We spend many hours at work and the place where we do our job can impact the quantity and quality of the work produced there. Solopreneur consultants often brag about our ability to work from home, or the coffee shop, library, or hammock, but these environments may bring many distractions that have the potential to de-rail concentration or creativity. Furthermore, none is a suitable location into which an A-list client can be invited for a meeting.
If your goal is to attract big-budget clients, then you must communicate your team’s capability to deliver complex and sophisticated services and instill confidence in those whom you ask to hire you. That will almost certainly entail contracting for good office space.
Your office is an extension of your brand and it should represent you well. If you’ve decided that office space outside of your home is now necessary, please read on to receive a basic overview of typical B2B commercial rental possibilities that could align with your needs and budget. For information specific to your requirements, see a commercial real estate agent who has deep knowledge of the B2B office market in your location. As well, you may benefit from the services of an office planning specialist.
This is often the first place that Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs consider when it’s time to move from makeshift to formal office. Think of co-working office space as living with roommates. Lay-outs vary, but you’ll have dedicated work space that provides some degree of privacy.
Besides your discrete work area, all other spaces are common and amenities are shared. You’ll share resources such as a photo-copier, scanner and a conference room stocked with basic audiovisual equipment. There will probably be a kitchen, supplied with at least a coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator.
Many co-working spaces are exclusive to a particular industry (often high tech). They’re designed to encourage networking and referral building, because they are populated by small operators.
Privacy can be a challenge, however, because so much is out in the open, including perhaps your desk area. Highly confidential meetings might need to be held in a coffee shop, ironically, where anonymity can work in your favor.
Some co-working spaces are in luxury office buildings that have lost a big client and so the building’s owners make up the lost revenue by renting to those who seek an elegant office for a limited number of hours each month, primarily when they would like to impress a client or prospect. Office share is a more accurate description of this arrangement.
There is usually a receptionist on site to greet your appointments and inform you of their arrival. There will be a conference room available that renters can reserve for larger meetings. There will be a proper office with a door, giving privacy. You’ll have a great kitchen, high-end photo-copy machine and other standard office amenities. The receptionist may also answer your office land line and forward calls to you, which you can return at your convenience. If set up correctly, no one will know that you’re only renting a share.
A traditional office suite, even a small space, is a big financial commitment. Commercial leases are often of three year’s duration and difficult to break. You must have great confidence in your projected revenues.
Think carefully about staffing needs to determine the square feet that you’ll rent. Do you anticipate hiring an administrative assistant and others to work with you in some capacity? There must be space to accommodate them. Whether they are likely to all be in the office simultaneously is another consideration, but each will need a dedicated permanent space.
Your staff may require different styles of work stations, depending on what it is they do. The size of the desks and style of chairs will matter as well. Ergonomics count, as its use decreases the risk of developing back and neck aches and promotes productivity.
Finally, there is the floor plan to envision. Open plans are popular, but the office cubby gives more privacy. Will you, the boss, have a private office, or will the open plan include you, too, communicating that you are a team player?
Thanks for reading,