Setting up a new business is challenging enough, without the hassle of finding somewhere for it to actually be based; even an online business needs a postal address for deliveries, invoices and so on. The best location for your fledgling firm probably depends on your size – if you’re a freelancer or sole trader, you might even be able to base your company at your home.
Doing so can have advantages, not only because your daily commute will take a matter of seconds, but also because you can claim tax breaks if you dedicate a room in your home to your business.
Assuming you don’t want to turn your home into a workplace, there are still plenty of places to consider – and you don’t need a starting budget in the millions in order to afford some office space.
If you’re looking for city centre offices, consider hot-desking. This is where you rent a small amount of office space – potentially even a single seat and workstation – often in an open-plan area where other people are working as well.
This effectively allows sole traders and freelancers to develop working relationships with people who can come to be perceived as colleagues, and creates networking opportunities with like-minded individuals working in related disciplines, too.
Hot-desking is an excellent option if you’re just starting out, but want to put across a professional image rather than letting clients think you work from your sofa – or from bed.
Serviced office space
The next rung on the ladder from hot-desking is to lease some serviced office space. Again, individuals sometimes choose to do this in order to have a little more privacy than you get from working in an open-plan shared space.
It’s also a good option for companies with several employees, though; serviced office space should give you the basics of what you need to keep your staff happy, and you may be able to expand into neighbouring units as your company’s needs grow.
Again, this is a budget-conscious option; you won’t be building your firm’s property estate while you’re renting some serviced space, but if your finances are tight it’s a good stop-gap solution that will still give you what you need for the short term.
An office of your own
The ambition for any professional services firm is probably to own a building, or at least to have a floor in a high-rise office block that’s specifically decorated and fitted out to meet your needs.
You’ll need to make sure you have the necessary budget to cover the cost of leasing or buying the space, as well as the cost of fitting it out with furniture, equipment and the basic decoration.
If you’re sure you can afford it though, this is undoubtedly the best way to put your company name on the map, as well as to gain a postal address that isn’t shared with other companies – giving you a little extra kudos when clients try to get in touch.