Whether a start-up enterprise or a large corporation, every company needs an affordable place to actually conduct business. Between the price of real estate, cost of utilities, and a struggling economy, this is one expense that – while necessary – can potentially weigh a company down if leasing arrangements are not well thought out. There are definitely ways for businesses of all sizes to have the proverbial cake and eat it too when it comes to office space rental.
With a little creative thinking in relation to the business, customer base and location, drastically discounted locations can be found and sometimes even free space, all of which is great for increased profitability at the end of the month.
Naturally, any company wants to obtain a lease at as low a rate as possible, so contract negotiations and even bartering is not uncommon. Perhaps some type of service can be provided to the building owner in exchange for a certain amount of money deducted from the cost of rent; maybe self improvements can be made to a rented space so a building owner does not have to deal with it. These suggestions might allow for acquiring a more affordable work area. Such ideas are not new nor are they particularly inventive ways of trying to eliminate excesses from monthly operating expenses.
Following are a few more creative ideas for small businesses to consider when looking for an affordable office lease or a bigger or better rental space:
- Sublet – Subletting anywhere can offer a considerable amount of savings. Teaming up with bigger companies can increase that savings, since it is almost guaranteed that a larger business would have its own office machines and other pertinent equipment. It may be possible to use such equipment by including it in a monthly lease amount, saving a great deal that would otherwise have to be spent buying or leasing identical equipment. Additionally, if it is possible to sublet from a company servicing the same customers perhaps in a different capacity such as a service-oriented business subletting space from a real estate company, the possibility of referral work is opened up which can save leasing expense while opening up a window of opportunity for increased sales.
- Telecommuting – For businesses that only need an office on a part-time basis, companies are beginning to crop up all over the place that do nothing other than rent part-time office space complete with internet connections and equipment. This might be all that is necessary for a business that has employees who work mostly outside of the office or telecommute but still need a location to get together on a somewhat regular basis for projects, meetings, etc. Rentals like this are usually more expensive by the square foot than simply leasing outright; however, without being tied down to a contract or commitment, payment is only made for the time the space is actually used.
- Downsizing – Downsizing does not have to mean reducing the number of employees. Taking a good look at how the current leased space is being used and deciding whether that space can be freed to sublet to another small business could be a perfect solution. Looking into better means of storage, more compact equipment and anything allowing for a more economical use of space could provide some additional income. Outfitting with older yet useable fixtures and furniture, providing an internet connection, and sharing the use of restrooms and break rooms can be more than enough for a start-up or other small company and can become a big benefit to both companies. This also allows for flex-time schedules, telecommuting, and ‘hot desking’ which allows for two employees to share the same space at different working times.
Though not every idea will work for every situation, reduced rental plans such as the ones discussed above can work out exceptionally well for the right companies. This allows a business to be wise with a budget and spend money saved on expanding the company rather than paying for office space. Even with non-standard agreements such as the above, it is still essential to put all of the specifics in a contract to avoid leasing problems and protect all involved parties. So be money-wise when looking for office space, consider the above options, and find a great working location!