You’re an entrepreneur who’s excited to start up or grow your business. However, although it’s tempting to work from home, you realize you want a corporate location that doesn’t include kids’ toys and a laundry room. But where can you find office space for lease quickly and easily?
Ironically, finding office space is as easy as heading to your computer! In the age of the Internet, small business people like you can locate office space all over the world with just a few strokes of the keyboard. Of course, you first have to make a few decisions in order to expedite your office space finding experience:
1. Determine where you want to work.
Are you going to look for office space in your hometown or are you willing to commute to a neighboring city? It’s important to think about what type of work you do when considering this. For instance, if you’re going to host many clients at your office space locale, you’ll want to pick a place that’s convenient for them (rather than convenient for you.) If you’re not planning on having many on-site client meetings, a more out-of-the-way office space may be acceptable.
2. Figure out how much office space you need.
Will 200 square feet be enough for you? How about 500 square feet? Or do you need much more? If you’re not certain what such a space looks like, it’s easy to map it out at home. Just pick a rectangular-sized room and measure the walls in feet. Then, multiple the long side by shorter side. Thus, a 12 foot by 10 foot living room would be 120 square feet. A rule of thumb for conventional office space is about 200 square feet per person. To get a better idea, try our office space calculator or visit our space standards page.
3. Decide if you want to share an office space with someone else.
If you’re not in competing businesses, sharing office space can make a great deal of economic sense, especially for entrepreneurs. For example, you could potentially purchase a larger office space than either of you could afford individually as well as share the costs such as heating and electric. Additionally, you might be able to eventually share a receptionist. Executive Suites and virtual offices are also an option.
4. Determine what kind of office building in which you’d like to work.
Are you the type of person who likes to work in a corporate office space? Then you’d probably do well in a large building that was built specifically for commercial offices. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a “homier” atmosphere for your business, you may want to seek out a nontraditional office space, such as one that’s part of what used to be a Victorian home or a red brick schoolhouse.
5. Figure out what your budget is.
Finally, before you start looking for office space, you’ll need to figure out how much you can reasonably afford. It’s always a good idea to take this step before ever jumping on the web to look for a location for your business. That way, you won’t be tempted to incur more debt than you can actually afford. our office market information in the OfficeFinder Local can help get you familiar with what is happening in your market.
6. Get professional assistance.
There are agents who specialize in representing small businesses like yours find the right office space and make sure you avoid mistakes. Using a tenant representaive won't cost you anything. All the fees are paid by the landlord. OfficeFinder is a good place to start with local reps inover 550 markets.
Remember – if you need an office space, it’s as easy to find as your keyboard and mouse!
With office space vacancy rates at recent time highs, office rental rates down as much as 30% in many office markets and no bottom found in the woes for office building owners, now is a great time to renegotiate your lease. Even if you have 2 or more years left on your current office lease you may be surprised at the willingness of landlords to renegotiate. It is not a market specific phenomena, but one that is nationwide. It doesn't matter if you lease office space in Manhattan, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles or even small markets such as Fresno, Raleigh or Rochester. Every office space market has been affected. Many office building owners are having financial difficulties not only on the occupancy side, but also on the mortgage side. If a landlord has a refinance coming due, you may find yourself in a great position to blend and extend. What this means is that you would extend your office space lease for another 3 to 5 years at a lower rate in order for the landlord to show to their office building lender that they have long term office space tenants. No office building owner will agree to reducing a financially strong tenant's rent, unless the restructured agreement provides them with some sort of economic benefit. In this case while you are paying less rent, it turns out to be a win-win situation since your new lease will help in the refinance process for the office building owner.
How do you get this process started? The best way is to contact your Local OfficeFinder Office Tenant representative. Office Tenant Representative services won’t cost you anything and they are professionals at negotiating office leases. OfficeFinder Office Tenant Reps average over 12 years of experience and many have advance designations earned though demonstrating their skills and knowledge. It is a no lose proposition for you. Give them a try. There is no obligation.
Feel free to add this video to your website. Code: <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/BT16OIdul58&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/BT16OIdul58&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
A 2008 World at Work consortium study found that more than 17 million Americans telecommute at least part time, a number that continues to grow as companies look for ways to cut costs and increase productivity
To create a functional home office, interior designer Sharon McCormick suggests considering the following:
Location: Possible spaces include a spare bedroom, bonus room, guest bedroom, walk-in closet, unused living room, dining room, basement, attic, landing, kitchen or, as a last resort, your bedroom.
