As an entrepreneur, it is very important to have your own business or office address. This does not just give your business a sense of legitimacy, but it also gives you and your customers the convenience of accessibility. Overseeing your employees is also easier once you all work in one place, so better cooperation and teamwork can be expected.
Technically, going for shared office spaces already saves you money in a sense that your rental fees are significantly lower compared to renting out a whole office space just on your own. But first, what is a shared office space? What is its difference from the usual office space?
A shared office space, or sometimes called co-working space is basically still an ‘office space’ that is partitioned to accommodate more businesses. Some entrepreneurs may rent out a whole office space for their own exclusive use, but some (especially startup entrepreneurs) would rather lease a shared office space with other entrepreneurs to save on rental costs. The shared office is then divided into different areas, some have a common lounge room, meeting rooms, and an exclusive space for managers.
For those who really want to save on other operational costs, here are more ways to do that while being in a shared office space:
1. Have common office equipment and supplies.
Whenever you have already established a partnership with other entrepreneurs in your shared office space, try to come up with a common fund that you can use to purchase all the necessary office equipment and supplies for the benefit of every business.
This could include a printer, scanner, ink, bond papers, clips, sticky notes, pens, etc. Place them in a common area that is easily accessible to anyone so they can be used by anyone in the shared space.
With a pooled fund, you don’t have to purchase equipment at their full cost all on your own. Therefore, you get to save some money.
2. Bring your own coffee (or coffee maker).
Instead of buying coffee outside for you and your employees, it is best to invest on a coffee maker if you really want to save money. With a coffee maker, you only need to stock up on coffee beans to have brewed coffee – and you can already do so much with just one pack.
Other than that, you might need to stock up on sugar and creamers too, but that’s still cheaper compared to the frappuccinos you get at your nearest cafe.
3. Assess and negotiate your lease arrangement.
Different office spaces have different leasing contracts, terms and styles. Some offer an open-ended contract, wherein you can have the option to terminate it and move out from the premises at any time.
Some, however, have fixed terms – meaning, you are required to stay at least one, two or more years and you only have the chance to renew/terminate it when that period comes. Some shared office spaces also rent out their area via seats only, while some lease out partitioned space or rooms.
With different options, it is best to assess and negotiate the terms first to accommodate your actual business needs. If seat leasing is more expensive for you, then find a shared space that can offer you leasing via room size.
Ideally, shared office spaces are only perfect for start-up entrepreneurs and businesses which are currently in a transitioning phase. If your company is already stable and relatively large enough to occupy an average office space, then a more permanent and fixed office space is best for you.