The need to run a business out of a commercial setting has become less and less necessary each year. Working from home has surged in popularity and most office jobs can be done from the comfort of your couch or home office. This being said, there is still a stigma against professionals who work from home, rather than from a traditional brick and mortar office building. Buying or leasing an office space can be pretty expensive, but the market has picked up on this and there are several inexpensive options which allow you to have all the benefits of your own building.
1. Virtual Offices
An interesting new concept is that of virtual offices. This method is completely smoke and mirrors in that you still operate from home, but, on paper, it appears that you are actually located in a high-end office building anywhere in the world. Not only do you get an actual business address where you can receive mail (not a PO Box), most virtual office companies will offer additional services such as live personalized call answering and some even offer online temp services to help with any of your business needs. The only downfall may be when you need to meet with clients regularly. They might become suspicious when you conduct all your meetings at Starbucks.
2. Executive Suites
Executive suites are essentially subleased office space chopped up into individual workstations and leased on a month-to-month basis. These offices are completely furnished and ready to move into. Executive suites also enjoy commonly shared conference rooms, a business center with a fax machine, copier, etc, as well as a lobby with a live secretary that will answer calls and greet clients with your business name. Executive suites are more expensive than the other options listed in this article. However, they are still much less expensive than leasing your office space. Beware of add on-costs. Typically, rent only includes the office and the extras are offered at an additional price, a la cart.
3. Shared Office Space
Several businesses either lease more space than they need or downsize. Similar to executive suites, these tenants will sublease portions of their unused space. This method is especially popular with warehouse tenants. So, if you have a business that involves light manufacturing or storage, then this is the best option for you. The downside is that you will not typically get the extras that you would with an executive suite … but the rent is typically much less expensive.
4. Cubicle Leasing
Popular in larger cities, you can even lease just one cubicle for a month, week or in some locations even a day! This is the most basic option, as you are literally getting just 3 walls and a desk but you will be hard pressed to find any other option with a shorter lease term.
There are several alternatives to working from home that are cost effective; it is just a matter of finding them. Most of these can be found online fairly easily and you can even find real estate agents that specialize in executive suites and shared office space.
This guest post is written by Michelle Wiley, who writes for www.iowacityrealestate.com.