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Old July 29th, 2009, 12:26 AM   #1
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To lease, or not to lease, office space...

At the moment, I do most of my work out of an extra bedroom in my house.

However, I am looking into expanding my current business which would bring about more meetings with clients, something I really can't do at my house on a daily basis. So, I have been pondering renting a small office to move my operations to.

However, with the current state of the economy, I'm a bit leery about signing a lease and shelling out an extra $500-$1000 a month.

But, I have been shopping around a bit just to check things out, and it seems that realtors and owners of the properties are very eager to work out a deal and lease prices, it seems, are at an all time low.

Just wondering if anyone has made the move forward into an office space recently or is currently pondering it as well?
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Old July 29th, 2009, 02:42 AM   #2
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Speaking as someone who is in the process of moving out in order to work from a home office, what tipped it in this direction was that I really don't have a heap of clients coming in for meetings ... and this is really the main reason you would rent an office.

If your operations are small, you can always rent on a "month to month" basis, giving flexibility to both yourself and the landlord.

One thing that I am going to be doing is to use a VOIP service for my landline. The beauty of this is that if I go to another location for a day, I can take the phone with me and plug in to their internet connection and I'll have an instant relocation of my phone. That's better service than any old style phone company can provide.

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Old July 29th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #3
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I discovered by chance (as I was invited to a meeting there) that there was a large building in a nearby town where you could hire office space as and when required. In my case, I was meeting with people from a Cardiff-based company. This company had become a "member" of the building (the name of which escapes me at present) and so could rent a meeting room cheaply whenever it wanted - cleaning, lighting, heating, internet, telephone, etc all included.

It may be worth you looking for something similar in your area if you don't need to be using (and therefore renting) an external office five days a week.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input. :)

Annie:
I thought about leasing/renting virtual office space, but the nearest offices that are available are about 40 miles south of me. I'd hate to have to make my clients drive that far just to meet me. And that's about an hours traveling time for me as well (with traffic), so that's an hour there and an hour back that I would be losing.

Andrew:
VOIP is definitely the way to go. A few years ago a project I was working on required me to go to several different cities (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Ontario, etc.). Having VOIP was a godsend because I could take my office phone with me. And it's much cheaper than a land line that is tied to one location.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #5
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I've been thinking about premises - BUT an office to me is pointless, I could do with some workshop space to use and this would also be useful for meeting clients. for me the premises would have to generate income, and I'm not sure an office would help. I'm looking at industrial units, but so far, all the ones I see I can afford, have noisy neighbours!
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Old July 30th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #6
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To expand your business, you have to bring client meetings out from your home or meet at starbucks to an office space. I'm in Southern California that for some reason, it's not too big of a problem. The first office we have is a sublet of an office. We shared it with the owner but we have our own room and a shared reception area. It's only $275 a month.

We moved to a second office of 350 sq feet for $420 a month. It's on the second floor of an office building.

Now we're on the third location, which is a retail store in Pasadena, CA. Price is really good (can't disclosed) but we found it from Craigslist.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
I discovered by chance (as I was invited to a meeting there) that there was a large building in a nearby town where you could hire office space as and when required. In my case, I was meeting with people from a Cardiff-based company. This company had become a "member" of the building (the name of which escapes me at present) and so could rent a meeting room cheaply whenever it wanted - cleaning, lighting, heating, internet, telephone, etc all included.

It may be worth you looking for something similar in your area if you don't need to be using (and therefore renting) an external office five days a week.
Regus have offices world wide where you can rent space very short term in fact for meeting rooms I think it's by the hour Regus | Office Space, Virtual Offices & Meeting Rooms to Rent

BTW Annie, I just noticed that you are in Pembs where I grew up & went to school (Fishguard & Haverfordwest). For many years I have been living in the South of France (which has it's own compensations:-) but I still miss the green fields & wild coastline of West Wales.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 06:56 AM   #8
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Nigel

Nowhere on earth is perfect, but I've been here 25 years and I like it, especially the coastline. But there are times (because the weather is so unreliable from day to day) that I'd rather be somewhere that has climate instead of weather. The south of France sounds pretty good to me - though I've only spent about six weeks Provence twenty years ago last month.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bryan Gilchrist View Post
VOIP is definitely the way to go. A few years ago a project I was working on required me to go to several different cities (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Ontario, etc.). Having VOIP was a godsend because I could take my office phone with me. And it's much cheaper than a land line that is tied to one location.
I got rid of my land line years ago and only use my cell phone now for business and residential. I don't have to rely on an internet connection to call or receive calls, not to mention the unpredictable performance when I *DO* have a connection (I have two siblings with horror stories about their VOIP service).

Now, regarding renting temporary office space, I'm not sure meeting clients in a space that obviously isnt occupied full-time by you is projecting the right image. For one thing they don't get the sense of dealing with someone knowledgeable and competent that a "neatly clutterd" office gives (nothing projects success like being busy); and for another, they might not trust someone without a stable (and traceable) office. You might want to reconsider a home office if you really can't afford permanent commercial space.

Think of it as buying an ipod: would you rather go to your local electronics superstore, or to some guy operating out of a truck in an alley?


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Old August 3rd, 2009, 06:13 PM   #10
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I live in Florida and would rather live...anywhere else but.

We have two seasons, hot and hotter. It's usually about 80 degrees out...on Christmas day.

Weather? It could be sunny one minute and pouring down rain the next. The humidity will kill you...and your equipment. Throw in the salt air, and you'll be replacing stuff every few years.

The land is flat, dreary and lifeless. There's no mountains or valleys. No majestic rivers. Leaves don't change colors, everything is green year round (or brown because of watering restrictions).

We do have Disney, Universal Studios and other tourist traps, but after you've been to those places a hundred times, you really don't want to go anymore.

I've been to California, lived in Maryland, Ohio and Georgia, and I'd pick any of those places over Florida.

Well...maybe not California.

Oh, and there's a reason why they call Florida the "Land of the newly wed and nearly dead".
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #11
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Have you tried Arizona? This summer has been pretty cool - hardly a day over 108 or 110

But it's a dry heat - sort of like your oven, and you wouldn't stick your head in there for very long would you?

Seriously though, it's really quite pleasant and we like it. It is a "bit warm", but you really do adapt to it and it's quite pretty in a strange sort of way.

Now if you want real humidity, try Tokyo in the summer - or Bangkok, or maybe Singapore anytime. although the food in Singapore makes up for the muggy weather. The disk drive makers used to use SIngapore as the ultimate example of hot humid environments for testing purposes.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #12
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The heat I can deal with...it's the humidity I can't stand.

I visited a cousin out in Arizona some years ago during the summer and it wasn't too bad.

Here, if you step in to the shade it's just as hot as being in the sun. In Arizona, the temperature drops 10 degrees if you step in to the shade.

And Arizona is beautiful. :)
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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #13
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I got rid of my land line years ago and only use my cell phone now for business and residential.
Interesting. My accountant indicated that I needed to maintain two phone lines so that I could write off the business calls or else Canada Revenue Agency could deny the expenses (well, except itemized long distance) as everyone is EXPECTED to have a personal phone. I'd love to hear how you handle this.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #14
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Interesting. My accountant indicated that I needed to maintain two phone lines so that I could write off the business calls or else Canada Revenue Agency could deny the expenses (well, except itemized long distance) as everyone is EXPECTED to have a personal phone. I'd love to hear how you handle this.
My company (i.e. my boss) pays for my phone.


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Old August 5th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #15
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Thanks Jacques. I'm a sole proprietor. Perhaps that's why the difference.
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