Finding an office space can be a nightmare, especially if you live in a big city. Even the simplest of contracts are often riddled with legal jargon and the last thing your fledgling business needs is to be scammed into a long-term rental plan that you can’t afford. If you’re having problems follow these tips.
Contact serviced office providers
Serviced offices are significantly rising in popularity. In fact, it’s estimated that over 50% of all London-based businesses use them. Simply put, they’ll allow you to establish your business without significant upfront costs. Most providers operate on a rolling contract basis and will give you a single consolidated invoice at the end of each month that will cover everything from your communications usage to the rental space. According to Skyline Offices most business owners will reduce upfront costs by roughly 78%, which not only decreases long-term risk, but allows more money to be directed into revenue generating activities.
Search classified ad listings
It may seem “unofficial”, but classified ads can be a gold mine for cheap office spaces. Before you fork out absurd commissions to agents they’re definitely worth checking. Leasing directly from a landlord could save you quite a substantial amount and will give you more control over the negotiations to ensure you don’t get ripped off. If you are going to take this approach proceed with caution. Listings aren’t always what they seem, so always make sure you view the premises in person beforehand.
Contact other local businesses
If you know another local business owner get in contact with them. They may be able to recommend a particular agent or landlord; or more importantly, tell you who to avoid. In addition, if you’re lucky they could have some extra space that you could rent off them instead. Shared offices are becoming pretty popular these days, especially in big cities where rental fees are high. Sometimes companies will be more than happy to lease you a couple rooms or desks if it means that they’ll save some money on rent.
Create a home office
Having an office may seem like a natural progression; however, with today’s digital technology it may not be financially viable at all. If you don’t need to meet clients in person, then a virtual office could be more beneficial for your business model. The Workstation states that EU ecommerce sales are rising by roughly 34% each year, meaning that more and more people are trusting the Internet. If you’re running an online company consider paying for a professional telephone answering service and mail forwarding address instead of a physical space. You could reduce your long-term fees by tens of thousands each every year.
Contact estate agents
If all else fails and you genuinely can’t find and negotiate a fee for an office by yourself contact an estate agent. Estate agents can be great; however, they will take a substantial commission. Even if the landlord has to pay for the fees they are often added onto the rental price. This makes it seem like you’re getting a free service, but really you’re just paying for the fees indirectly. That said, if you have money to spare and don’t have the time to do everything independently, estate agents can be a massive help and will often have first dibs on properties before they’re publically listed.
When you find a property that you like feel free to barter and haggle for a better price – there’s no harm in trying. You never know how long you’ll stay somewhere. Even if you manage to get £20 off your rent, that could add up to hundreds (possibly thousands) in just a matter of years.