When you’re just starting out building your social enterprise, it’s important to keep the costs low. There’s a variety of different options for office space, and there’s new ways of working arising all the time. Here we’ve compiled all the various ways you can work to ensure business success.
To decide on your chosen work space, firstly decide what’s important to you. Is it location? Is it having a number of other entrepreneurs around you? Or is it flexibility, or cost? Make a list of the things your ideal work space has. You may find it’s a combination of one or more of these new ways of working.
Coworking spaces are a relatively new phenomenon, but one that is growing in popularity. A coworking space is a place where entrepreneurs and small teams come together to work under one roof.
The benefits of coworking is that they are highly flexible; some spaces offer a day rate or a weekly or monthly rate, so there’s no heavy financial commitment. There’s usually fast wifi and refreshments available.
Some of the most famous coworking spaces in the world are the beautiful Hubud in Ubud, Bali, and Punspace in Chang Mai, Thailand. In the UK, Coworking London offers 156 coworking spaces to peruse, and Manchester also offers a wide range of coworking spaces.
Hot desking is similar to coworking, but there’s usually a fixed fee for a longer length of time. When you hot desk, you can be in an office full of other ‘hot deskers’, but the advantage is it’s highly flexible, and saves space. If you have a business where people work remotely some of the time, hot desking for you and your colleagues may be the right option.
Working in cafes can be nice for those businesses who are sole traders or solo entrepreneurs; there are pros and cons to cafe working. Cafe working may provide you with a comfy space to rest your laptop and a bite to eat; however it doesn’t provide you with a full sized desk which could pose a problem for some businesses.
There are also member cafes such as Antenna in the UK, which charges a member fee to use the cafe, much like a co-working space, with discounted drinks and food.
If you’re part of a startup incubator, you will usually gain access to an office space as part of the package. Find out more about incubators in our Inventshift article.
Renting office space
If you’re more established and would like to rent an office space, have a look in your local area and online to see what units are for sale. Try government-owned residences too and social enterprise spaces.
Make sure you sign a short a lease as possible for your first office space rental; you need to ensure that your facilities are working correctly and you don’t have any problems with other tenants in the building.
Finally, there is always home working to consider! Home working can be lonely but has the added benefit that you can get straight out of bed, make a drink, and get to work. It’s not for everyone, but perhaps try it out one day a week for a good work-life balance.