Looking to take the next step from working at home? Shared office space could be the answer.

Looking to take the next step from working at home? Shared office space could be the answer.

For fledging entrepreneurs who are running their business from home (whether by themselves or with one other person), there may come a time when the business will be begin to outgrow its surroundings. Taking the next step from working at home to a professional office environment can be a big step, especially if you’re unsure about whether your business can sustain its own office environment. Thankfully, there is excellent option available for young businesses looking to take the next step from the home office; and that is shared office space.

Shared office space is pretty much what is says on the box – one or two workstations in a shared office environment. This means you’ll be sharing a large space with other fledging businesses, who are most likely in the same position as you.

 Shared office space is usually offered by major serviced office operators (like Avanta for example) and can offer many benefits to small businesses:

Cost effective – Using shared office space is very cost effective compared to having your own office because you are splitting the costs of the space with other businesses.
Professional Image – By basing yourself in a professional office environment, you’ll be able to project the right image for your company to clients and customers. A good professional image can also improve your chances of attracting staff when you are looking to expand.
Location – Using shared office space in a business centre means that you can base yourself right where the action is. You’ll be able to quickly and effectively meet with clients/suppliers or network with others in your industry.
Networking – Working in a shared environment can provide excellent opportunities to network, whether it’s with other companies in your shared space, or the building as a whole. Some operators will even host networking drinks for clients, so if this is important to your business it’s worth asking your operator if they provide this.
Flexibility – One of the great advantages of using shared office space in a business centre is that it easily allows you to expand your business when you need to. So when the time comes for your company to take on more staff, you’ll easily be able to move into your own office in the same building.
Meeting rooms and lounges – A majority of business centres come with dedicated meeting rooms and breakout spaces, so you’ll be able to hold meetings of all sizes rather than settling for a cramped coffee shop!
Technology – Because it’s provided by the operator, you won’t have to worry about things like IT and telephony as they are all provided.

The great thing about shared office space is that it is the perfect stepping stone from working at home to running your own office. The flexible terms mean that you can expand your business, but only when you’re ready. In addition to this, it’s also fairly low risk, so if things don’t work out, you can go back to working at home if necessary – which is a better prospect than being stuck with a long term office lease.

Above are just some of the advantages of using shared office space.

Anna Norman Butler, Marketing Manager at Avanta and writer on shared office space tips and tools.  Avanta Managed Offices provides business centre solutions for small businesses.

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