If you’ve recently started a business, you’re all too aware of the challenges not having a proper office can cause. Disorganization, extra logistics for client meetings, and distractions are just a few of the problems entrepreneurs face when they lack a constructive workspace.
Unfortunately, renting an office is costly, and finding a room in one’s house is sometimes impossible. Short of having a filing cabinet in your trunk and living like a traveling salesman for the rest of your days, the options seem limited. However, there are a few creative ways to find office space for your startup that you may not have considered.
Shipping containers aren’t just for moving product anymore. People in Australia are purchasing them to build tiny homes, while business owners are rushing to buy a shipping container in Riverside CA to fit their various needs.
A shipping container can easily fit on a limited amount of land, and be decorated to represent a traditional office set up. Not only is this alternative option affordable, but it gives you space away from the hustle and bustle of your house to get work done. With a little landscaping and interior design, your office will become a positive conversation starter with clients.
Coworking spaces offer the set up of a traditional office building without the overhead costs. Depending on where you are operating your business and your budget, you can usually find a place that has conference rooms and a kitchen as a part of the deal. Higher end options include perks such as catering services and onsite gyms.
One of the benefits of coworking spaces, beyond the convenience and low cost, is the innovative energy of being under a roof with aspiring entrepreneurs. Who knows, you might make a profitable business connection while getting coffee in the break room.
As an entrepreneur, you should be taking the time to network with local business owners regardless of your office situation. However, taking the time to chat with your peers is a great way to discover if they face similar issues. Perhaps you will be able to invest in a space together, either as owners or tenants.
Alternatively, you may find out that a local business owner owns office space but is short on people with which to fill it. They may be willing to rent you a portion of the office to conduct your business, easing their financial burden and giving you the space you need to succeed. Even the local pizza place may have an area above the shop they’ve been considering renting out; you’ll never know until you ask.
Remote work is the way of the future. In fact, a recent survey showed that 43% of American workers had engaged in remote work at some point in the recent past. With cloud technology and the incredible reach of the Internet, the global workplace is getting smaller. It isn’t uncommon for work teams to be scattered across different countries or even different continents, working on one goal.
To work remotely, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper tools in place. Instant messaging, cloud storage, password protection, video messaging capabilities, and project management software are a few tools of the trade. Even better, you can get most of these things for free! The challenge, of course, is if you need to meet and collaborate in person. In a pinch, you can always head to a restaurant or coffee shop.
Don’t let the overwhelm of not having a traditional office space deter you from chasing your entrepreneurial dreams. Just think outside the box– or the cubicle– and make it work!