Renting desk or office space

The start-up guide to renting desk/office space

If you’re just launching a start-up or small business, you will undoubtedly be trying to keep costs down as your business grows.

But the chances are you’ll only be happy working from that corner in the living room for so long (it’s really not great for important meetings) and you will soon start imagining what it would be like to have your own office and seeing your company name above the door.

And there’s good news, with the option of renting office and even desk space, it might not be too long before your small business has a place of its own.
Here’s our guide of the top five things to think about when renting desk/office space for your small business.

1) Know why you want to rent desk/office space

There are plenty of reasons you may want to move your business into a professional office space, from presenting the right corporate image to avoiding getting constantly distracted by daytime TV while working from home.

Only you will know when it’s the right time to make the jump and decide to rent desk/office space – but for many entrepreneurs it’s the moment they begin having serious business meetings or reach the point of hiring employees.

2) Know where you want to be based

Once you’ve decided it’s time to make the leap, you then need to start thinking about the practicalities, like where you want to be based.

There are offices and desk space available for rent in most cities, so once you’ve made that decision it’s time to think about where within the city you want to be, considering factors like how close you are to networking roads and how easily employees will be able to commute.

3) Think about growing your business

Unlike purchasing a commercial property you don’t need to see this as a permanent move for your business. When renting you desk or office space you only need to pay for the space you need now… not what you will need in three years when your business has grown.

That said, you should consider the needs of your business or start-up over the short to medium term. If you think more staff will be joining you, make sure you are looking at renting in a space that can grow with you.

4) Money, money, money

Obviously you don’t want to be wasting valuable business finances unnecessarily so make sure you know the difference between renting serviced, leased and sublet office space and which will work best for you.

For example, remember that serviced office space often comes complete with services like receptionists, post, IT support and kitchen space — all things which could add additional value to you and won’t have to come from elsewhere in your budget.

5) What else can office space offer

Finally, think about the other benefits which renting desk or office space can offer you and your start-up. It’s not just about the physical space and traditional office services.

Many office complexes group together like-minded businesses allowing you to network with other similar-sizes organisations in your sector. Similarly sub-letting office space from a company your start-up can work with might be a smart move for your business in more ways than one.

About the author: Simon Crisp writes on behalf of Office Genie, the UK’s first proper online marketplace for desk space and shared office space.

Work from Home Tips

work from home

The kids are crying, your favorite show is playing on tv and your next door neighbor wants you to go out to lunch with her. How can you ever find time to do work with all these distractions? Since you are not being supervised when working from home, you must learn to be disciplined and efficient on your own. Here are some work from home tips to help you stay focused when working from home.

  • Set up a home office– Find a location in your home where you will be free from distractions and able to focus. This will be your home office. Your office can be anywhere from the corner of your living room to a separate room. Just be sure it doesn’t form an obstruction to the rest of your family. If possible try to isolate your office from personal areas of the house. If clients will be coming to your home office you want to make sure it looks professional. Since working from home may not appear as professional to some clients you can decide to meet them in a restaurant, coffee shop or at their home. If you do decide to bring clients in your home consider getting liability insurance as a precaution in case they get hurt while in your house.
  • Make a schedule with goals– List everything you want to achieve each day. Be realistic on how much you can accomplish within a day. Have set hours of when you will work. Stick with this routine. Develop a schedule that compliments the other aspects of your life. For example if you are caring for children you can work when they are napping. Also consider what time of the day you are most productive. Some people have more attention during the morning while others are more productive at night. Find out what schedule works best for you.
  • Abiding by zoning laws– Many people don’t know about zoning laws but if you are working from home you should. Zoning laws are used by the local government to ensure that residents of a location are not bothered by any new changes to the community such as a home business that brings too much traffic or makes too much noise. Zoning laws can even restrict the hours of business operation. Find out what the zoning laws are for your area and make sure they allow home based businesses. Where can you find zoning information? You can get zoning information from your public library or better yet directly from your local planning department or zoning board. Zoning laws will only be a problem if neighbors complain about you so be sure you don’t form a nuisance to your neighbors.
  • Have a picture of your Inspiration in your office– Hang on your wall a picture of something or someone that inspires or motivates you. This can be of someone you look up to, a loved one, a car you want or places you want to travel to. When ever you become discouraged or overwhelmed the picture will help remind you why you are working so hard and encourage you to keep going.

Finding the Perfect Business Location

Finding the Perfect Business Location

Location, Location, Location! Many will say your business location is the most important aspect of starting a small business. A good location can attract a large number of walk-by traffic while a bad location can hide you away from potential customers. Below you will find tips to finding the perfect location for your business. If you are starting a business that needs a storefront such as a retail store you can skip down to step #3.

