A few partners and I recently launched a new business venture and one of the first major decisions we had to make was regarding office space. Should we simply all work from home and have a more virtual office space environment where we connect every day through skype, email, and phone, or should we shell out a few bucks to secure physical office space? This can be a tough decision for new companies that are not producing revenue yet.
One of the challenges of a new company is that you do not want to lock in to a 12 month lease for an office space that is not incredibly desirable. For example, if you lock in a 12 month lease on a cheap office space in an undesirable location, simply because you cannot yet afford a really nice space, then you may be a bit perturbed if the company starts bringing in solid cash flow 6 months later, and you can afford the nicer space, but you are locked into a 12 month lease.
One solution is to consider negotiating with business parks where you really want to set up shop. See if you can get into a very small office in an environment where it would be easy to upgrade during the life of your lease. The space may be smaller than you really want, but it also helps you get into the actual location you want to be at a price you can afford. Then, when working capital becomes available, it is easy to transition to a larger, nicer workspace.
Other possible low cost office solutions are to pay for a virtual office space or Coworking style space. Many top-tiered virtual office spaces actually provide conference room access on an as needed basis. These deals come in many shapes and sizes, but it is common for some conference room access to be included in the deal, and for additional hours to be available on a per-hour basis.
Remember to think long-term when you are considering your office space plans.