Finances are one area of business that many entrepreneurs succeed in overlooking, time after time after time. Why? Probably because the idea of needing finances for a business that hasn’t even yet begun seems premature, or because it’s not “their thing,” so they just avoid the subject until absolutely necessary. Don’t fall into this trap!
With that being said, I would like to touch on just one aspect of the financial equation that some entrepreneurs think about but often don’t come up with an answer for. That question is: do I need an office?
Office Space for the Entrepreneur
If you’re the penny-pinching type, you might be quick to criticize the entrepreneur that asks if they need an office or not. Why would you ever need an office if you’re going to work from home? – you might ask. Well, on the one hand, that’s a good question. But on the other, why not? We’ll explore the results (or consequences) of both of these options.
First things first. Do you NEED an office outside of your home? Let’s define NEED for a moment. You might need an office if you never, ever, ever get any peace and quiet at home. The kids are always in and out, your wife is always cleaning, your husband always has the TV or video games going – whatever the case might be. This can be quite a hindrance to productivity, and if you don’t have a quiet space to retreat to for constant office space, you may find that you get nothing done.
In this event, you might want to look into renting space. But before you do, consider the following. First, your lease will likely be at least six months long. Can you afford office space for that period of time? If you don’t need much square footage, and instead just need a place to type on your computer and produce websites and articles, then I suggest starting out at an internet café. Even Starbuck’s has certain times of the day when they’re not busy, where you can log onto their internet for free and stay as long as you like. The most you’ll pay this way is about one frappuccino per day, which is far less than rent for a month if you add it all up.
However, if you CAN afford office space, and you DO need extra square footage, perhaps renting an office is a good idea. You’ll have an area to call your own that is dedicated to work, not kids and playtime and housekeeping. If you need to hire an employee, intern or apprentice to work under you, you have a space they can work where they won’t have to interfere with your home life.
In many cases, however, you don’t actually need an office at all. If you time your entrepreneurial endeavors properly, you can pick periods of the day when your house is less noisy, and save a bundle on rent elsewhere. If you want it to feel more like an office, consider purchasing a desk and official desk chair. The moral of the story? Buy or rent what you need, but try to keep costs down where possible.