RENT OFFICE SPACE? 5 ALTERNATIVES
KENNETH ERVIN YOUNG
KENNETH ERVIN YOUNG

Kenneth Ervin Young is a Business and Digital Marketing Coach, a Full-Stack Website Developer, a Georgia Institute of Technology Electrical Engineer, a Husband, and a Father. Kenneth resides in Tampa, Florida, USA.

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RENT OFFICE SPACE – 5 ALTERNATIVES

RENT OFFICE SPACE – 5 ALTERNATIVES

Today I am speaking on the subject: Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives. This article will help you learn and choose between where you and your team will work each day.

In this article, you will learn what the five most common choices are for your small business or early-stage startup.

I will cover the pros and cons of each of the five office choices so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your team. 

Table of Contents

Rent Office Space – Why is Your Business Office Space So Important?

Choosing the right location to “go to work” each day can significantly impact the success of your business. No one wants to work eight hours a day where they don’t feel comfortable. If you choose the wrong place, you may:

  • Spend too much money
  • Lose productivity
  • Have your stuff stolen
  • Have your passwords compromised
  • Not appear professional to Client
  • Make it hard to attract employees

Let’s take a look at some of your top office location options and help you make the best choice possible!

1: Work from Home – Rent Office Space

Working from home is the first Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives choice for the vast majority of new startups and 1-4 person small businesses. However, like with all decisions, there are positives and negatives to working from home. Let’s take a minute and go through the pros and cons.

Positives:

  • It is the cheapest of the five intelligent startup office choices.
  • No landlord to pay means that you have more cash in your pocket to help get your business off the ground.
  • There are no transportation expenses. Your legs take you to your office space.
  • No time wasted going to and from your work office.
  • You do not have to worry about stolen passwords from people looking over your shoulder. You do not need a VPN.
  • Having flexible work hours is easy.

Negatives:

  • You may not have a separate quiet space to work to maximize productivity.
  • There may have frequent interruptions by family members or roommates.
  • There needs to be a fast internet connection which adds costs.
  • You have to have the muscular discipline to set and keep regular work hours.
  • If you need to print or fax, you will have to buy equipment and supplies.
  • Make it hard to attract employees.

Working from home is how the majority of all startups begin. The Idea Stage is usually the work from home stage. The Build stage is often the transition stage from working from home to working from another location. 

2: Work from a Coffee Shop -Rent Office Space

Working from a coffee shop is the second Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives choice for many new startups and 1-4 person shop consulting businesses. However, like with all decisions, there are positives and negatives to working from a coffee shop. Let’s take a minute and go through the pros and cons.

Positives:

  • It costs 5 – 10 dollars a day for coffee and snacks per person usually.
  • High-speed internet is pretty standard in most coffee shops.
  • If you are a company of two or more, it allows closer real-time teamwork.
  • If you are a solopreneur, it is essential to get out be around people at least 1-2 times a week.

Negatives:

  • It costs 5 – 10 dollars a day for coffee and snacks per person usually, so it’s not free like working from home.
  • High-speed internet is pretty standard, but you may have to get a new access code hourly in some shops.
  • There will be transportation time losses and costs getting to and from the co-working location.
  • It lacks any privacy for conversations.
  • It is often loud, impacting your ability to focus and get things done or have client phone calls.
  • People looking over your shoulder or hackers can more easily steal your passwords. You need a VPN!
  • You may have your equipment stolen when you go to the bathroom.
  • If you need to have frequent client meetings at your business location, a coffee shop does not give a favorable impression of you being a “real business.”
  • If you need to print or fax, you are not able to at a coffee shop.
  • Make it hard to attract employees.

We all love coffee shops. Well, most of us do. Often when we bring on our first co-founder or part-time employee, I use the coffee shop as a great get-together location rather than my home. A coffee shop is an excellent choice during both the Idea Stage and the Build Stage. Many people feel uncomfortable going to work at someone else’s house in general. I recommend a coffee shop for meetings with co-workers of the opposite sex so that there is no opportunity for the miss interpretations of anyone’s actions during the workday. Also, there’s coffee! 

3: Work from a Co-working Space – Rent Office Space

Working from a co-working space is the third Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives choice for many new startups and 1-4 person shop consulting businesses. However, like with all decisions, there are positives and negatives to working from a co-working space. Let’s take a minute and go through the pros and cons.

Positives:

  • It puts you around other like-minded individuals and teams working on or running their startup or small business.
  • High-speed internet of 100Mb/second is standard in most co-working spaces
  • Typical costs are $5 – $10 per day or $100 – $200 a month per person for M-F, 8 am – 5 pm access for a random chair and shared table.
  • Coffee, teas, and water is a pretty standard inclusion. Some locations may include light snack food for an added fee.
  • Noise rules usually mean it is a pretty quiet workspace.
  • If you have a business question, you may be able to ask other business persons in the co-working space.
  • Often included a limited number of hours to use a private meeting room for any team or client meetings.
  • It feels like a natural work environment, so the discipline of getting up and going to work is quickly followed, versus home or coffee shop work environments.
  • If you need to have frequent client meetings at your business location, a co-working space gives a better impression of you being a “real business” than your home or a coffee shop.
  • If you need to print or fax, most co-working spaces will have an area with equipment and supplies, usually for an extra fee.
  • Easy to attract employees with a “real” office space

Negatives:

  • Typical costs are $5 – $10 per day or $100 – $200 a month per person for M-F, 8 am – 5 pm access for a random chair and shared table, so it is more expensive than working from home, but could be cheaper than working from a coffee shop.
  • There will be transportation time losses and costs getting to and from the co-working location.
  • You may have your passwords stolen by people looking over your shoulder or hackers. You still need a VPN!
  • While still possible, it is less likely to have your things stolen when you walk away from them. Many or most have central 24×7 camera systems to both discourage and catch any would-be thieves.