Privacy: Consider how much privacy and quiet you need and whether you hate feeling isolated.
Tax write-off: If you are looking for a tax deduction, your space will need to be dedicated to work.
Utilities and equipment: Consider whether you have, or can install, electrical outlets, phone jacks and cable in the space. Determine your equipment needs: phone, fax, printer, desktop or laptop. Consider wireless applications to minimize cords and allow for more flexibility.
Lighting: Overhead lighting is optimal and compensates for lack of natural light. Task lighting is needed for individual activities, for example, a desk lamp.
Noise: Telephone conversations with clients or co-workers require a professional atmosphere. Think about adding French doors to a living room, changing out hollow-core doors to solid doors, or adding carpeting and window treatments to muffle outside sounds.
Storage needs: Do you need bookshelves for reference manuals? Filing cabinets? Do you use many office supplies? Will you be keeping sensitive information that needs to be under lock and key?
Desk configuration: An L- or U-shaped arrangement may be best if you like to spread out your projects.
Wire management: Will you end up with unsightly wires everywhere? Sometimes just drilling a grommet hole in a desk can solve that problem.
What do entrepreneurs, small businesses, start-ups and freelancers all have in common? In addition to overwhelming stress levels, they share a need to remain financially nimble, which enables them to adapt to today's ever-changing marketplace. When evaluating operational costs against projected revenues, companies can avoid financial traps by scrutinizing fixed costs. Personnel, facilities and goods and services are the three key fixed expense areas that should be addressed.
"Cutting back on overhead expenses is a great way for companies to save money and remain financially prudent," explains Steve Strauss, USA Today small business columnist. "Small businesses often get locked into large, fixed expenses unnecessarily. It's essential to stay fluid as work demands ebb and flow. Business owners often see these expenses as unavoidable or costs that can only be reduced in the long term. There are immediate ways to adjust these expenses to keep businesses afloat and profitable in times of crisis, and as a long term strategy."
Personnel: Hiring full-time employees comes with the added expense of healthcare, 401(k) plans, and other benefits on top of their salaries. When project loads are low, these employees may not be working at capacity, but their related expenses don't adjust accordingly. This equals wasted money. A smarter way to maximize your personnel investment is to hire freelancers.
Independent workers make up 30% of the nation's workforce. And, that number is expected to grow. According to a survey conducted by Regus (LSE:RGU.l), global leader in flexible workplace solutions, in September and August of 2009, 59.6% of U.S. companies expect their use of freelance workers to rise in the next two years. Using freelancers turns your fixed human capital costs into a variable expense that corrects against project requirements as they ebb and flow. Additionally, freelancers are often experts at their craft who offer a higher caliber of work. The Freelancers Union is an invaluable organization that helps businesses tap into the top talent in any given field.
Facilities: Office leasing is often a company's biggest fixed expense. Getting locked into a long-term, traditional lease can be corporate suicide for a small business. In fact, nearly half of all office space sits empty or is unutilized. There's also the added burden of furnishing and maintaining that space. So, what if your office space could scale with your needs much like the freelance workforce suggested above?
Several turnkey options exist that allow companies to pay only for what they use while presenting a professional image and providing a functioning workspace for staff. Regus offers a full range of cost-effective business-ready workspace products including fully furnished, fully equipped offices, meeting rooms with on-site business and administrative support services.
When a physical office is unnecessary, virtual offices allow businesses to instantly gain a market presence with a prestigious, high-profile business address. Support services can also include local telephone answering and mail handling services.
"Paying for unused, unnecessary office space is like throwing bags of money into a bonfire," said Guillermo Rotman, chief executive officer of Regus Americas. "Small businesses fall into the long-term lease trap all too often. Staying nimble by scaling expenses with projected or actual revenues is essential for any size business, but is absolutely crucial for smaller companies operating on much tighter budgets."
Goods & Services: Businesses no longer have to enter into exclusive, long-term contracts with most goods and services vendors. Negotiating flexible agreements upfront allows professionals the ability to revisit the contracts quarterly and shop for competitive pricing elsewhere.
And, gone are the days when overstock is vital. Just-in-time production and creative storage practices help businesses cut down on inventory overhead. Businesses should pay only for what is needed, when it's needed. What's more, many sub-contractors will ship directly to a customer's clients as necessary -- cutting out the middle man and eliminating unnecessary expenditures.