If you’re running a small business, one of the main decisions you’ll have to make is where your base will be. If your business isn’t being run from a storefront, you might be looking into traditional offices. However, you’ll come to realise that traditional offices are often expensive, inflexible and come with complex contracts. So, what alternatives are there?
In this article, we’ll be going through four alternatives to traditional offices that might make more sense for your small business. These all have their unique advantages and disadvantages, meaning you’ll have to weigh out what option works best for your situation. We’ll go through your options from most affordable to least affordable.
Work from home
Working from home will likely keep its place as one of the most popular alternatives to traditional offices even after the pandemic subsides. Not only will it help to keep you safe, working from home doesn’t cost you any extra money. In fact, in some cases, you can actually claim your housing expenses as a tax return if you’ve been working from home.
However, working from home might not be the most ideal situation for everyone. If you don’t have a dedicated office space, setting one up could be difficult. Plus, if you live with kids, pets or other people, you might want to avoid distractions. On the flip side, working from home can get lonely and make you feel stir crazy.
Unless your entire team is under one roof, working from home means you won’t be getting face-to-face interaction with them. Though instant messaging, video conferencing and other online tools have made communication easier, many people will argue that it’s just not the same. Team building is generally easier when done in-person.
Virtual offices aren’t well known just yet but they’re slowly growing in popularity. Essentially, a virtual office allows you to register your business with ASIC and Google Maps so that you don’t have to use your home address. You can get your mail sent to the location and sometimes get other benefits as well.
At Workit Spaces, our virtual office services come with a range of benefits. When you get mail sent here, we can scan it and/or keep it in a private letter box. We can receive packages and pallets as well, depending on the package you choose. As an added bonus, you get four to 16 hours access every month to our physical spaces, including desks, meeting rooms and studios.
A virtual office could be the perfect solution for small businesses who might only need physical spaces for a small amount of time every month. For example, to mix up your work environment, to meet with clients or to have team meetings. With our virtual office services, you get the flexibility to buy more access hours if you need it in a certain month, all at a discounted rate.
Running a business can get lonely sometimes. Coworking spaces are a great way to network and find support from other businesses. You get to be in an environment where everyone is motivated to grow. They’re considerably more affordable than traditional offices but still offer similar benefits, so long as you’re okay to share common areas such as kitchens.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Workit Spaces article without mention of our Sydney-based coworking spaces. We have two locations in Alexandria and another one on the way. Being just outside of Sydney means our spaces give you more bang for your buck while still being easily accessible. All our spaces offer dedicated desks and serviced offices.
If your small business is in the eCommerce market, you might be particularly interested in our eCommerce Hubs. On top of desks and offices, you’ll find storage, warehousing and logistics, all under one roof. You can receive pallets and containers at our loading dock and then drop off packages at one of our shipping stations. All major couriers pick up packages daily.
If your budget is a bit bigger, an executive suite might be a great option for you. Executive suites work in a similar kind of way to coworking spaces, except, they typically have a more corporate and private culture. You get your own small office space but will share amenities such as reception areas and conference rooms.
Unlike traditional office spaces where leases are long and fixed, you get more flexibility with executive suites. Some even offer month-to-month contracts. Additionally, rather than paying for bills separately, you pay one price. The lower commitments and affordability make it a better option for small businesses that might be scaling up and down more often.
What other alternatives to traditional offices are there?
One of the other alternatives to traditional offices for small businesses are public spaces. Obviously, this doesn’t make sense for everyone, but, if you’re a lone entrepreneur or run a small team, you could definitely make the most of what your community has to offer. For example, look for a public cafe, a quiet cafe, or even a pub.
Doing a mix could be the ideal choice for many small businesses. For example, you might have your team work from home most of the time and then meet up at a public library once a week. Or, you could use a coworking space for storage and only come into the physical space a couple times a month. It’s all about finding what works for your needs!