It may sound too good to be true, but if you’ve looked at prices for offices in your ideal location there may be another option. Instead of leasing an entire office, have you considered instead renting desk space or sharing an office?
For small businesses, start-ups and freelancers, renting desk space or part of a shared office can be the ideal solution. For example, you could pick up office space in SE1 for less that £250 per desk. This would give you an address in a prime location, as well as a board room for meetings to give the right impression to prospective clients.
More than being a desk and a meeting room, a shared office can have a host of other benefits; and one of the key ones being flexibility. Perhaps you can only afford one desk for now, but want to expand to more in the near future? Or maybe you need to move in fast, or have the option to move at short notice. Either way, you should be able to find an option that fits, especially in the UK’s bigger business centres.
Unlike leasing an office, these rental deals tend to be flexible short contracts (usually monthly rolling) and as the likes of furniture and utilities are provided you can usually move in almost immediately. And the lack of building responsibility can also be a bonus because office management is taken out of your hands, leaving you to get on with your work without the hassle of paying bills, making repairs etc.
Another benefit is you’ll be meeting new people – it’s the nature of the beast. You tend to find those renting shared office space are creative types, often journalists, designers, entrepreneurs and programmers. Sharing an office can be a great way to both make new friends and new contacts, letting you bounce ideas off like minded individuals and even giving yourself the opportunity to get more work, or contract out work you need done.
Of course, I’m painting a rosy picture – renting office space certainly isn’t for everyone. The price may seem steep for what you get, for example, while the thought of losing control will put some off. However, you will also find a lot of shared offices which offer hot-desking. This means you rent a desk (say, a meeting room) only when you need it, even if it’s for a day, or a few hours, each month. And you can often still arrange to have the postal address too, if you need it.
When it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself how much the impression of a great location is going to help your business. If it’s key, there are whole array of desk rental options available that are worth spending a bit of time investigating.