Small spaces for small business: Alternatives to traditional offices

working from home

If you own a small business, renting office space can seem like an outsize expense – but you have to run your business from somewhere.

Where, then, should you go? One of the great things about today’s professional environment is that entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily expected to have a traditional office. Instead, it’s become common to work from home, from a coworking space, or even from your local coffee shop.

If you’re looking for an alternative workspace for your small business operations, consider how these three options might work for you. More affordable than renting a standard office, these simple spaces might be the perfect fit.

Coworking Solutions

Coworking solutions are having a moment right now, with numerous companies such as WeWork, Novel, and Regus cropping up to offer entrepreneurs and SMBs ready-to-use office space. Whether you just need to rent a desk or need access to a full office suite for a few employees, coworking spaces are affordable, fully-equipped spaces that also provide users great networking opportunities. Many entrepreneurs find partners and clients among their coworking cohort.

Alternatively, if you need a fully-equipped space that’s slightly more private, you might opt to rent a serviced office space. Serviced office spaces offer all of the equipment, like furniture and high-end printers, that you would find in a coworking space, but also include options like meeting areas, a lunchroom, and even a receptionist serving the space. Serviced offices are a step up from coworking and ideal if you’re holding high stakes client meetings, conferences, or other important events.

Sheds Beyond Storage

Storage sheds are great for holding extra inventory and convention supplies, but if you need to augment your workspace, don’t be afraid to look at sheds in a new light. Specialty providers offer high-end wood storage sheds, large “playhouses,” and shed-workshop hybrids that can easily be adapted to serve as small offices. In fact, repurposed shed spaces are ideal if you don’t have an extra room in your home or need a space apart from your children to work.

If you are going to go this route, be sure look for structures with windows, good ventilation, and a higher roof. While you don’t need a lot of space, your office should be welcoming and comfortable, not claustrophobic – otherwise, you’ll avoid your office and your work.

Home Office Options

Some small business owners swear by their home office for their comfort and convenience, but if you’re going to opt for a home office, you should make the most of it – especially because home office improvements are tax deductible. Simple upgrades include ensuring the space has proper lighting and a good organizational system. Also, ensure that your set up is ergonomic and minimizes the likelihood of work-related injury. If you have multiple options, consider where in your home is best for your office. Ideally, you want to be in a location with plenty of natural light and enough room for all of your supplies, but where you won’t be distracted by other people in the house.

Just because you have a small business, that doesn’t mean that you need to rent a traditional space in an office building or acquire a storefront. Instead, minimize your expenses and maximize flexibility with a home office or coworking set-up. This is an opportunity to do business on your own terms, and that includes rethinking the ordinary rules of location.