What could be better than having your own office?
In the eyes of some businesses, absolutely nothing. Many startups have spent a considerable amount of time and effort preparing their business plans and working out what they are going to spend their budget on. But one area where your budget should never be spent on is on an office. It's one of the most frivolous expenses available.
But why should you avoid tying yourself into an office contract?
If you decide to rent an office to yourself, you will find that it quickly becomes your biggest expense. This is money that could be better spent elsewhere, such as on marketing and product development. Consider the fact that startups already have huge problems raising the necessary capital to function and it shouldn't take long to discover that a few extra dollars a month in expenses is a bad idea.
The Long Contract
You may not want to think about it, but your business may last only a few months. It's more common than you think in the startup world and you have to give real consideration as to whether this may happen. A lot of office spaces demand that you sign up for a contract for a certain length of time.
Even if your business goes south during this time, you will still have to fulfill the contract. This could leave you thousands of dollars in the hole, especially if you happen to fold during the early weeks of a new contract. There are offices with flexible contracts, but they are an unnecessary shadow over your business.
You Don't Actually Need an Office
A lot of new companies look at the costs of an office and decide to rent it out anyway because they believe they need an office. Many of these reasons are no longer applicable to the modern world of business, though. These are some of the key reasons why you don't need an office:
Go back twenty or thirty years and every company had to have an office. Today, this need has evaporated. Unless you are a larger business or you are running a store that relies on meeting customers face-to-face you don't actually have any need for an office.
Alternatives are Available
It's understandable that many entrepreneurs have little desire to work from home. There are alternatives to not having a stable Wi-Fi connection and your own space.
One example is the local initiatives to provide free Wi-Fi at local businesses for people who come from the area. For a small fee, or even just the price of a drink in the case of a caf, you can use their Wi-Fi facilities. More and more public networks are being secured against the latest threats, so you no longer have to worry about your privacy as much.
There are also public spaces you can use for free, or for just a small fee. Public libraries, cafes, fast food places, and even sharing with another business are all options open to you.
What about Coworking?
If you are still set on an office, you do have an option open to you. Coworking spaces are growing in prominence across the US. A massive 70% of people using these spaces said they felt healthier. These spaces enable people to share an office with other entrepreneurs in their niches. These are different from shared offices because the focus is on mentorship and education.
A lot of these spaces are responsible for lifting startups off the ground and giving them a bright future, with half a million workers now operating in them. You still have to pay rent, but the cost can be under $100 a month, in some cases, making the actual costs to your business almost unimportant.
Conclusion--Where Will You Go?
Just because you decide against renting out an entire office to yourself doesn't mean that the only alternative is staying at home. There are plenty of other options open to you, including co-working or just hanging out at the mall. It all depends on the type of company you are running and the needs of that business.
What will you decide to do today?