Is Shared Office Space Right For Your New Business?

Today’s economy makes starting and maintaining a business feel like an extreme sport. With prices rising and jobs decreasing it is difficult for anyone to survive in the tough economic times. Many disgruntled individuals who have found themselves walking out of their offices, cardboard box in hand, have decided that if job opportunities simply aren’t available they’ll create their own. As more and more people move toward entrepreneurship, they are finding creative ways to get the resources they need without having to pay big bucks or make huge financial investments to start their own small businesses.

Because one of the biggest investments when starting a business is office space, many startups begin in home offices or basements. However, this is not ideal in all situations, particularly when the business requires regular meetings with clients or large amounts of equipment. In these cases, more and more people are turning toward shared office spaces. Shared office space allows many different small businesses to essentially split the cost of a lease and share the office space and equipment between them. In some cases, these small businesses are providing similar services. In other cases, they are completely different businesses. By working in a shared office space, small businesses are able to save the maximum amount of money, even more than short-term leases or temporary office spaces.

When the businesses sharing the same space provide a similar service, they can also save money by sharing specialty office equipment. Though this requires a little more coordination, if managed successfully these businesses could end up saving even more money on the purchasing of expensive equipment. If you are a business that already owns specialty equipment, you can even make some money by offering to rent your equipment to the other company or companies in your shared office space for a small fee. This is a quick and easy way to recoup the money you will be spending on your share of the lease.

Though shared office space can have its benefits in regards to saving money and sharing responsibilities, it can also present a unique set of challenges as well. Because you will have little jurisdiction over the actions and behaviors of the people you are sharing office space with, you may find yourself in challenging situations if you and the other party or parties do not agree on the use of the shared space or if there is some sort of disruption that is making it difficult for you to work. In these cases, it is important to arbitrate any arguments through the proper leasing authorities in a professional manner.

As such, it is important, when deciding on a shared office space, that you first acquaint yourself with the other individuals and businesses you will be sharing the space with. Learn about what they do and what their daily habits are in the office. Ask them if they have any particular preferences or issues and take note of those things. If you feel as though you may be incompatible or find that there are too many factors that don’t line up between you and the other businesses in the shared space, you may want to keep looking. If, however, you find a shared space where you feel you can easily communicate with those around you as well as foster a positive work environment, you may be in luck.

Shared office space can be a great solution for new businesses searching for a place to call their own, outside their home, without bleeding their wallets dry in the processes. Being creative with your shared space and business equipment can provide you the most bang for your buck in today’s tough economy.