Startup companies need to be very careful with their resources. Classic office space is known to be one of the biggest resource drains. Office landlords usually require 3-5 year lease periods and personal guarantees, which is not favorable for small startups looking to avoid extra liabilities during their initial growth. That’s why it’s very useful to think outside the box while searching for an office that fits all the requirements of a small startup company. There are plenty of creative solutions for this problem that provide the same or sometimes even better conditions than regular offices. In this article we will share some creative ideas that can help startups save their money and run their business more effectively.
Most small companies start their business from the owner’s home. This is very practical in the beginning. It’s easy to register a company at your own address, plus you don’t need to pay the rent or worry about lease contracts. On the other hand there are plenty of drawbacks that working from home comes with. You can be easily distracted by your roomies or family members, or find yourself going to the fridge every 15 minutes, which can result in gaining lot of weight. It’s also hard to work from home when company has more than 3 employees. That’s why most entrepreneurs decide to move offices from their homes, after companies start growing.
Co-Working Spaces and Other Alternative Solutions
Co-working spaces are great for freelancers and small startups that don’t have a home-office. These places enable you to share experiences with experts from different industries and can also host small teams of up to 5 people. Co-working places can sometimes be quite costly and there are people who decide to use free venues for work instead.
Some spaces you can use for making an alternative office are: coffee shops with Wi Fi (also known as “coffices”), libraries, student dorms or even churches. I’m one of the free-loaders, I have one of those Wi Fi internet packages and my office is everywhere I can sit, from a bench in nearby park to fancy mall or commuter train.
Depending on the city where the company’s based entrepreneurs can also find plenty of free office spaces, organized by local government or chambers of commerce. They open free co-working spaces in order to boost entrepreneurship in municipalities. Similar institutions are also opened on certain American campuses, to equip students with practical business knowledge.
Another approach to office space problem is to contact other companies and cut renting costs. Today, when there are thousands of startups in each state, this is easier than ever. If you have a problem finding your office partners, you can always turn to websites that offers matchmaking services between companies that need space, and local renters. With websites like this you can also contact other renters and make an agreement about communal use of certain office facilities. This will give you all the advantages that come with co-working, with experts from different industries present in the same building. You lease the space directly from the owners, which is much less expensive than paying a co-working space desk.
Shipping Container Office
Building shipping container structures have been one of the hottest trends in office construction industry in the last few years. Shipping containers come at the very reasonable price and they can be easily turned into homes, offices, or any other highly comfortable structures. An important thing when planning to build a shipping container office is to contact reliable contractor such as Royal Wolf for example that has long experience in building portable structures. If your startup grows quickly you can always upgrade your building by adding one more level. If by any chance you want to sell it, shipping containers pretty much “fly off the shelf” these days. These structures are easy to brand, plus they are sustainable and eco-friendly, earning some extra points to your company from the Eco crowd.
Although startup culture is growing, there still are more than 95% of small companies that fail in the first several years of their existence. With this in mind it is hard to invest some big money into office space, before you secure future profits. Luckily these alternative offices and plenty more creative solutions give entrepreneurs the chance to work there way up to the top, without worrying about lease contracts, stubborn landlords and high rents.