be advertising your home address when handing out business cards.”
But usually other than receiving mail and giving your business a little more formality in its listing, a virtual office is not where the business owner actually works. It’s basically a place where an office is listed, but the business could be run from home, a coffee shop or somewhere else.
The good thing about starting your business out small in locations like your home or a virtual office is that you have time to build up your cash flow and organize your structure. With a little patience, you may be able to show an investor or loan officer that your business has been well-run and can repay loans or make returns on investments.
By not worrying too much about moving into the big luxurious office space right away, you can focus on more important things. Let AOEE help by scheduling a consultation today!