What are the options of work spaces for your business?
When starting or growing your business, deciding where to work from can be a tough decision. Fortunately, the UK work spaces industry is going through a major change. There are now a variety of options available. From working at home to leasing your first premises, discover what options are available and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Working from home
Whether it’s product testing in the kitchen or just your computer on the dinner table, this is a common choice for those starting up, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Advantages: If your business requires limited facilities, this is the easiest option. It’s also the most affordable with an easy commute and allows you to keep your initial set-up costs low.
Disadvantages: It can be lonely, especially if you work best when surrounded by like-minded people and enjoy networking. You also lack office facilities such as meeting rooms, conference calls and TV screens that you may require for pitching and presentations.
This blog from Gov.uk covers the checks that you will need to do if you plan on running your business from your home.
2. Co-working spaces & hubs
Co-working spaces are the latest craze for startups, SME’s and freelancers. Many large buildings are being transformed into workspaces to house multiple businesses. This includes a mixture of communal working spaces as well as separate offices.
Advantages: They are great to meet a network of startups and SME owners. Many co-working spaces offer a desk, meeting and conference rooms, as well as a dedicated office if you want more structure. You can rent by the day, week or month so there is flexibility. Some even offer events that help you meet other business owners and develop your network, as well as the option to have a business address and mail forwarding to your home.
Disadvantages: Depending on what environment you choose, there can be limited privacy. Make sure you do your research as to what facilities your business will need and what the co-working space can offer.
As a Start Up Loan recipient you can access an exclusive business offer with Club Workspace in London that gives you a 50% discount for the first 12 months on their ‘EverydayEverywhere’ package.
3. Business centres and shared offices
Business centres are buildings that offer work spaces to multiple businesses. They offer a more formal environment compared to co-working spaces, and often include office and desk rental, as well as access to board rooms and meeting rooms.
Advantages: A variety of options are available from desks to offices, as well as facilities such as photocopying, fax and Wi-Fi and the option to have a business address and mail forwarding to your home.
Disadvantages: Business centres and shared offices are usually slightly more expensive than co-working hubs, mainly due to the increased facilities and formal environment that they offer. Similar to co-working spaces, there can be limited privacy.
4. Rent a desk
If you can’t afford to rent premises or an office, then renting a desk is an option. This is an option in co-working spaces and business centres like Club Workspace, Regus and many more. There are options available with on hand teams to provide internet and additional facilities, as well as help should you need it.
Advantages: Flexible, affordable and you only pay for the space that you need.
Disadvantages: Some desk rentals can be just that – a desk! If you’re looking for a workspace with extensive facilities (high speed Wi-Fi, photocopying, printing, meeting and conference space) make sure you do your research into what’s included.
5. Your own premises
Setting up your own premises, such as a shop, salon or studio, can be the best way to get your business going. If you need somewhere for customers or clients to visit then it’s one worth considering.
Advantages: Having your own premises can mean privacy and help you position the business in the market. Customers can visit you and the space can be fitted out the way you want it.
Disadvantages: Similar to working from home, this can be lonely if you enjoy the networking scene of the start up industry. Finding a premise that is suitable and one that you want to invest a lot of time and money into can be time consuming, so make sure you plan well in advance.
If your business is at the stage where you are considering renting or purchasing premises, check out our blog by Start Up Loan recipient David O’Neal. He shares his top tips for securing your first premises.