How to Get Started

#1 Determine if you can Start your Business from Home

Starting a small business from home can save lots of money. Many entrepreneurs who start a small business such as a party planner or concierge service don’t need a location, they can work from home. Just be sure zoning laws in your area doesn’t restrict home-based businesses. If you are starting a business that needs a storefront such as a restaurant or retail store, a location is essential. Read work from home tips.

#2 Consider Business Incubators

If you run a business that does not need a storefront such as a party planner or concierge service an alternative to starting a business from home are business incubators. A business incubator offers not only office space to set up your business but also supplies services and assistance to help you grow your business. Their assistance and resources can be of much value to an unexperienced entrepreneur. Not all business incubators are alike so the services they offer will vary. Business incubators often offer services such as bookkeeping, fax machines, computers and a secretary. They often offer access to business experts who can help you plan your business, evaluate marketing strategies, assist you with raising capital and more. Since you will be working in a business environment along with other entrepreneurs and business experts you will also have the opportunity to network. For more information on business incubators click here. Another option you can consider is renting office space.

#3 Choose a Particular Community or Region

When choosing a particular community or region determine if there is a demand for a product or service that is not being met. Make sure the community contains your target market. Get a demographics analysis- What kind of people live in close proximity to your location? What kind of people live in the surrounding communities? Is there a lot of competition? For example is there a large number of busy parents and no place to leave their kids when they go to work? Conduct market research to uncover this information. Also examine Market Research Statistics for statistics on demographics. When choosing a particular community or region keep in mind that some communities have restrictions on the hours of business operations. Make sure the rules and laws of your community doesn’t affect the performance of your business.

#4 Consider Location Factors

Below are some factors to consider when choosing a location for your business. Finding a business location that meets all these factors can be very difficult and nearly impossible. Determine which factors are the most important and beneficial to your small business.

  • Costs– The more money you spend on your business location, the more profits you will have to make to make ends meet. Keep in mind you will also have to pay property taxes. Also consider the costs of repairs and equipment. Don’t underestimate the costs of building modifications. Get estimates for an accurate idea of the costs. Be sure that the changes to the property are allowed if you plan on remodeling.
  • Are you close to suppliers?– You don’t want the hassle of a long commute to your suppliers therefore make sure your business location is in close proximity to them. If your suppliers make deliveries, make sure your suppliers can conveniently make deliveries to your business location.
  • Does it have parking and public transportation?– Your business location should be assessable to potential clients and employees. Having a location close to public transportation can be more attractive and convenient for potential customers and employees who don‘t have cars. Also make sure there is public parking near your business location. Potential customers may decide not to visit your business because there is no place to park.
  • Busy Street– Is it located on a busy street where a lot of potential customers walk by? Do people drive on one side of the street in the mornings when going to work or school, then the other side when coming home? If you are selling breakfast goods you may want to be on the side with more movement in the morning. Do people avoid walking on your block because of the street layout or construction?
  • Competition– You may be thinking that you want to be as far from your completion as possible, but being close to your competition can be effective as well. Your competition is probably spending a lot of money to attract customers. Being close to them can bring in some of these customers. Of course keep in mind your marketing efforts can also bring potential customers to them. If you decide to be close to your competition, your product or service should provide an advantage over the competition. Give potential customers a good reason to come to your business instead of your competition. Advertise this on your store window. Having no competition can also be a huge benefit. Having a product or service that is in high demand while having little to no competition can provide a good business opportunity.
  • Close to popular stores– having a business close to popular stores can attract people who are in a buying state of mind. Locating your business on a shopping strip takes advantage of this. Shopping strip locations are often expensive but can benefit your business by providing walk-by traffic from surrounding businesses.
  • Security– Is it in a safe location? Will potential customers be afraid of coming to your business because it is located in a dangerous place? Crimes against your business such as theft can be costly. If you decide to locate somewhere with a high crime rate be sure to install a security system.
  • Exterior and Interior design– When choosing a business location keep in mind that the exterior and interior design can change but the location can’t. However remodeling a location takes time and money.
  • Are you close to your home?– When starting a small business, you will have long work days so living in close proximity to your business is ideal. Not having to worry about a long commute home can be one less problem you have to worry about. In the case of an emergency it would be helpful to live nearby where you need to get to your business right away.
  • Hazardous wastes– If you are buying the property make sure the property is not polluted with hazardous wastes or federal law will require you to clean it up which can be costly. You may want to have an attorney question the seller about the past usage of the property and whether it was exposed to hazardous materials.
  • Zoning Laws– Be aware of zoning laws. Zoning laws govern the area and can pose restrictions on how local businesses operate. There may be restrictions on hours of business operation. Be sure the zoning laws won’t affect your small business.
  • Location’s Past– Was there a business in this location in the past? If so find out why the business is no longer there. Did it go out of business because there was not enough customers?