A co-working space is the choice for companies during the Build Stage and Launch Stage. Most communities have one or more coworking spaces. Often the location was a long-abandoned small building in the downtown area. If you don’t have one in your area, seek out such a place and reach out to the building owner. Often there are nice tax deductions for running such a space that can offset any rent loss to the owner. 

4: Work from a Rented Office Space

Working from rented office space is the fourth Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives choice for many new startups and 1-4 person shop consulting businesses. However, like with all decisions, there are positives and negatives to working from rented office space. Let’s take a minute and go through the pros and cons.

Positives:

  • It gives you a “real workspace” similar to other office jobs you may have held, making work discipline easy to maintain.
  • You don’t have to worry much about having your things stolen when you walk away from them. Just close and lock your door.
  • In most cases, you have access to the space 24×7.
  • Most rented office spaces will likely be a nice place to bring clients for meetings.
  • If you need to have frequent client meetings at your business location, a rented office space gives a strong impression of you being a “real business.”
  • Often included a limited number of hours to use a private meeting room for any team or client meetings.
  • If you need to print or fax, some rented office space will have a reception area with equipment and supplies, usually for an extra fee.
  • Easy to attract employees with a “real” office space

Negatives:

  • Typical costs for an 8′ x 10′ office with a door are likely $600+ per month depending on your location, so renting an office space is much more expensive than working from a co-working space.
  • There will be transportation time losses and costs getting to and from the co-working location.
  • You are still on a shared internet connection, so you have to worry about work-product and password theft. You still need a VPN!
  • There will usually be a 1 to a 10-year lease for the office space. If your business fails, you will still have to pay for office space for the term of the contract or pay an early exit penalty.

Once you are in the Launch Stage of your business, or shortly after that, you will want to find a more permanent office space where you can exert control over the environment. You will want to be sure that you are leasing the suitable space not just for today but for the entire lease term.

You definitely should read my companion article, Office Space – 15 Smart Questions, before finalizing your rented office space decision. 

5: Work from a Business Club

Working from a business club is the fifth Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives choice for many new startups and 1-4 person shop consulting businesses. However, it is the one that is the least frequently considered.

Why?

Several reasons. First, many business people do not even know that business clubs exist as a “thing.” People are familiar with golf clubs and social clubs, but not with Business Clubs. Running my business from a Business club is my “secret weapon.”

However, like with all decisions, there are positives and negatives to working from a Business Club. Let’s take a minute and go through the pros and cons.

Positives:

Typical monthly Business Club costs are $100 to $200 per month. Prices vary by your location.

So, joining a Business Club is much less expensive than working in a rented office space. It is comparable to working from a co-working space or working from a coffee shop.

  • You are working around other small business owners and startups which is great for networking opportunities.
  • If you need to have frequent client meetings at your business location, a Business Club gives a very positive impression of you being a “real business.”
  • Many Business Clubs have full bars and restaurants, which are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after-dinner client meetings.
  • Most Business Clubs have no contracts. As you grow or shrink, you can move to a different location without penalty.
  • If you have a business question, you may be able to ask other business persons in the co-working space.
  • Many Business Clubs have committees run by the club membership and supported by the club management. For example, my Business Club has a Business Connections Committee, a Philanthropy Committee, a Women in Business Committee,  and more! Great for more networking opportunities.
  • Many Business Clubs have printing and fax services included in the membership or available for an extra per-use fee.
  • Easy to attract employees with a “real” office space

Negatives:

  • Typical monthly Business Club costs are $100 to $200 per month depending on your location, so joining a Business Club is more expensive than working from home.
  • There will be transportation time losses and costs getting to and from the co-working location.
  • You are still on a shared internet connection, so you have to worry about work-product and password theft. You still need a VPN!

There is a fifth option that I find few small businesses or Entrepreneurs consider. That is the Business Club. Many of you may have never heard of a Business Club. You can think of a Business Club as being like a Social Club but focusing on small business. Club Corp is one business club example. Club Corp the largest owner and operator of private clubs nationwide with 200+ country clubs, city clubs, athletic clubs, and alumni clubs. Bringing people together is their passion.

It is an excellent place for either a solopreneur or a small 2-4 person team to work out daily. My business Idea To Growth LLC operates out of the Centre Club of Tampa, one of Club Corps finest.

  • Three private meeting rooms that seat four persons
  • Two phone booths with doors for personal phone calls exist
  • There are two bars. There is a full restaurant with a renowned Louisiana Chef
  • Three large event rooms for hosting events for up to 300 persons.
  • It is on the roof of an eight-story structure with great views of downtown Tampa and Saint Petersburg, Florida.

We even have a group table that converts into a ping-pong table for events — not too shabby to work every day for a small team. 

Conclusion: RENT OFFICE SPACE – 5 ALTERNATIVES

The choice of Rent Office Space – 5 Alternatives helps ultimately choose you and your team’s preference. My goal is to have given you some critical points to consider before making the correct decision for you and your team. 

The wrong business space can be very costly in ways that exceed the direct cost of the area. Make sure you have the correct business space for your needs at all times. 

For me, with my small team and remote workers, a combination of working from my home office and a local business club has been the correct answer.

If you consider a Business Club a viable choice for your business, I encourage you to check out Club Corp (Link). Club Corp has over 300 clubs worldwide, so no matter where you are, there is likely a Club Corp property nearby that you can use, even when traveling.

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