Making the move from home office to renting space can be a difficult one, but it can provide more opportunities than just offering a formal place to work.
You may have missed it, but 1st February was ‘Working naked day.’
Two small points before you mark the date with a 🙂 in your calendar: It’s only in the US and only for those who work alone – preferably at home.
Making the leap to start your own business is a difficult one. It’s marred by not one single factor, but the many costs involved. Not least the potential drop in income from whatever you were doing before.
When 90 percent of small businesses fail because of poor cashflow, setting up a home office can be an attractive option and automatically abolishes one of the major costs.
But what if you have young children and no lock on the door? What if you need to meet with clients and the local coffee shop doesn’t cut it? Or if your home business has plateaued, and the only way to increase profitability is to take that giant leap where working naked is not an option?
Desks for hire
There are many more options available to microenterprises looking to take the next step than just renting a local office and absorbing all the costs that comes with that. There are an increasing number of offices offering desks with affordable weekly rent. And this isn’t just in the city, but in a local suburb near you
Google ‘hot desk’ and a myriad of options are provided. From examples of large corporates cutting costs by embracing a flexible workforce and no longer allowing employees to personalise their desks with their latest trinkets or holiday snaps, to desks available for businesses to rent by the day.
Even ads from Gumtree pop up, eBay’s local younger brother which extends auctioning of goods and offers real estate as one of its key sections, is an excellent resource for businesses that have space to sell with no upfront costs.
So is leaving the comfort of your favourite chair to enter into a world where you have to share the printer and are forced to listen when other people are on the phone worth it? What are the advantages to your business?
1. Office location
While gone are the days where businesses need a physical presence, being part of an office can help demonstrate who you are to clients and indeed, accomplishment.
Selecting the right location for your office is paramount. It can be a business decision based on being where your clients are, or an extension of your work life balance ethos and somewhere that makes it easy to duck out for a surf at lunch. Whatever the reason, a separate office provides this opportunity.
For everyone who has done the daily trek into work by bus, train or automobile, while it is tiring and something to endure than embrace, it has its benefits that merely walking downstairs to the study does not.
A commute provides a complete separation between work and play. It is a time, generally to yourself, where you have the opportunity to think about the day ahead, what the priorities are and how you are going to tackle a particular problem. And similarly, there are benefits at the end of the day as well. However long or short, a commute helps the transition from work mode to bathing the kids.
3. Always ‘on’
Today’s technology ensures we are always ‘on’ and is embraced by professionals everywhere who welcome the opportunity to be seen as available to clients and their business associates. For those working from home, technology blurs the line between work and play’ even further whether you want it to or not. By having a separate office, there is more opportunity to manage if you want to be available 24/7, by putting the mobile to one side, and not having the temptation to ‘pop’ into the office.
4. Revenue stream
Organisations offering desks to microenterprises, are often a collection of like professionals. The Refinery Studio in Warriewood on the Northern Beaches of Sydney brings together five separate businesses that can take the form of one if a client so requires.
“For the first time in ten years I have colleagues I can say ‘hi’ to in the morning. As a photographer I have worked with videographers, designers and producers on an ad hoc basis, but now working alongside such professionals on a day-to-day basis, clients are able to see the benefits of outsourcing their media needs all under the same roof,” said Mark Watson, 2012 Nikon Ambassador, Director of inciteimages.com and Partner in The Refinery Studio.
No man or women, is an island and while you may have operated as such for a number of years, the benefits of having colleagues to brainstorm and bounce ideas of is a valuable resource.
If you have ever worked in an organisation with more than say, five employees, or indeed looked to fill a role with and employee of a certain ‘fit,’ the chances are you will have conducted psychometric testing at some point and know if you are organised or creative, logical or emotional (if you didn’t know this already). Much has been written about the optimised work force with each pillar of preference accounted for.
It is the theory behind the personalities created in every successful sitcom from Friends to Big Bang Theory. Having an office with different personality types can bring different ideas into your business of one or few that were not previously considered. In addition, communal brainstorming is where new revenue streams can be born.
6. Shared resources
Taking a shared space, means sharing the cost and potentially more available resources than you would have as a single entity. Whether that is high-speed internet access or a coffee machine that-warms-the-milk, sharing the cost provides more resources for your business.
Nearly every shared office will provide a meeting space available for clients meetings. Much more professional than your lounge at home, an office immediately offers credibility and in the case of The Refinery Studio, an opportunity to showcase the collective offering with each piece of the media puzzle there to meet and add value if required.
While joining a shared office means your days of working in your birthday suit are no more, your business will benefit from having the opportunity to be part of a cohesive group that is more than the sum of its parts. Consider your needs, think about what will work for you, and find an office space that provides benefits for you and your business.