Do You Really Need An Office?
It used to be a case that acquiring an office was a necessity for any business hoping to grow.
Nowadays, technology has enabled many companies to thrive without office space – employees can be hired virtually, while face-to-face meetings with clients can be held via Skype or in a coffee bar. It’s even possible to outsource a mailing address, allowing you to work from home without having to give out your personal address to clients.
Despite this, offices do still have a few advantages such as aiding team communication and providing an escape from the distractions of home. To help you decide whether you need an office, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
Can you afford office space?
Renting office space is expensive and could be an added cost each month. On top of the rent, you may have extra energy bills to consider, as well as furniture and equipment. It’s worth budgeting to ensure that you’ve got enough money coming in to cover the overheads of running an office.
Working from home could save you having to pay any extra costs. This could mean more profit to pour into other areas of your business.
Are you tech-savvy enough to run a virtual business?
If you decide to go down the virtual office route instead of acquiring office space, you will have to be certain that you’re comfortable with the technology.
- If you’re hiring virtual employees, you’ll need to be able to communicate with them via video-conference or instant messaging (phoning them up may not be practical). Make sure that you understand this technology enough to use it efficiently – otherwise an office may be better for team communication.
Similarly, you may have to up your security when running a virtual business. There are companies like Virtual Office Solutions that you can outsource to help provide security support as well as offering cloud storage for keeping all your files in a virtually accessible place.
Even when outsourcing these companies, you should do your research to understand the fundamentals of this technology.
Is a ‘coffice’/coworking space an option?
There may be other options to consider other than renting your own office or conducting all business virtually.
Working from a coffee bar (which some refer to as a ‘coffice’) could allow you to get away from the distractions of home and could give you a place to conduct face-to-face meetings with clients. You might not be able to work with a team of employees every day in a coffee bar, but it could be a suitable place for working solo.
Of course, you should make sure to find a coffee bar that doesn’t get too busy and one in which you can trust the network (although you could use a VPN).
Coworking space could be another option.
These are shared office spaces in which you work alongside other companies under the same building. This could be cheaper than having your own office and it could also give you your own space for communicating face-to-face with people. You can find coworking space at sites like The Spaces.
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