Ready to make the switch from home-based business to professional office, but not quite ready to take on the financial burden of rent, furniture, technology and staffing? An office business center might be the next logical step for you.
The business center concept has taken off in recent years. Office Business Centers offer shared business space and services for companies in a variety of situations, including small businesses and organizations that may not be able to buy or lease space affordably on their own. Office business centers provide a “one-stop-shop” with office space, equipment, services and support — everything you need to run your business included in one-flat monthly fee.
In order to understand why an office business center makes sense to a small business owner or a start-up business, let’s take a look at how OBCs measure up to traditional leases:
|Traditional Lease||Office Business Center|
|Require larger security deposit||Smaller security deposit|
|Longer time commitment||Offer shorter leases, even offer month-to-month|
|Pay for shared common space such as kitchen and lobby||Do not pay for common space|
|Owner must set up all services such as telephone, internet, electricity, water, heating, etc.||All services are already set up and included in monthly fee|
|Must purchase equipment and furniture||All equipment and furniture are included in monthly fee|
|Any maintenance of equipment must be arranged and paid for by the business owner||Equipment maintenance is handled by OBC|
|Owner must interview and hire administrative staff or receptionist||OBC hires administrative staff or receptionist for use by businesses as needed|
|Owner deals with all administrative tasks like buying supplies for copiers, printers, kitchen, bathroom, etc||OBC handles administrative tasks like this|
|Owner usually rents space that is the right size for business at the moment and has to move later or pays for extra space it is not using in case it grows||Business can grow into a larger space instead of worrying about moving or paying for extra unneeded space|
|Does not include extras such as conference rooms or meeting space||Includes conference rooms for meeting with clients on-site|
If you are looking to move your business out of your home but are concerned with money and risk, consider office business centers. Going with an office business center will cost less than a traditional lease because there is less capital required. In addition it minimizes risk because short-term leases are offered, so in the event that your business doesn’t take off, you are not stuck with three-or-five-year lease.
In addition, working in a professional office instead of setting up an office at home makes sense for some people. For some, working at home is not as efficient as working in the office, especially for those who don’t have the initiative or the motivation to work in a home-setting. It’s very easy to get distracted and it’s too easy to get up and do something else, clean, put in a load of laundry or talk to your family members. With an office business center, you have a professional working environment to effectively run your business while the OBC operator can focus on office administration and operations.
If you’ve decided an office business center is for you, how can you find one? Here are some steps to follow:
- Determine how much space you’ll need.
- Decide on the length and terms of your lease. Some centers even offer month-to-month.
- Pick your equipment needs, which are often offered on a cost-per-use basis. Office business centers offer the latest technology including Internet access, phone service, copiers, fax machines and other business necessities.
- Assess the level of staffing your business will need; whether you need a receptionist, secretary or other office worker. Again, these services are offered on a cost-per-use basis.